I have a friend who loves to act. But he can’t. He simply does not have the talent. However, he is a great draftsman, to which he turns up his nose. So he continues to have mediocre success at acting. There are many things we may love to do, but for which we simply do not have the talent to be successful. In school I loved to play basketball but never made the team because I was too short. I would love to sing tenor, but I was blessed instead with a deep bass voice. When I watch “The Strongest Man in the World” competitions on TV, I, like many men, fantasize about being among these Atlases of the airwaves. Some of us (and you know who you are) even join a health club! But after months of grunting, our enthusiasm wanes because it becomes obvious that we do not have the natural physical gifts of these athletes.
So simply doing what we love or what we think we would love is not enough. We also need to consider our natural talents and gifts and match those to the available options. But doing that is harder than it sounds for a number of reasons. First, our natural talents come so easily to us that we don’t consider them important. For some reason, we as human beings usually take for granted what we have and desire that which we don’t, always perceiving the talents of others as more desirable than ours. For example, you may be a natural with numbers and lack communication skills, yet desire the supposed prestige of being a lawyer. So instead of becoming an accountant and soaring with your natural talent, you become a lawyer and are constantly thwarted because of your lack of people skills.
Second, we do not pay attention to the positive signs and encouraging people in our lives. As a rule, we humans do not hand out many compliments to each other. We are more likely to criticize shortcomings than to recognize another’s talents. So when others tell us that we are good at something, we need to understand the significance of their comments. When we receive awards or other recognition of our efforts (which we often deem as effortless), we should understand that these come as a direct result of being on our Bliss Path.
Emerson once wrote, “Each man has his own vocation. The talent is the call. There is one direction in which all space is open to him…He is like a ship in a river; he runs against obstructions on every side but one, on that side all obstruction is taken away, and he sweeps serenely over a deepening channel into an infinite sea…He inclines to do something which is easy to him and good when it is done, but which no other man can do. He has no rival.” Match your natural talents and gifts to what you love and enjoy the voyage.
Marc Alan Hardy
Bliss Path Productions, Inc.
Phone (574) 266-0860 – E-mail: MarcAlanHardy@aol.com