The Problem Is Not About Finding Your Talent

What is it then?

Photo by JOSHUA COLEMAN on Unsplash

I suspected I was a good writer in primary school. I was an average student. But somehow, when it was time to write essays, my work always stood out. I didn’t see it as anything. I just saw it as luck.

It followed me to through high school. I hated calculations, but essays weren’t a problem. I felt like they came naturally to me. Then I think one time, an essay I wrote was published in a book alongside other student’s essays, which stood out. I started to believe that I was actually really good. I would write poems and stories for the Yearbook and all of that. Still, I never reasoned it as a talent.

I remember writing one of the final exams — I think it was mathematics or economics, in high school when the English teacher told me that this doesn’t suit me, that what suits me the most is writing. I still didn’t take any meaning to it.

University came, and I didn’t read much, but when it was few days to the exam, I’d just read a bit, and in the exam hall, I’d be able to create meaningful points surrounding the little I knew. Then score very high.

I stumbled upon freelancing writing, and I remember how much praise I got from those initial clients about how good of a writer I was. I think that’s when I started to believe I could be talented. Because how will these people who I didn’t know at all come and be dishing out praises on something I put so little effort on.

When I got into freelance writing fully, I started to see that it’s not always about having the talent, but working on it to get better. Because to match the demands, you need to get better at your job.

I would re-read my old articles and cringe at how poorly written it was and remember how those old clients were dishing out praises for that subpar work.

I would notice mistakes and see how I would have written it so hook the readers better and be more concise, but back then, I didn’t know all that. I just wrote.

My point in all my ramblings is, no matter how good you think you are, there’s still room for improvement. A footballer like Lionel Messi is obviously a natural football genius. But he still has to train, so he’ll get better.

Imagine he sat on his laurels when he was 21 years because one or two people told him he was talented. And didn’t train. Won’t that mean disaster for his career?

So, in the end, honing your talent is where the problem lies. It’s what differentiates the achievers from the people who don’t achieve.

You have to keep improving.

Thank you for reading.

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Tochukwu Evans Okoro

Tochukwu Evans Okoro

Creating solutions to the things I struggled with - tochukwuokoro.com