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January 27, 2007

Truly LUCKY!

Have you ever seen my boy Tiger swing a golf club?  "Go on be a Tiger!"  Remember how Micheal could  just drop 40 or 50 like it ain't no thing.  (That would be Jordan)  Michelle Wie is 16 and my girl can hit a golf ball 300 yards.  300 Yards, Yo dog, most adult MEN can't do that.  Images Have you experienced other phenomenal talents?  What about Yo Yo Ma, Meryl Streep, John Steinbeck, Jackson Pollock, Steven Hawkings, Frank Lloyd Wright, Steven Spielberg, all these folks are off the hook!  They are the best at what they do.  Knowing this, have you ever watched these talents and said to yourself how lucky are these people to be born with such crazy talent?   I know you think these people were lucky.  I know you have asked, with a little bitterness, why you weren't that lucky.  I know you have, we all have.  Don't pretend, just admit it.  This way we can move on.

Now check it, I don't think being born with talent is very lucky at all.   I think all of us have a superior skill or talent.   Something at which we excel.  Something that we are better at than most others.  Yea, you have a talent, a talent at which you are better than 90% of everyone else.   

Stay with me. 

Tiger was not lucky  because he was born with a kickin ability to play golf, he was lucky because he was born to dad, who's passion was golf.  Would we have a Tiger today if Earl Woods had been an artist, or a writer, or football player.   What if Earl hated golf and Tiger didn't swing his first club until 16?  I'll make it easy.  The answer is no, no Tiger folks.  No Michelle Wei, No Yo Yo Ma, No Michael Jordan.  If these folks were never introduced to or found what they were great at,it just wouldn't have mattered.  That's right, it is not having a phenomenal talent that makes you lucky, it is being introduced to it that makes you TRULY LUCKY!

This is good news.  There is hope for all of us.  Being successful,  has less to do with what you were born with but more with our ability to live life and find our talent.  The more we live, the more experiences we have.  The more experiences we have the more exposure we have to different, and unique things.  You get where I am going.  Live a little more, the advantage, you might learn a little something about yourself and that may become a big thing. 

What is your hidden talent?  There is value in finding it!



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My talent is in observing the motivations of people, the conscious and unconscious drivers that allow for growth, success, and reaching your unique human potential. The greatest percentage of truly talented people enjoy the rather anonymous status that some others, the Tigers, Jordans, etc. have had to sacrifice to serve the needs of the populace who, for one reason or another, fail to find the proximate, personal talent inside themselves, and thus are left to idolize, admire and in many cases simply envy those who are pressed into the public eye by the constant search for herooes with whom to identify. My hope is that we can work to create a culture in which each child is encouraged to be loving of the self, lead to the security that believing that their worth or value is not tied to "fame"; and, that other people will always maintain the right to like them or to not like them, but to know that other people's opinions do NOT DEFINE their ultimate value. To be truly talented, successful and happy we must all live within the boundaries of reality, therefore mental and emotional strength are precursors of the talented individual. Not everyone can become famous, but everyone can become talented and successful. The communication and transfer of these precursors (mental and emotional strength) are an integral part of the qualities necessary for being an effective parent. Make a great day for yourself and others. What you believe, you can achieve!

Steve Lowtwait

Great post! I agree and have always believed that everyone has special talents. For myself, it is my creativity though most would define my talent as artistic skills. Art is its most common form but I am not limited to just this one outlet.

Like the ant says, talent is something that must be found. Not only that, it must be encouraged by others and learned by thyself. That is part of the path to greatness. Just last night, I discovered a blog by author David Shenk about the understanding of talent. So if you want to read more about this very subject with a bit more scientific twist, check it out. http://geniusblog.davidshenk.com/

David Shenk

Hey Antman,

Great subject -- and as was just mentioned I have a new book-in-progress blog all about this stuff: http://geniusblog.davidshenk.com/

I want to heartily agree with you on several points and slightly disagree with you about one thing.

You are dead right that Tiger needed his Dad (or some substitute) to help him get to where he is. He also needed time, effort, intense desire, and a few other resources. No great achiever simply grows up to become great by luck or accident. It takes tons of just the right kind of encouragement at just the right time, and an intense discipline that focuses on constant improvement.

You're also right that almost every human being is born with the potential for greatness -- and we're not each limited to just one narrow category. There are lots of potential directions for each person. (We have to allow that a small percentage are simply disabled and don't have the same potential. But for most, the potential is there.)

I urge you to think of talent not as some hidden gem that we simply need to discover inside us. Talent is something that gets developed. It's not there until we build it.

Science is demonstrating that almost all humans are born with many fewer limits -- and a lot more potential -- than we used to think was there.


Mr. Shenk or may I call you David? You are absolutely correct that: "talent is not a hidden gem that we need to discover in side us." It (talent) MUST be developed. As I sat down to write this post I questioned whether or not to address the issue of development. But I chose not to because my simple point was, one must have exposure to their skill or talent for it to be identified and that those who are, are the truly lucky ones. Once introduced a journey begins, the journey of development. This is what you reference and I would not dare to argue or suggest otherwise. I knew, that I was going to get a comment such as yours. I saw it coming. So good for you brother. I ask, as you read the post again,notice my point. It is simple. We (society) think being born with the talent is the luck, I say no, the luck is finding the talent, because we all have it. After that luck has nothing to do with it. Then it becomes a choice. Do I choose to develop it or not. Luck is the smaller part, but boy is it important. Thank D man. I love your blog, love your topic. I expect to learn a lot by staying tuned. Many thanks!


Thanks Matthew: Your comment is filled with a yearning for a better place. It is very altruistic. We need more of that. I will challenge you a bit on your statement "To be truly talented, successful and happy we must all live within the boundaries of reality" This is a very SUBJECTIVE statement. I find far too many people create a limiting sense of "reality". This term can and all to often is defeating. It is used by victims to limit their progress. The work successful folks put into developing their talents is, to many of us, absurd or "unrealistic". Tiger spent his whole life playing golf, he put in hours that no one else would do. This is Tiger's reality! Unfortunately, most of society will rail against such committed endeavors stating a: "A child needs to be a child" " Too much of anything is no good" We create such environments to excuse ourselves from the commitments required to develop those things in us, our talents. Be careful my friends, those of you who say reality is a boundary. You create your own reality, your own boundaries. How big or narrow do YOU want them to be.

Divya Uttam

Hey Antman,
The story is too good. No comments.


Yo Antman,

Great blog. I never really thought about it that way. I have to admit, I have said, "Damn, I wish I was lucky." But I never really stepped back and wondered what would have happened if they were born into a different situation. Not everyone has the same opportunities to truly discover what their talents may be. I have to agree with David. You may be born with the raw talent, but it takes hard work, dedication and the right amount of encouragement to refine that skill. Great article. Really made me think.

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