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Unleash The Power Of Greatness – The Truth Behind Talent Revealed

Unleash The Power Of Greatness – The Truth Behind Talent Revealed

All of us have access to a higher form of intelligence, one that can allow us to see more of the world, and use our talents to impact it in some way. Whether you believe talent is a rare gift born within, or seek to go above the talents you already possess, this article will reveal the hidden truths behind talent, and how we can all access it for greatness.

“Everyone holds his fortune in his own hands, like a sculptor the raw material he will fashion into a figure. But it’s the same with that type of artistic activity as with all other; we are rarely born with the capability to do it. The skill to mold the material into what we want must be learned and attentively cultivated.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Introduction

Talent isn’t something we are taught. Talent, is something we recognize within ourselves as a result of practical application in a particular chosen field. Some of us do well in our pursuit of greatness, and some not so well. We may try very hard to perfect our attempts at mastering a certain activity, yet, seem to fail timelessly. As a result of our failures, we can easily rationalize those doing better as born naturals; we see them as people with natural gifts, and we can easily reduce to feelings of inadequacy, becoming uncertain about our own capabilities. However, science teaches talent isn’t a gift born within, and instead, developed in a series of stages. And with time, patience and consistency, does one come to master his field of endeavor.

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Myelin: The True Mother Of Skill

Every human skill, whether it is playing an instrument or kicking a ball, is created by a chain of nerve fibers that carry a small electrical impulse. Myelin, which is a mixture of protein and phospholipids forms a sheath around our nerve fibers; the thicker myelin gets, the faster and more accurate our movements and thoughts become. Every human on the planet can grow myelin, and we do so more swiftly during childhood, but also throughout life; it’s growth allows all manner of skills, mental and physical. Skill can be defined as a cellular insulation that wraps neural circuits, and grows in response to certain signals. The more time and energy you put into practice of what you are trying to achieve the more myelin you create; this process applies to all those we consider talented.

Entering The Unknown

Before attempting to accomplish any skill, we are firstly outsiders to it; we have prejudgments and an element of fear about the process and our minds have not yet established a relationship with it. Although we may have excitement and enthusiasm for acquiring a new skill, most of us become uncomfortable as we become aware of the hard work ahead of us. If one can manage these uncomfortable emotions and allow time to take its course, one will find something remarkable begins to shape. Myelin get’s thicker, and the brain develops a strong relationship with the process at hand. In time, what was once unfamiliar and vexatious becomes a process we can do effortlessly.

Unlocking Inner Greatness

Every man and woman desires to acquire great skills to affect the world around him or her in some way. However, many often feel trapped by their limitations of consciousness. Simply put: If one is unaware of his own capabilities and the power of his own mind, he may find it easier to try and short-circuit the learning process by the use of drugs, incantations and prayer. Those who are more aware of their capabilities and have a self-belief in what they can accomplish, usually devote themselves to mastering the subject.

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It is common for people to lose themselves in a fantasy of becoming talented by the use of shortcut methods. Ancient wisdom reveals a change in attitude can attract the right energy, allowing us to achieve greatness by the virtues of thought. However, the true power we possess and mostly ignore – the same power used throughout history to build  magnificent buildings and paint works of fine art – is of course: the power of practice, patience and persistence (PPP).

”Do not talk about giftedness, inborn talents! One can name great men of all kinds who were very little gifted! They acquired greatness, became “geniuses” (as we put it), through qualities the lack of which no one who knew what they were would boast of: they all possessed that seriousness of the efficient workman which first learns to construct the parts properly before it ventures to fashion a great whole; they allowed themselves time for it, because they took more pleasure in making the little, secondary things well than in the effect of a dazzling whole.” Friedrich Nietzsche 

The Work Of Six-Million Years: Our Mind

People have come to believe talent is inaccessible. They see it as a product of the privileged or something magical within. But this idea is only imaginary, because the real secret of talent is supported by six-million years of development. Our brain, is in fact, designed to lead us into developing great skills and to become masters of our chosen field. Now, if all of us are born with essentially the same brain, why does the world show a limited number of talented people you may ask? Well, the truth is: talent is everywhere, it is just unrecognized. People across the planet have developed skills no different to some of the great minds we have admired throughout history. We must consider in order to become truly great, practice, patience and persistence must be applied, and it is a rare faculty among the average population.

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The Facts Of Myelin

Myelin – mentioned earlier – does not respond to vague information; the mechanism is built to respond to actions; it responds to urgent repetition. Myelin is universal and cares only for what you do. It does not unwrap, meaning: once a skill circuit is insulated, you can’t un-insulate it. And this is why habits are hard to break. The only way to change habits is to repeat new behaviors. Age also accounts for myelin, as it arrives in a series of waves when we are young. This is why the majority of world-experts start off young. However, we still continue to experience a net gain of myelin until we are 50. But as you may know, those who try to learn a new language or try to pick up an instrument later in life have a much harder time.

”People get the mind and quality of brain they deserve through their actions in life.” Robert Green

Before Attempting New Skills

Before attempting new skills, we must first, see it as something necessary and positive. Relying on genetics and technology will not allow us to become more efficient in our attempts to master new skills. We must realize we all get the brain we deserve through our actions. The amount of work we put in is precisely what we get out of it. We must be willing to go the distance. This is what all great achievers have managed to preserve. Lastly, we must never see ourselves as accomplished, but always remain in a state of learning. No person is ever accomplished at great skill, for there is always room for more. Thinking we are skilfully accomplished because of one single dose of appraisal from an outsider does not make us so. We must be willing to always strengthen the skills we have to become truly great.

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What We Have Learned

We learned talent and skill are not something magical born within, but a series of stages that take place. We learned skill is built by a chain of nerve fibers that carry a small electric impulse, and myelin is the key to its strength. Practice and devotion are needed to become great, and most people are ready to give up once they become aware of the work involved. We also realize talent is always around us, yet goes unrecognized. The bottom line is: If you wish to become better at what you do, or wish to develop new skills and reveal the signs of what outsiders call ‘talent,’ this will require you to devote time and patience to mastering the process. And if you wish to be truly great, you must live for it.

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Last Updated on August 19, 2019

How to Succeed in Life on Your Own Terms: 7 Essential Steps

How to Succeed in Life on Your Own Terms: 7 Essential Steps

There is a great deal of advice in the world telling us how to succeed in life, but often we are given advice that isn’t tailored to our needs, desires and priorities. Success means different things to each of us, and living a life that feels genuinely successful to me might be very different to your idea of a successful life.

Naturally, when we follow the advice of someone else, which is tailored to their life goals and personality, we can end up with something that doesn’t deliver on the promise. We don’t get rewarded with our vision of success: we get theirs.

This is why I’m a proponent of self-discovery, introspection and personal sovereignty. So how to succeed on your own terms?

These 7 essential steps are not going to tell you exactly what to do, but they will provide you with the tools and the questions to ask so that you can discover your own path, so you know how to succeed in life on your own terms.

1. Know Thyself

One of Socrates’ most well-known quotes is,

An unexamined life is not worth living.

I argue that an unexamined life is not a successful one. Self-knowledge is something we could dedicate our lives to, but I’m not suggesting you sit around and navel-gaze in order to find happiness and meaning.

Thankfully, there are people who have created techniques and systems that less us fast-forward through a lot of personal philosophizing, and quickly identify some key aspects of what makes us, us.

You might want to find out what your ideal daily schedule is,[1] and you can take tests that reveal just that. Or you might want to figure out what you need to get things done – and yes, there’s a quiz for that too.

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None of these tests are infallible, and some are more scientific than others, but the process of asking yourself questions about your behaviors and traits is invaluable when it comes to determining your path to succeed in life.

For example, if you know you are an introvert and are unhappy in your current workplace, it might be worth considering why that is (an open plan office space perhaps) and what you would prefer.

It’s these little questions that will provoke answers in you that can guide the decisions that truly improve your life now and in the future.

2. Figure out What Matters to You

What lights you up? This is a question that often gets forgotten as we age. A fortunate child will be given the stimulation they desire in the form of bright toys, affection and entertainment. Little by little, the things that bring a child joy get replaced by what society demands on their behalf.

When we return to that question, and ask ourselves what really matters and what brings us joy, we can move closer towards a successful life. It can help to think back to your childhood, and the times in your life when you were in what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls a flow state.[2]

In a state of flow, time slows and our focus is directed like a laser. We are fully present.

Whilst not everything in life that matters to you will conjure up a flow state, it’s a good indication of the kind of activities and experiences you can try to incorporate into your life on a regular basis.

A successful life is made up of moments like this, and when you know what matters to you and brings you a sense of joy and purpose, you can go about creating more of that.

3. Play to Your Strengths

Why spend your time only on mitigating your weaknesses, only to feel average? Instead, playing to your strengths and amplifying those skills and qualities you already have will help you go from average to extraordinary.

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If you’re great at big picture thinking and love dreaming up new ideas, but often lack attention to detail, acknowledge that. Then instead of trying to improve your analytical skills, focus instead on developing your existing skills of imagination and insight. When you need someone with a keen eye for detail, you can collaborate with those people.

Jackson Pollock was an extreme introvert, with no real desire to get his artwork in front of people. Fortunately, he had Clement Greenberg, who was much further towards the extrovert end of the spectrum, to popularize his work and get Pollock the publicity he needed.[3]

Start by identifying your strengths and what comes naturally to you. Then work on developing those and becoming known for those strengths. You can always find someone who will help you in fill in the gaps.

4. Listen to Yourself

It isn’t always clear to us that we’re on a path that leads us to failure or to success. People can spends decades in a job that is unfulfilling and slowly breaking their spirit, without even realizing it – until it’s too late. This is usually because they haven’t learned how to truly listen to themselves.

The challenge we face is that we’re listening to so many other sources of information; whether it’s the news, television, social media, family, friends or colleagues. Many may want to help, but that doesn’t mean they know what’s best for us. Only you know what success means for you, and working this out begins with listening to yourself.

Listening to yourself requires practice. It’s a daily effort, which over time, does get easier. That inner voice of wisdom will get clearer, and the decisions you make will feel more convincing.

To start, you could try to set aside 10 to 15 minutes when you first wake up, in silence. Rather than look at your phone, checking emails or social media, simply sit in silence, listening.

Ask yourself a simple question like, what am I feeling right now, in this moment? Notice the answer that bubbles up, without getting lost in the story. Starting an inner dialogue, without judgment is one of the key tools you can use to start making better decisions in your life.

Learn more about listening to your true self in this guide: How to Listen to Your Inner Voice for Greater Fulfillment

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5. Listen to Others (But Not Everyone)

Listening to yourself is one thing, but listening to others is crucial in order to learn, empathize and be of benefit to your community.

Truly listening to others is not just waiting patiently until it’s your turn to speak. Active listening requires focused attention, and the intention to understand where the other person is coming from.

When you do this, you can ask better questions and discover more about the world and everyone in it, as well as learn how to interact with others in order to succeed in life on your own terms.

However, this doesn’t mean you have to listen to everyone you come across. Trolls on the internet may come into the category of people not to listen to. Some people’s opinions will do more harm than good, as not everyone has your best interest in mind.

It’s worth identifying a shortlist of people whose opinions you will listen to. Brené Brown, author of the New York Times best-seller Daring Greatly, recommends taking a 1-inch x 1-inch square of paper and make a list of people whose opinions matter to you. These are the people who love you and will genuinely support and help you. According to Brown,

“If you need more paper, you need to edit.”

6. Make Time for Reflection

It’s easy to go through life without taking inventory of what you’re actually accomplishing. Missing this crucial step means we end up jumping from one goal to the next, without feeling like we’re getting anywhere.

Make time, ideally each day to reflect. You might keep a paper journal, or an online document. Either way, jot down:

  • What went well today
  • Something you’re grateful for
  • What would make tomorrow even better

Doing this can have measurable benefits to our overall sense of well-being, as well as keeping us focused for more success in the future.[4]

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It also helps combat feelings of lack and doubt, that arise when we compare ourselves to others. When we look at someone who appears to be more successful than us in an area of life, we can forget how far we’ve come and how much we have to be grateful for.

Making time to reflect on what you have accomplished is critical to keep you on track, and just not looking at what others are doing.

7. Don’t Be Afraid to Change Your Mind

Arguably the most important step of all:

Remember that there’s nothing wrong in changing your mind and correcting course.

The path to a successful life is not straight and narrow. It meanders and there’s no harm in going back and picking a different (and better) route.

“I think our life is a journey, and we make mistakes, and it’s how we learn from those mistakes and rebound from those mistakes that sets us on the path that we’re meant to be on.” — Jay Ellis

Be willing to make mistakes, learn from them and change your mind. Ultimately, there’s no better way to succeed in life on your own terms.

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Featured photo credit: Shirly Niv Marton via unsplash.com

Reference

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