“The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work.”
When I was at the gym this morning I overheard a basketball coach giving two of the young boys that he coaches a lecture on practicing their skills. He was telling them that they can’t just expect to become pro-basketball players without actually putting in the work to get there. He was saying to his assistant coach that children just expect to wake up and automatically become what they want to be without putting in the time, the effort and the hard work it takes to get there. I listened on as he spoke to them and I saw the young boys in there beginning to practice as he was lecturing them so clearly some of what he was saying was starting to sink in.
As I continued to listen on I thought about the fact that it isn’t always just children who forget that things that are worth having, you have to work hard for. Sometimes we adults forget that too. We sometimes rely so heavily on the natural talent that we have to do whatever gifts we were blessed with that we forget that even with natural talent, there is skill involved and those skills have to be continuously exercised. If we don’t practice our skill set, that talent can eventually fade away.
We can’t continue to take our skills for granted and believe that no matter what they will always be there for us to use when we get around to putting in the hard work that it takes to make them work for us. Basketball players don’t just wake up able to play basketball. Sure they may have had the natural talent to shoot a ball in a hoop when they were younger but there would have been no chance of them making it to the NBA without continuously practicing that skill. Had they not put in the hard work those skills would have just faded away.
I’ve heard it said so many times by writers or singers or actors or athletes that it comes natural to them, and yet they still profess how much hard work their natural talent takes. They take workshops to keep their words fresh, they have vocal coaches to keep their voice in tact, or they take ongoing acting classes to keep their acting skills on point, or they practice on a regular basis to keep their reflexes sharp. Yes they may have this natural ability but they work hard at maintaining those abilities so that they don’t lose them.
The same goes for anyone else out there trying to become successful at whatever it is that comes natural to them. We all have something that we were born to do. Now we just have to put in the hard work at practicing those skills to develop the success that we know we want. So take some time to think whether or not you are really putting in the practice at making your skills work for you. If you know you could be doing more then start now. Practice equals progression!
The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)
Writing as “Jaycee Durant”