You might occasionally hear people make the declaration, “I’ve always been a good writer (or athlete or painter or singer), maybe I can just do that for a living.”
Have fun with that.
I thought the same thing, until I started realizing that I was not, in fact, a born writer. The unfortunate reality is that because of some misconception, when we fail at something new, we immediately think that we weren’t born for success in a particular area of work.
We see so-called prodigies and think that in order to make a career through art (or anything for that matter), we must posses a similar mystical gene of brilliance in order to become successful at all. This cannot be further from the truth.
Potential is born. Prowess is created.
Everyone has potential when they are born, but for whatever reason comes the idea that if you don’t immediately show that potential you will never evolve into anything worthwhile.
In every field of work you will find people who have fought adversity, been told they could not achieve something and most certainly were not born into greatness. However, they fought past the social stigma and worked diligently to show that being born a legend is not only overrated, but not possible. It’s the work that creates exceptional beings and these people can prove it:
- He was too short and skinny to play basketball – Tell Muggsy Bogues that greatness is born.
- Was told he couldn’t sing or act – Tell Fred Astaire that he didn’t have to prove himself.
- Told their style of music wasn’t “in” at the time – Tell The Beatles that they didn’t have to break barriers.
- Was criticized by teachers for poor violin playing – Tell Beethoven that he was a born composer.
- Didn’t achieve success until later in life – Tell greatness is born to Winston Churchill, Morgan Freeman or James Carville.
- Couldn’t read until he was 7 and was actually thought to be mentally retarded – Tell Albert Einstein that greatness is born.
- He received 30 rejection letters for his thriller Carrie – Tell Stephen King that greatness is born.
- He received 600 rejections before first being published – Tell Jack London that greatness is born.
The word prodigy simply means a highly talented child or youth. Prodigy doesn’t mean someone who just grew up and people started giving them awards. Prodigies work hard, day and night to make sure that their dream is eventually fulfilled.
Everyone has a prodigy in them. Those who see the results are the ones who refuse to give up.
Regardless of your age, physical stature, educational background or current creative ability I encourage you to press through the adversity that comes with becoming successful. Peel back the layers to reveal the potential that is provided to all of us in order to accomplish spectacular things.
Artists, business people, doctors, lawyers and architects are all in the same boat. You are provided the basic tools to accomplish a task, then everything else is up to you. Practice, training and building relationships is required to nurture your craft and build on the potential that you have been provided.
Let me know in the comments what makes you feel that you are not born to accomplish something, or what you have done to realize your own potential and find the prodigy inside you.
See ya next time…