A friend forwarded this hilarious picture to me on the WhatsApp platform, and we all laughed over it. We all wondered how sleeping can be a talent.
Talent as defined in the dictionary is ‘a skill that someone is naturally endowed with that makes it easier to achieve a task or a purpose’. It is an inner ability that enables someone to go about a task easily while other finds it a bit difficult to handle. It could also indicate a resource such as money, time, gift etc. Synonyms for talent are gift, skill, capacity, genius, ability or flair.
We admired people who are skilful and often wish we have their skills because of their skills, like an ancient saying, skilled workers will always serve kings, they will never have to work for less important people, Proverbs 22:29.
No one is born empty, we are only born different. We are equipped with the talents, skills, and ability to carry out our assignment here on earth. We might not however have as many gifts or talents as others. The questions then are, do we know our talent and what are we doing with them?
We can learn one or two things from the parable of the talents Matthew 25:14–30, about a man who went on a journey, who called his servants before he left to entrust to them his property. He gave one five talents, two to another and one to another one. However, it was noted that the sharing of the talents was based on each man’s ability. The servant who received five talents, traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also the one with two talents, he made two talents more. But the guy with one talent, despised it and hid the talent.
One notable statement from the master of those servants when he returned to settled accounts with his servants is “You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much”. The guy that hid his own talent, what he had was collected from him and it was given to others who had much. So here are the lessons from the story.
- Everyone has got talent. None of us is born void of talent. There is a gifting in each of us. There is something in us that comes so natural that others cannot fit into. It might look common but there is something about how we do it, combined with our personality, background and outlook of life that makes it different from everyone else’s. It does not matter how many people can cook or sing or run, the end result will have a little of ourselves in it which will make it different from others. So raise your head high up, you might not be able to cook like your sister but you might know how to write or speak, which she might not be so good at. The onus lies on us to find out what our talent is.
- The number of talents we have. When the master of the servants came for reconciliation, he did not commend the servants on the number of talents they have, rather he commended them on their faithfulness, on what they were able to do with the talents they have. So it really does not matter how many things we are talented to do, what matters is what we do with the talent we have. What have we been able to do with it? Are you putting your best into that one thing you can do? Or you are despising it, loathing it and looking down on it as if it is nothing?
It is high time we stop comparing ourselves with others who seems to be “highly endowed” in our eyes and work on the endowment in us instead. Below are a few suggestions.
- Take stock. Take time out to take a count of what you are good at doing, those are your talents. List those things that comes natural to you. It might be as hilarious as “sleeping” and as menial as sweeping the floor or as mundane as just cleaning shoes. Take stock of all of it, leaving nothing out as unimportant. Here are few examples, I enjoy:
- Helping out
- Set a track. List out the things you can do with the talents you have identified. What can you do with the talents that will be useful to you and to people around you? Is there a place where you can volunteer to offer such talents on a freelance basis? This will provide opportunity for you to test the waters. It will give you a practice ground where you can explore yourself and enable you to come up with the track that work for you.
- Polish the talent. While exploring your talents, take time to learn all you can about the talents you have. Get enough information and training on them. Polish it. Be the best you can be. Go all out for it, such that, you can skilfully use the talent and you can be an authority in using the talent. Learn from people who have similar talents. Add your twist to it to get your own signature on the talent.
- Give it time. Don’t expect to come to prominence immediately you start out. Give yourself time. With time, you will be the talk of the town and you will be your own celebrity too. Keep doing what you are doing. Keep developing yourself. One day opportunity will show up and you will be ready.
However, if you could not easily identify what you enjoy doing or like, I will suggest, you put in your best in whatever your hands find to do. In the process, you will know what comes naturally to you and what you do not enjoy. Do not discount any gifting, don’t discard or undermine it. It might be just one or nothing in your eyes, it might however be your ladder to the top.