“The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work.”
― Émile Zola
It is believed that it takes the average person ten thousand hours to become an expert at something – to truly reach the zenith of one’s ability or knowledge of a subject. Think about that – 10,000 hours! (And before you say anything, this knowledge didn’t come from the Macklemore song aptly titled “10,000 Hours”) While scientists have gone out of their way to debunk the “ten thousand hour” myth, the fact remains that no matter what one believes he or she is good at, it takes a tremendous amount of effort, time and, or course, work to become the best a person can possibly be.
The inner journey to discover a personal gift (or gifts) can be quick or timely depending on the person. Now, your gift doesn’t have to be something extravagant like having the voice of Aretha Franklin or Michael Phelps’ athletic ability. But the question that is more important regarding your gift is, “Are you utilizing it?” To take that query one step further; are you putting in the work to not only make your gift something functional in your (and potentially someone else’s) life, but also grooming and growing that gift so it creates a better you? The truth is to have a gift, a talent, trait or ability and squander it because you didn’t put in beneficial is truly a disgrace to life itself.