A switch in talent

Prince Adu-Appiah
Published on: 20th December 2013

"Once upon a time, some animals decided they should do something meaningful to meet the problems of the new world. So, they established a school. They adopted an activity curriculum of running, climbing, swimming and flying. To make it easier to administer the curriculum, all animals took all the subjects.

The duck was excellent in swimming; in fact, better than his instructor. But he only made passing grades in flying, and had to drop swimming and stay after school to practice running. This caused his web feet to be badly worn, so that he was only average in the swimming he loved. But average was quite acceptable so nobody worried about that, except the duck. The rabbit started at the top of his class in running, but developed a nervous twitch in his leg muscles because of so much make-up work in swimming. The squirrel was excellent in climbing, but he encountered constant frustrations in flying class because his teacher made him start from the ground up instead of from the top of the tree. He developed muscle cramps from overexertion, and so only got a "C" in climbing and a "D" in running. The eagle was a problem child and was severely disciplined for being a non-conformist. In climbing classes he beat all the others to the top of the tree, but insisted on using his own way to get there." This profound story is narrated in Emmanuel Woyome's book Career Pathways.
Almost all over the world, many talents of young people are shut down for the sake of educational systems and other reasons. On various campuses in Ghana, many students find themselves reading courses totally different from their life's talents. Our talents are the swords we require to wage the battle of life and education is supposed to be the whetting stone for whetting that sword. If talent were to be crude oil, education would be the refining process necessary for that raw talent. Unfortunately for many young people in the world, this is not the case. For many students, academic education tries to create an artificial interest in them, what they can use to make a living in life.

Sometimes, hidden in a struggling mathematics student is a natural singer or a song writer, and a student trying his best to perfect himself in Dance Studies may have real talent in Marketing. In some cases, a Computer Science student would rather have talent in acting and in a student studying Agriculture would be a great poet.

Dr. Myles Munroe visited Ghana in 2011 for a number of conferences, and at one of these conferences, I had the opportunity to pose a question to him on this subject. I asked him what a student is supposed to do, who has found him/herself reading a programme totally different from his/her talent. The response was interesting. We were told such a student, who is under parental guidance, would have to obediently read the programme, but develop his/her talent alongside, and with much prayer for grace and favor, a door would open that would require the use of such talent (which the student has discovered and has been developing alongside), and the right opportunity would drop, that would require the full operation of the student's talent.

Dr. Mensa Otabil said rightly that, "God created you with your own special sets of gifts, your own way to sparkle. When you find a place of functioning successfully, your light will shine". Stand up to discover your talent. When you have found it, develop it. This could be done through much volunteering at first. Then begin to build a brand, deliberately. Package your gifts and talents well, then would the world be willing to pay for it. You would be developing your talent to a career level. People would demand for your service, and the returns would be a source of fulfillment in your life. The cause of frustration cases recorded in our schools amongst the students can be attributed to wrong positioning. Most students have found themselves reading courses they have had no interest in. If you fall victim to this, discover your talent alongside your academics. Consider the difficulty of this combination a price to pay. Just have in mind that it would certainly pay off. I was a victim to this. Reading some programme in school that was off my field, I came across good information like this piece you are reading, by grace. I began a trip to talent discovery. I found the things I loved to do, my talents. I began to develop them. As it were, things were not easy, it wasn't all good, but I understood that was the price I had to pay. I continued to develop my talents. Today, I am serving my gifts and fulfillment has and will always be the reward. The world is actually my platform.

What are the things you would do even when you are not paid? There should be a mental picture that people can form about you once your name is mentioned. It's called branding. When you here of Oprah Winfrey, you instantly form the image of a good communicator and a world television host. She discovered her speaking talent when she was young. People discouraged her on the subject, but she was persistent, she developed it anyway, and today, Oprah serves her gift on a global platform.

There are many more people in the Talent hall of fame; Bill Gates and technology, Kofi Annan and leadership, Albert Ocran and the gift of communication and motivation, Lionel Messi with football, Dr. Ben Carson and brain surgery, J. K. Rowling and writing. Have you noticed a common trail amongst these few men and women operating in their talents? They are prosperous. That is one value Talent in Operation would add to your life - positive gains and prosperity. Your talent is your power of advantage. Do you seek fulfillment in life? Then start now! When you operate with your natural talents, you perform extraordinarily without much sweat, because it is simply the special gift given from above, for your success in life. Remember this, that when talent takes you up in life, character will keep you there. This is another important topic for another day.
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