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“To me success means simply that you have found your gifts, found your passion. But once you’ve found those gifts you must share them and get better at them every day.” -Martha Raddatz ABC news senior foreign affairs correspondent
Malcolm Gladwell, in his New York Times best-selling book Outliers: The Story of Success brought to light that to become an expert or extremely proficient at any particular task, a person must practice it 10,000 hours. And it is even when we have discovered our talents, that the professed 10,000 hours becomes even more valuable. Why?
Think about doing anything, even those tasks you loathe, 10,000 times. You will undoubtedly ingrain a habit into your muscle memory and you will be able to complete the task at least mediocrely successfully without additional thought after 10,000 repetitions have occurred. Now, imagine doing a task you love and are fortunate to have a knack for. Repeating it 10,000 times first of all, is far easier, but you are more than likely doing it with more precision, care and attention to what is working and what is not.
Martha Raddatz brings to attention that figuring out what our passions and gifts are is merely the first step, not the end goal. For when we discover our talents, what delights us so much that we couldn’t imagine, it is then, and only then, that we truly begin the unwrapping of what we are capable of.
After all, anyone can be talented at one skill or another, but to hone that talent, to perfect it, to curate it in such a way that is unique to you and this moment is what will make your talent unique and priceless.
Today, consider anything you’ve done well in the past, and then for whatever reason moved on or stopped. Most likely, you stopped because it didn’t keep your attention, didn’t satiate an interest or tap into your passions. But imagine if you had continued pursuing this skill. Look to those that did continue where you left the trail.
Now, with the knowledge of your passion/purpose/talents in mind, resolve to remain resolute in your dedication – even when you run up against something that is difficult or you become exhausted. While it’s okay to take a break (we all need to be recharged from time to time), be sure to continue on when you are rested. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did. Because while your small, consistent steps are adding up to something quite significant, those that have ceased the journey will never have the opportunity to see what they might have become.
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