Seán Mathews is an Irish Songwriter and Documentary maker.
You don't send a plumber to wire a house. You don't send a GP to perform Surgery. You don't call a Nobel Laureate an idiot for burning their toast.
This is where part 3 of "I have no talent" takes us. For a long time I have seen people who are miserable because they didn't achieve their potential. These people shouldn't be miserable. They made the best with the chances they got in life. I remember a business owner once spoke to me about how limited his capacity for writing and reading was. And how he left school young. I said it didn't matter. Because he had a PhD in people.
So what is talent that was never used? Hustle. Graft. Finding a way. Goal setting. Discipline. Some people cling to what went against them. But the ones who thrive are those who realised a long time ago that everybody has something they can do better than the next person. And I don't mean things like building a house. I mean the capacity to understand things. Like some people are mechanical, some are strategic lateral risk based thinkers, some are ergonomic, some can construct dialogue well like good salesmen for example.
Maybe my "talent" is to drill into things. And all that really is is a sum of my experiences. I can flesh things out laterally. It’s a habit I have used to marry my scientific and musical backgrounds. To some that makes me pedantic and contrarian. Also, because every possibility is considered in this context - it can make me a bit paranoid too. I am less compliant in doing things with an A, B, C format. For an operations manager in a large company I would fit the bill as a problem solver. As someone who finds solutions hiding in plain sight. Like how a song can form out of fresh air after hearing just two notes that go well together. Lateral thinking has its place in the world.
The fixation on measuring someone on the 1 out of 100 things they get wrong is born out of the bitterness many feel who have never reached their potential. There is no thought for the 99 other things. This is why Ireland was obsessed with Education for a generation. Why we always had to travel abroad to realise our dreams. In the words of Aslan, “everybody hits you, everybody knocks you down”.
I hope I live to see the day our children don’t enter a race for a middle class pensionable civil service job or a degree. Where we pay no attention to the haves and the have nots. And where we stop being obsessed with property.
One day Talent will not be seen as a god given thing but a product of our environment to be nourished like anything else in the world. And as society attempts to pigeon hole the next generation, remember Talent is only a small piece of the capacity to achieve your goals.
PS - I managed to avoid that silly Einstein meme about a fish climbing a tree because he never said it ! (or the definition of Insanity thing!)