Today I’m going to be super rude about my favourite topic; doing what you love a.k.a your natural talent. I’m here to burst that lie you have been clinging onto and introduce you to a cult.
Does that scare you?
Then scroll all the way to the bottom of this article and comment, ‘You are sick!’ But if you have the guts to carry on, let’s decode the lie behind doing what you love.
Here comes the first of the many heartbreak lines. If you are waiting for what you love to deliver the lifestyle you desire, bold of you to think it can. It won’t. Not until you join the most feared cult.
Yep! You read that right.
A while ago I got into a somewhat argument with my acting lastborn about the lie behind inborn talents. You see, I am a writer. Not because I have a PhD in the field; I don’t. But because I have written every bit of this website so far, penned 3 books of my own and over 10 e-books as a ghostwriter.
So, here are the two issues that got us heated up about the lie and the cult behind your natural talents. I bet you too will want to argue about it. Bring it on baby!
First argument: There is this narrative stating that when you do what you love, you won’t have to work another day in your life. Bookmark this sh*t. I will address it later. For now, let’s tackle the second issue.
Second Argument: The fact that there are so many people who are freaking passionate about one thing but earn a living doing a different thing.
Because talents don’t work. Or so they say.
And trust me I support that 100%. But before you throw some martyr-converting rocks at me, hear me out.
Natural talents are nothing like that degree your mother insisted you do after high school before tarmacking for the job you now have. They come with a different set of commandments. So while I drummed for inborn talents in my first book, “Millions of Robots” there is something you may not have picked in the conversation.
The most feared cult.
The Do in Doing Means Work!
So what you can sing better than Madonna?
Your inborn talent; that thing you love to do, is like gold deposited inside you. The annoying bit you didn’t know existed is, singing to your bathroom tiles won’t pay for your meals. The notes won’t change the arrangement of the tiles into anything museum-worthy. And the stupid things won’t even clap!
Why then waste your vocals?
So, do we dump the talents and go after jobs that we are not passionate about?
If that rocks your boat, then go for it, baby. Who cares if you are happy?
Oh, except you care if you are happy. And the last I checked, happiness is your choice. Not ‘a’ choice, no. Happiness is your choice. Now you know.
So,If your talent makes you happy, that happiness should give you a good life. And that only happens when your audience is happy. Otherwise, you'll be stuck with an empty plate, a sad face and lots of self-hate. Click To Tweet
There are two ways to remedy that.
One, get a job serving others, happiness aside, but keep it legal and right. Then create some free time from what is left to do what you love. This works as long as you are able to console the child part of you that once the bills are paid, you will have time to be/do/have happy.
I won’t rebuke you if you choose this. The adult in you will be okay doing the bill-paying job and the inner child will wait for their opportunity. It is what most people do. Their inborn talents take the second shift of the day. As a hobby. And they are happy. And that’s ok.
The other way is when you do it the Jeff Arch’s way. I mean the guy who wrote the story behind the romantic comedy, ‘Sleepless in Seattle’. You shoot dead other bills-paying commitments and pursue your love.
No matter how you look at the two options, the only choices you have in this life, it all takes work.
I’ll tell you Jeff’s story shortly. For now, let’s work on work.
Decoding the Lie behind Doing What You Love
The lie behind chasing after your talent is this; ‘perfect your talent and you won’t have to work a day in your life.’
What a lie. What a lie. What a lie.
Again I ask, can singing to your bathroom tiles put food on your table?
Or do you want to say, ‘man shall not live by bread alone’?
Look here crackajack, that gold inside of you, the thing you love doing, can’t feed you unless it is polished and then placed before the willing buyer. When I say willing buyer I don’t mean a guy who left home looking for some product born from your talent. Forget that one, unless you are giving the product out for free. No strings attached.A willing buyer is a person who lusts for the product born from what you love to do, is willing and has the muscle to pay for it for what it is worth! Click To Tweet
Of course, you can create the willingness to buy in a person by the way you package the product in question. And this is where most talented people fail.
Over 99% of the time, no one will come seeking for your talent. So if you are waiting to be discovered, wake up!
This world is too busy to dig the gold deep inside of you. You have to become the miner and polisher of your gold. So after perfecting your vocal cords in the bathroom, get out and showcase your beautiful voice where its value can be appreciated for what it’s worth!
Don’t wait for your neighbour to discover you from the bathroom, that is a cleansing spot. That is where you wash off the mud from your gold. Those who can pay for it don’t want to see you naked in the bathroom. 🙈
They need to see you fully dressed in royal gowns, having powdered your nose, smelling like a rose and in the arena.
Their work isn’t to mine your talent. It is not even to polish it. It is to consume it. Get that. No one goes to the market to grow bananas. They go there to buy the already-grown and ripened bananas. So they can eat them!
So, is your talent edible?
If it isn’t, you have work to do. Join that Work Cult; identify your talent, polish it and package it into a consumable format.
Disclaimer: If you don’t believe in inspiration, this story should help.
Sitting alone in the depth of the night, Jeff Arch found himself watching an infomercial about Tony Robbins’ Personal Power program. Tony Robbins is that hyper-energetic, loud, 6-foot-7, American best-selling author and business strategist every motivational speaker wants to match.
Jeff’s desire was to become a scriptwriter. He had studied Theatre and Film production but had had no success in doing what he loved. So he took a job teaching English as most of us would and even started a Tae Kwon Do school.
That late-night infomercial reminded him that he hadn’t done much to pursue his dream. It made him realize that he would never be able to persuade his kids to follow theirs. What right would he have?
So he decided to do the unthinkable. He ordered the program and vowed to complete it if he thought it was as good as Tony made it sound.
When the program came, in tapes, Jeff realized that for the first time, he was being encouraged to dream bigger and aim higher. Before that, people around him had rebuked him telling him that his dreams were too big. That had rendered his scriptwriting dream useless. Only after listening to Tony Robbins’ tapes did his dream resurrect. Scriptwriting began to breathe again.
He closed the Tae Kwo Do School and started chasing after his true love.
Did he make it on his first trial?
Absolutely not. His first script under the new motivation was a story about the Cold War. Though he completed it in one month – record time – that was the same day that the war ended. So the story was no longer as enticing as it should have been if the Russians had remained as enemies.
What to do?
A naysayer here is already shouting, ‘I told you. I told you to keep what you love as a hobby!’
Ok parrot, shut up and read on!
Jeff would have beaten himself up for this oversight. It is the way of man after failure. But this fellow hadn’t written for over 3 years. It was only safe to assume that his writing gears were a bit rusty. Realize, he wrote the cold war story in a month. Before quitting 3 years earlier, it took him at least 6 months to complete one. That was inspiration in action!
Jeff instead decided to keep writing. This time he chose to keep his stories timeless. He wrote a story about love. And because he was confident in his writing ability, he wrote it in less than a month. The story went on to convert to the movie, Sleepless in Seattle, making $227.9 million!
But here is what most people fail to notice. For the story to convert into a screenplay, two other people had to join him; the film’s director Nora Ephron and David Ward. That meant sharing the glory. Arrrggh! Then he had to be involved all through the sculpting of the movie. Now that’s work!
While the old version of Jeff would have wanted to write and take the trophy home alone, the inspired version wanted to write so if a couple watched the movie, they would walk out of the theatre holding hands. Never wanting the love spell to end. This he accomplished. Watch the movie on Netflix and see for yourself.
Today, try telling Jeff Arch that writing that well is impossible and let’s see how far you will go with that.
It’s Your Turn to Join the Cult
Read these three facts aloud.
- It took me, the writer of this article, a one-week free course offered by Ajira Digital to revive my confidence in becoming a freelance writer.
- It took a Tony Robbins’ Personal Power program to revive Jeff Arch’s confidence in scriptwriting.
- And it will take you, dear reader, to reread this article to believe that you can create a useful timeless product by doing what you love.
In all three cases, one thing is required to convert your natural talent to a usable product; WORK. No matter how good you think you are at doing what you love, you can’t get rid of work.
The main reason many people fear work is that when they last tried working on what they love, their enthusiasm died halfway up the task. And there was no one to cheer them up.
The truth, the world is in short supply of cheerleaders. You have to become your own cheerleader to mine your talent, polish it and create a useful product that the same world can buy.
Just so you know, even after the intensive one-week training by Ajira Digital, I face numerous roadblocks every day. For one, out of every 10 proposals I write seeking writing jobs, around 3 get responses but only one translates to hiring. Sometimes none.
If You Love, You Will Work. Hard!
So if I have to get enough jobs to earn a decent living, I have to keep writing proposals. To beat that sh*tty aspect of life, I write my own books as a matter of priority and sell them to you.
Does that mean my books and articles like this always get read time?
In fact, I have to keep sharing new and old content on social media daily. It’s hard work all the way! But I am better off working on my dream to become the world’s best-selling author than going to bed with anything I’m not in love with. So I work round the clock. And when not working, my brain collects data for the next book or article on autopilot. And I love it!
Ask any creative who seems to have it all together. Doing what they love takes WORK.
The only way out of the lie behind doing what you love is to revive the conviction that you have everything it takes to touch people’s lives with it at a profit. And now that you have seen how Jeff and I do it, take advantage of this cloud of inspiration, get off your behind and start working. Of course you will fail, but you won’t die. At least not if you keep working.
So, warn that relative of yours that doing what you love requires a boatload of hard work. Way more than demanded in their current job. This side of life isn’t for the weak at heart. Otherwise, welcome to the Working Cult!