Monday, 18 February 2013

Using your skills to pay your bills

Talent is defined as a natural aptitude or skill. It has always been said that everyone has a special gift given to them by God. Some people just KNOW it as their talents are more obvious or just very difficult to not notice. The famous singers we know, Lebo Mathosa, Whitney Houston, Kelly Khumalo, Beyonce...they all knew from the cradle they could sing. They were able to channel all their energies wholly thruout their lives towards honing this skill, this God selected gift to sing.

But what about the rest of us with 'not so obvious skills'? What are the things you do 'naturally'? Baking? Caring for sick people? Solving mysteries? Figuring out computer things? Electric stuff maybe? Keeping things in order? Criticising others? Selling, gardening, making pretty things that make people smile? There is a world of talent out there!
I believe some people have ,like I seem to have too, shelved back their talents by down playing them. Overshadowing them by the things we 'catch-on' to...habits, wishful thinking, television personalities-even by friends that we admire and may copy or attempt to compete with.
Could the world around us distract us from what we are naturally gifted at?
Mind you, these things could be happening subconsciously, for the longest time. So they're hidden in the deepest parts of us, shelved away. Left for those days when no one is around, and we do them...'cos we're bored'. One needs to do serious introspection if they feel they may also have missed their calling.

When I was born, God gave me a special gift, writing. One can't write if they don't read. So I spent a lot of my young life just reading. I thought everyone did it. Mostly because everyone did do it...for school and all.
At school no one ever beat me when it came to prose or compositions in any language, not even Paula Mokwena, our top student. To me it was just as things were to be.

Now since I was completely unaware that I had this gift, I never pursued a career that would allow me to work in writing. This would inadvertently have brought out what I do best in my career. I currently have an opportunity to do a bit of writing while still working at my job, a career I've grown to love.

I actually almost missed this bus.Procastinating, not giving myself time for it...

 This got me many of us actually miss our bus cos we're unaware of our naturally given talents and that we could actually do them as a living? How many of us get on the Engineering, IT, Medical or Administration bandwagons and can never get off?  Is it ever too late to do what you love and what uses your natural gifts?
I know people that have made careers out of kicking a ball good, so do you. If that can be your career and put food on your table and help you live your dream of giving to compared to diligently doing things at Sanlam's deadline and getting your promotion when time comes...hey, do the math.

Since realising that I could change my life and actually pursue career in something that truly makes me happy, something I do and would still continue doing without getting paid for...I froze up. I couldn't write one word since I got this opportunity.
A colleague who encourages me all the time told me I 'was throwing this chance away that God put on my lap'. Those words hit me hard.
My friend then spoke to me today. She told me I have a talent for writing. I think she figured out that I truly didn't get that I actually do write a bit more (interestingly?) than the average Mpho. So she told me, 'You have a talent, unlike mopping a floor or washing dishes which everyone can do, you can write'.
Now, I still acknow;edge that writing is probably one of the easiest skills anyone can practise and master. Its just me talking to you as I always do. I wonder if other writers also speak as much as I do. I'm a writer. I didn't learn it, I had no particular interest in it, its just in me. A free mahala-hala gift from God.

However, I've come to realise that talent is nothing without the hard work one should put into making a career out of a gift. Just thinking of starting to write all of a sudden brings out an urge to start cleaning the house again or get to ironing clothes.
It will takes discipline too. My friend told me I have to set time aside for writing like I do for work. Write at lunch time if I have to. But sit down and type furiously I must. My uncle had told me I should divide my day into three eight-hour cycles.8 hours for Sanlam, 8 hours for writing and exercise and the remaining 8 hours will be for sleeping. Sounds like a good plan as this will help me achieve my goals of becoming a Pulitzer winning young woman in a dashing toned body.

I am grateful that God has revelead this part of me to me now. Its never too late to enhance my God given gift by taking night classes or an onlione course. Its neevr too late for you too.

Here is what not being in the right place can do to you. This was the frustrations of a creative bird whose wings are clipped behind a computer at one of our prominent financial instituions:

…where ur supposed to be...
EVERYthing gets under ur skin and irritates you…
 -          The way people type…
-          The way people pronounce words..(with their stupid broken English)
-          The way people clear their throats
-          The way people laugh..
-          The way people word things in their emails
-          The way people take everything around work so seriously that you wanna SCREAM ‘there’s more to life than this sh*t so just stoppit’
-          The way it feels like people are watching you if u happen to browse the net or pick up ur phone to chat
-          The way you have to smile fake just so that no one dares to ask you ‘but how are you really?’ in fear that you’ll tell the truth and nothing but the truth cause so help you God..if you don’t you might choke someone!
-          The way you have to pack snacks when you could’ve just gone and fetched it from your fridge if you were at home
-          The way you pray that no one comes to try and make conversation with you
-          The way how no matter how cute you look it just cannot pick up your mood..
-          The way you dream of every moment NOT spent in the office and how awesome in comparison it is..
Feel free to add…I just needed to vent

Have you felt like you weren't where you're supposed to be?

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