“Talent is to an individual what natural resources are to a nation.” Hilton Etakoh

Every time the word asset is mentioned, people naturally think of land, house and equipment. But while these are good examples of asset, they cost a fortune to acquire and as a result many poor people can’t afford them. That is why they are in the real sense secondary assets. But there is a basic and primary asset we all have from birth, and unlike secondary assets, it doesn’t take money to possess one and is not exclusive to the rich alone. This all-important asset is called TALENT and is found in all men whether rich or poor, male of female, young or old, black or white, Christian or Muslim, educated or non-educated.

Natural resources are about the greatest asset of any nation. Sometimes a nation’s wealth is often measured in terms of the size of its natural resources, and the  more natural resources a nation have, the more wealthy it is presumed to be, because natural resources powers a nation’s foreign exchange and enables it to create jobs for its citizens and to earn revenue for infrastructural development. Likewise humans. Deep down within each individual is a tremendous deposit of natural ability otherwise called gift, talent, potential or ability to excel at a specific thing.

 When man discovers and harnesses his talent, he automatically creates a job for himself and earns income and recognition in the process. Tu Face Idibia is a good example of someone who has successfully harnessed his talent and has in the process created a job not only for himself but also for all those people who work along with him to plan, shoot, record, produce, distribute and market his music all over the world. The same is true for Chimmamanda Ngozi Adichie, Chris Oyakhilome, Sam Adeyemi, Frank Osodi, Agbani Darego, Julius Agwu, Kanu Nwankwo, Samuel Peters, Funmi Iyanda, Fred Archibong, Chinedu Ikedieze and Osita Iheme popularly known as Aki and Pawpaw, and countless others.

It may be normal for someone to think they don’t have a talent, but truth is there is not a single individual born into this world without a unique talent or ability. Some individuals may be more talented than others, in the same way some countries have more natural resources than others. But success is not so much about who has more talent as it is about who puts his own talent into greater use. If one has only one talent and he puts it into effective use, he can become more successful than the one has many and can’t put any to use. Success begins by focusing on what you have, not on what you don’t.

It is one thing to discover your talent and another to be able to harness it. A lot of people believe they know what they have been called to do, but aren’t doing it because of certain obstacles and challenges. But challenges are a part of life, plus you aren’t the only one facing them. Your ability to overcome obstacles is what makes you a true champion. Without a fight there can be no victory. Some of the world’s greatest heroes were people who achieved great feats despite great odds and challenges. If you never have to fight you may never win a victory.

There is nothing more sad and painful than seeing someone tremendously talented, but not knowing what to do with it. The reason there is so much unhappiness, poverty and lack of fulfillment in most peoples’ lives is as a result of their ignorance of who they are; the tremendous power, potential and extraordinary ability that resides deep within them. If man can be half successful in harnessing his talent as some countries are in exploiting their natural resources, the world would by far be a better place, and peoples’ lives would be richer and more meaningful, and there would be less crime and atrocities in the world.

Ok. Just how important and valuable is the human talent? Why did the creator deem it necessary to give us talents and why is it necessary that we harness them?  Firstly, your talent will enable you standout from the crowd and help you make an impact in your society. Secondly, your talent is capable of creating a job for you and making you rich. Thirdly, your talent is capable of making you famous. Fourthly, your talent will lead you to your destiny.

So how may one discover his own talent? Bob Gass once said “knowing what you are called to do often start by knowing what you aren’t called to do.” You may need to make a list of the things you are certain you can do very well, and the things you are sure you are not good at; those things you aren’t passionate about and wouldn’t want to dabble into. Secondly, to discover your talent, you need to find your passion. What are those things you naturally love to do and are passionate about? Thirdly, think back to your childhood days. What things came naturally to you back then? Fourthly, what things do you often get praised or commended for?  We all sometimes get praised every time we do something remarkable. What do people tell you, you are good at? Sometimes, it is easies to identify potentials in other people than we do about ourselves. Fifthly, how do you want to make a name for yourself? What do you want to be known and remembered for? What would you like most said about you on your funeral? Finally, what life-changing experience have you had?  A life-changing experience is something that rattles and shakes you up; something that radically changes your perspective and spins your life around. For example Marvelyn Brown may never have discovered her talent for writing and public-speaking if she never tested positive to the HIV virus that turned her entire life around from a basketball prodigy to an internationally renowned author, public speaker and AIDS activist. Life-changing experiences often come in the form of adversity, defeat or betrayal, but often in disguise.

 Remember it is your responsibility to discover and harness your talent to the benefit of yourself and your world. It’s time to show-off your talent and let the world hear you.

Hilton Etakoh

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