F.O.C.U.S. Time: Talent shows

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The excitement filled the air. I could not wait to show off my newly learned skills. I opened the music book, and with one of my 10-year-old fingers, I proceeded to delight my parents with a discordant sound. I still remember their loving smiles and their nod while encouraging me to keep practicing as I surrounded them with a shower of mismatching piano notes.

Day after day. Week after week. With practice, my one-finger piano playing days were over, so I moved on to playing with a second finger. Within a few more weeks I was able to use all five right handed fingers! Woo hoo! My parents were indeed delighted. Now I had five fingers to mismatch musical notes!

Five years later, my church pianist and her family were moving to another state and our church congregation would be left with no music to accompany them with their hymns. The pianist knew I had been taking piano lessons for several years and thought it was a wonderful idea for me to sit in her chair. I protested that I was not ready. She insisted I should try. I was not sure at the time if the church congregation were ready to sing along with my musical piano-playing abilities. I missed a few keys at first, but they kept encouraging me, and so I kept practicing.

I was not gifted as a pianist and certainly not born with natural, effortless abilities to interpret a sheet of music. What I possessed was a raw talent for piano playing. I was drawn to, and had a passion for it. So, this meant I had to practice … and continue to practice. Classical pianists were my inspiration. It took perspiration and determination each day with hours of practice to learn to play well. More importantly, it took my parents hours of patience listening to my dissonance as my persistence to press just the correct keys to bring life to a wonderful piece of music.

We all have at least one talent. What is yours? What natural ability or abilities do you now possess that can be harnessed and cultivated? Believe you have at least one and do not overlook its importance. Because of your individuality, your talent is just as unique.

Here are steps to help discover that special TALENT:

T — Take time to focus on and strengthen your positive qualities/abilities. What do you do well? What do you enjoy doing? Make your mark and make a list of activities you do well and enjoy doing;

A — Ask people close to you what attributes they admire in you. Values, likes, strengths, positive attributes, etc., may provide insight on hidden talents harboring inside. These are glimpses of what people may see on the outside;

L — Look at daily activities and patterns. It is important to take notice of spending habits, books of interests, general activities, and a course of study. The talents possessed tends to guide us in our daily lives, so be aware and discover;

E — Educate oneself. Attend workshops that are geared for self-discovery. Take personality tests. Read books that assist building self-awareness. Discovering and developing your talent(s), will ensure a fulfilling journey towards personal growth;

N — Need to let go of negative thinking and self-doubt. Henry Ford once made the assertion, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” The possibilities are endless towards achievement. Begin replacing negativity with positive beliefs. The more people do this, the greater the potential for achieving success;

T — Try ways to develop your talent(s). The development of that talent may improve the performance and quality of life. It may also benefit those around. Do not be afraid to try new endeavors. Explore and discover that talent, that may bring fulfillment and purpose.

After countless hours of determination and practice, I made the bold decision to minor in music at college. The days of my parents covering their ears while nodding with positive encouragement, were in the past.

As I interpreted classical masterpieces, I noticed they were not covering their ears, but beaming with pride.

Sometimes our path to discovery begins with one single piano note to become a musician, a turn of a screwdriver to become a mechanic, one Band-Aid on a scrape to becoming a doctor, a brush of a paintbrush to becoming an artist. The world is waiting for you so go out and make a difference.

Diana Jaworski, F.O.C.U.S. Coaching Services, is a certified coach, teacher, trainer and speaker with Maxwell Leadership Certified Team. Learn more about personal growth by visiting her website at www.dianajaworski.com.

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