More Than Talent

talent quoteI heard someone talking about Ariana Grande the other day. They were saying how she may have the same range as Mariah Carey.

People seem to like to do that. Compare new people to living legends.

Love or hate her, Mariah Carey has a legendary voice. But before we go comparing all the newbies with great range to someone with an established career, I want to remind everyone of a lesson that is near and dear to my heart.

It takes a lot more than talent to become a standout success in any career.

I’m not knocking down Ariana Grande. Nor am I trying to build up Mariah Carey. I just want to make it clear that people talk a lot about talent as if the best talent will always shine through. But truth be told, you’ve gotta work your ass off and have talent in order to break through. Then you’ve gotta continue to work your ass off for years in order to continue having a great career. In my example (that I’m not super proud of at this point), Mariah Carey is extremely talented. No doubt. But she also has worked her ass off to become a household name and near-legend. And she’s done it for years. So could Ariana Grande be the next Mariah Carey? Time and her work ethic will only tell.

I’m not writing this because I care anything really about these people. It’s really a reflection of my own work and my own ambition. I know I’ve got talent. And so do tons of people around me. Which is spectacular because they challenge me to be even better. But in order to really stand out and have the type of career and success I want, I have to be willing to work hard and work for a long time. And that means actually doing the work.

Which reminds me, I gotta jet to a meeting where I have to go show someone who might be able to help me that I’m talented. Likely they’ll just say “thank you” and and move along. So I’ll have to do even more work. And that’s ok with me. I’m ready, willing, and able.

Let’s do the damn thing.

 

Always Room For Improvement

For the 2% of you who are still clinging to your New Years Resolutions this far into the year, good for you. I’m proud of you. Well done. Most people have already given up, so you’re already impressive.

I just wanted to address something near and dear to my own heart.

I was discussing resolutions with a friend of mine who’s made a resolution to lose a significant amount of weight. I’m super proud of him and think it will be great for his mind, body, and spirit. We got talking about fitness and I mentioned I’m also dieting for my own fitness goals right now. He- being nice- made it clear he didn’t think I needed to diet. I understand he was being sweet about it, so it didn’t bother me in the slightest.

But I want the world to know that every person has their own set of goals. When I say I’m dieting, it’s not because I’m insecure about my own body. I love my body. I’m extremely proud of it. It serves me well. I take really good care of it and I know it’s healthy, lean, and strong.

I’m “dieting” because I’m trying to improve it. There are plenty of ways I can improve it and mold it and make it even better. And it’s not because I’m unhappy with how it is now. It’s because I believe we should always be improving ourselves and working on ourselves and challeging ourselves to get to that next level.

Yes, I’m on a diet. Yes, I know I look fine. Yes, I love where my body is right now. And yes, there is room for improvement.

Just like I continue to push myself in my career. Yes, I’m fortunate to perform constantly. Yes, I love the peers I’m around and an inspired by them. Yes, I know I’ve had lots of successes. And yes, there is plenty of room for improvement.

Because if we’re not challenging ourselves to reach that next level, we’re plateauing. And nobody wants to plateau.

I also know that I don’t always reach the goals I set out for. Yes, I want to eat healthier. But sometimes your team gets their asses handed to them in the playoffs by the team you absolutely hate. So you have to have a Guinness (or three) to calm your nerves. It can be two steps forward and one step back sometimes. But as far as I can calculate, that still leaves me one step ahead of where I was before I took those steps.

Math while steppin‘ is hard.

May point is, it’s a process. That’s the beauty of life and the fact that every day we get to wake up with the opportunity to improve. And if we don’t at least approach it proactively  and positively (and forgive ourselves no matter what the outcome), we never get to move ahead.

So keep on pluggin’. Keep on chuggin’. And keep on gettin’ back up.