Waiting for Talent – Part 1

Waiting for Talent
Part 1: Talent and Success

In art, there is a lot of talk about talent. This is certainly a fascinating subject and I am not blaming those who talk or write about it.  In fact, I spent a fair amount of time myself reflecting on talent, as demonstrated in my recent essay: Rethinking Talent (click here to read this essay).

However, while we can spend a lot of time talking about it, talent is something we cannot neither define or explain. Personally, what I am more interested in is success.  Unlike talent,the causes of success can be defined: success comes from having a plan, putting it to action, not giving up, and working hard.

When talking about success, it quickly becomes obvious that talent and success are unrelated.  The evidence is the large number of talented but unsuccessful people.  This is particularly common in art.  What is uncommon is finding an artist who is both talented and successful.

Recently someone asked me what was my ‘big break’ in regards to being successful.  I answered that my ‘big break’ was when I made a plan about getting what I wanted.  That was my break.  From there, I started looking for what I needed to make this happen. I continue doing this today. I wasn’t lucky. I wasnt’ at the right place at the right time.  I had a plan.

Certainly, luck and being at the right place do play a role, but they don’t play a role over 10 years and they don’t make miracles happen.  What plays a role over a long period of time is having a plan and sticking to it, not giving up and working hard.  Those are the things that will generate success because by doing these things you are taking control of your destiny instead of expecting events out of your control to make you successful.  That is what makes all the difference:  taking an active role in making your own success, instead of waiting for something or someone to make you successful.

Personally, I don’t like to wait. That’s why I took control of my life instead of waiting for fate, luck, or some form of happenstance to take control of it.  I just didn’t like the idea of having to wait for any of these things to happen.  I didn’t like the idea that I wouldn’t know what was in store for me until it happened. I also didn’t like the idea that I may be waiting for something that would never happen.

Doing so is like playing the lottery and waiting to win.  You never know if you are going to win or not. And even if you win, you don’t know ahead of time how much you are going to win. Not knowing bothers me.  Waiting, expecting something out of my control to happen or not happen bothers me. In short, not having control bothers me.  I’d much rather make a plan and stick to it.

. . . to be continued in Part 2 – Making a Plan.

Alain Briot

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