Talent Can Happen, Genius (Vocation) Must Happen

_Where your talent and the needs of the world cross, therein lies your vocation_ Aristotle

Doing what others find difficult is talent; doing what is impossible with talent is genius.

  – Henri Frederic Amiel

What is the difference between your talents and your vocation?  Your talent is the thing that you spend the 10,000 hours training for to become a master.  In the old days, you were apprenticed to a master craftman and you learned at the masters feet to grow your talent, your skills.  You have worked hard to become the best in your field of endeavor – you may have gone to school to learn to be a doctor, an accountant, a teacher.  Or you may have learned on the job how to be a plumber, an electrician etc…Your vocation is what you were made to do, it is a divine calling, a divine purpose. 

A Man knows when he has found his vocation when he stops thinking about how to live and begins to live.

  –  Thomas Merton

Your vocation in life comes from where your greatest joy meets the world’s greatest need.

   –  Frederick Buechner 

I firmly believe that all of us have a vocation, a calling.  That we are an individual puzzle piece that completes Gods plan for what is happening in our lifetime.  If we walk away from that, then that piece of the puzzle is missing, it is incomplete.  We might still be able to see what the puzzle is supposed to look like, but the hole is still there.  It is sometimes really scary and daunting to realize what our talents and vocation truly are meant to be.  We look at that and we get scared of failing to complete the picture.  We get scared of getting called up on stage to sing in front of an audience.  We get scared that if we truly shine, people will judge us as imperfect.  They will throw judgment or hatred for where we demonstrate that we are not perfect.  Of being called a fraud.  Of being laughed at. 

If you’re not the hero of your talent story, you simply become a player in one you didn’t choose.”

  –  Jermainne Perry

Sometimes walking away has nothing to do with weakness, and everything to do with strength.  We walk away not because we want others to realize our worth and value, but because we finally realize our own. 

  – Robert Tew

What we don’t realize is that true failure happens when we walk away.  When we plug our ears and ignore the calling.  When we deny who we are.  When we walk past that door of opportunity and say, “Oh no, I am not talented enough, capable enough, you have the wrong person”.  When we do that we end up living an unsatisfying life.  We drag ourselves to work everyday at a job we hate, doing boring work.  We numb ourselves at home with liquor, drugs, or being a couch potato, watching movies and T.V. and doing nothing with our life.

Everyone has talent, what is rare is the courage to follow it to the dark places where it leads.

  –   Erica Jong

Everyone has a purpose in life . . , a unique gift or special talent to give to others.  And when we blend this unique talent with service to others we experience the ecstasy and exultation of our own spirit, which is the ultimate goal of all goals.

  –  Deepak Chopra

Part of the journey of the intersection of talent and vocation, is that we have to go back in our lives and pull the vocation out of the deep hole that we buried it in.  How many times have you watched one of the many shows on T.V. for talent contests – whether singing, dancing, or being a comedian.  You hear person after person say that at some point in their life, people discouraged them.  Told them they weren’t good enough.  Not enough talent.  Rejected for auditions. 

Every man has his vocation.  The talent is the call.  There is one  direction in which all space is open to him.

  –  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star because the editor said, “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas”.  It wasn’t true, he was just in the wrong job, not his vocation.  Oprah same thing.  She was fired because she couldn’t sever her emotions from her stories.  That is exactly what made her so good at her T.V. Show.  It was part of her vocation to follow the emotions of the stories being told.  Elvis after performing at “The Grand Ole Opry was told that he should return to being a truck driver.  It wasn’t that Elvis couldn’t perform, sing, or play his guitar.  It was that Country Western music wasn’t his vocation.    So don’t let rejections around your vocation stop you.  It may just be that you  haven’t yet found how your talent and vocation intersect. 

Start by doing what is necessary, then do what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.

  –   St. Francis of Assisi

Vocations usually start out as something small.  Maybe as a child you would draw pictures in crayon.  Your mom thought you were a genius.  As you grew older, you started drawing fashion designs for your dolls.  Then when you got into Junior High or High School you started taking art classes.  Your talents were nurtured and they grew.  Then one day, you discovered sculpture.  It took over your life.  You felt incomplete when you were not working with metal, stone, or marble.  

Entrusted with the task of crafting, to create a work of art, a masterpiece, your vocation sheds light on the path, so that you will know which way to go.  The vocation is built into you.  You literally have no choice. It is the air you breathe. 

If you are what you should be, then you will set the world on fire.

 –  St. Catherine of Seina

David was Michelangelo’s masterpiece.  He saw him in the marble and released him, a symbol of beauty and strength.  Look at what the world would have missed had his talent and vocation not intersected.  If he had walked away from his vocation, saying it was too much pressure.   

We must realize our own talents and, having realized, accept them; and play on them like a symphony in which all other instruments are harmonized to make a better universe.

  –  Jeane Dixon

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Sheryl Silbaugh

I am married with 4 grown children who are all married and currently have 14 grandchildren and two great granddaughters. I work fulltime as a Director at Bank of America and I am the founder of LemonadeMakers.org, which is a website and Facebook page dedicated to personal transformation and growth. We all have life's lemons show up in our life, this website helps us to make them into lemonade.