“God is not so much interested in your ability as He is your availability.”

Zig Ziglar

“Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates. There’s plenty of movement, but you never know if it’s going to be forward, backwards or sideways.”

H. Jackson Brown Jr. (author)

“A talented trumpeter who toots his own horn winds up playing to an empty theatre. A talented trumpeter who lets others recognise his talents winds up a legend.”

Lisa Edmondson

Life is like a game of cards: Each person must accept the cards dealt to them and then they alone must decide how to play them in order to win the game.

You can teach a person knowledge and you can teach a person skills but you can’t teach natural talent.

“Life is not easy for any of us, but what of that? We must have perseverance and above all, confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.”

Marie Curry, two-times Nobel Peace Prize winner.

One Christmas morning during my childhood, my parents came downstairs and began handing out the gifts from under the tree. One for my brother, Tony, one for Steve, one for Chris, another one for Tony, one for Mum, another one for Chris and so it went on, as the pile of presents under the tree diminished rapidly. It seemed that everyone else had something, some even had two or three, but there was nothing for me. In actual fact, my parents had been saving the best gift, my present, until last. When they saw me becoming more and more despondent, the ceremony around the tree was put on hold, and I was taken by the hand to the garage where my gift, the biggest of them all, was waiting for me. My very first bicycle!

The fact is everyone has certain gifts and talents. Everyone. If you think you have been overlooked in that department, then think again. Often, our talents are there all the time; hidden perhaps, dormant maybe, but nevertheless they are there. And often it seems the case that the longer you search for your gifts and talents, the bigger they are when you finally discover them.

R. Ian Seymour, excerpt from Discover Your True Potential

Concentrate on strengths, not weaknesses: There was once a poor and illiterate, young Greek who applied for a job as cleaner-cum-caretaker for a company in Athens. Being an amiable young man he soon found himself on a shortlist with just one other person. For a time he was the favourite to get the job but he lost out when it was discovered that he couldn’t read or write. Completely demoralised by the experience and wanting to run as far away as possible, the young man managed to secure passage on board a ship bound for England. Picking up the story many years later, the now rich and successful Greek shipping tycoon was being interviewed by a reporter. At the end of the interview the reporter suggested that the businessman should write his autobiography but the tycoon replied, “I’m afraid that wouldn’t be possible. You see, I cannot read or write!” The reporter was dumfounded and responded, “If that’s true, then just imagine how much more you would have achieved if you could.” The Greek tycoon shook his head, “If I could read and write,” he retorted, “I’d have been a caretaker in Athens!”

R. Ian Seymour

R. Ian Seymour, excerpt from Discover Your True Potential

“Hide not your talents; they for use were made: What’s the use of a sundial in the shade.”

Benjamin Franklin

It’s as if God says to us: ‘Your gift to me is availability. My gift to you is ability… You go first!’

“Every person has their vocation. The talent is the call.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Genius is childhood recaptured.”

Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867)

Talking about talent (and for a bit of fun), try testing your powers of observation: count how many F’s there are in the following quotation – read slowly.

If you counted three, try again! There are actually six F’s. (Most people ignore the word ‘of’ which appears three times!)

“If a man has a talent and cannot use it, he has failed. If he has a talent and uses only half of it, he has partly failed. If he has a talent and learns somehow to use the whole of it, he has gloriously succeeded, and won a satisfaction and a triumph few men ever know.”

– Thomas Wolfe

“Leadership is the talent for enabling others to use their talent… Leaders, like orchestral conductors, are there to enable all the voices or instruments to be heard to their best effect in harmony. Their role as leaders within their specific fields is to identify, develop and use all the talents of their people in a creative symphony of service to the common good.” – John Adair

‘On Silver Wings’

I have a premonition that soars on silver wings,
It is a dream of your accomplishment
Of many wondrous things,
I do not know beneath which sky
Or where you’ll challenge fate,
I only know it will be high,
And that one day,
You’ll be GREAT!