I was talking with my mom today on my drive home from work, and while we talked about all sorts of random things, I keep thinking about one of the last topics we talked about. I was telling her about an article I read where a star (ok Zac Efron) talked about how he was not ever the most skilled, but worked the hardest, and I explained to her that I feel the same sentiment about myself. I am not like my siblings, my older brother is ridiculously smart (which takes after my dad) and can build I am pretty sure anything, my little brother has charm, strength, and wit for days, and my little sister is creative with more wisdom and intelligence than most anyone you will ever meet even though she is only 14... And, I feel as though most of the things I have are due to an incredible amount of hard work, not because of any gifts or talents.
My mom laughed at me and we talked about how interesting it is to hear other people's perceptions of us, and to really voice our own perceptions. She commented on how silly it sounded for me to talk about how little skills or talents I feel like I possess naturally, and pointed out a few things I am involved in... But, what is funny is while she was explaining I could definitely see her perspective, but I also think that even still, the vast majority of the things I have accomplished (getting my black belt, graduating college, getting a double masters degree..etc..) are all due to working hard, not necessarily because of any skill or talent I have. I mean, let's be honest, I am not the biggest fan of school, I do not enjoy nor understand most math, I dislike most sciences, and english is hardly a favorite topic of study so all of them require a great deal of hard work in order for me to succeed.
Then, mom was pointing out the similarities in feelings she has had, and how there are times she will think about how she wishes she was able to just give a little more to something, maybe that little bit extra would make all the difference, but then someone comes along and reminds her of all the things she is doing and all the ways she is making a difference, and how that changes the perspective.. Which, got me thinking about all the things I am involved in, and while none of them really require natural skills or talents, I am incredibly satisfied with the things I am doing and accomplishing or have done or accomplished.
Please do not misunderstand me, this is not a cry for compliments or a woe-is-me post at all. This is merely me looking at the way in which I operate, which has really been cultivated into a work ethic to succeed. I am not at all upset at my lack of natural talent, and I am sure there are things I am talented at, but really I am not necessarily interested on dwelling on those things because I am unsure that there can be the same sense of accomplishment for things you do not have to work for. While I may not view the things I have succeeded at or accomplished as due to any natural talent, I am completely aware that I approach life with in sorta a full tilt perspective... I mean, why not try to attain something? Why not work my hardest to see if I can do it (whatever it is)?.. But, then at the same time because of having to work so hard, I also realize there is a very real chance I will not succeed, which then subsequently leads me to pray about the tasks I am trying to accomplish...
So, once again, work (hard) like it depends on me... and pray (hard) like it depends on God.