Talent vs. Attention & Intention

10 Things that Require Zero Talent, according to a FaceBook post from my nephew Drew Murray today:

  1. Being on Time
  2. Work Ethic
  3. Effort
  4. Body Language
  5. Energy
  6. Attitude
  7. Passion
  8. Being Coachable
  9. Doing Extra
  10. Being Prepared
While it is true the things on this list require no talent, they do require attention and intention.
I used to be late to almost everything until someone pointed out that being tardy is a sign of disrespect. That is, when I am late to meet a friend for lunch, I am disrespectng her and disregarding her time. From that perspective, I could see clearly that I was being a selfish, arrogrant twit instead of a friend. I began setting my watch 10 minutes fast and solved the problem (#1).
My work ethic (#2) came from my father. He told me repeatedly: “You are going to spend more time working than anything else your in life, with the possible exception of sleeping. Choose work that you love and you’ll not only be happy, you’ll be very good at it.”
He was right, of course. I love my career choice as a teacher, writer and storyteller. As a result, I put effort (#3), energy (#5), and passion (#7) into my work. Additonally, I am always coachable (#8) to adding new skills and strategies (#9) to my repertoire.
My friend and mentor Jackie Crowley taught me about body language (#4). When we were young adminstrators at Houston Community College, she suggestd we begin answering the phone with a grin. Try it, and you’ll see what I discovered: it creates a friendly attitude (#6) and encourages the person on the other end to mirror your pleasantness. An added value to grinning is that, as I’ve grown older and my face has begun to sag, the grin is like an instant face lift. Nothing quite like it to put a spiring in my step!
Being prepared (#10) has a great deal to do with paying attention to my life,.. embracing opprtunties to engage, sidestepping pettiness and prejudice, learning from my errors in judgment, taking on challenges that surprise and delight, and remaining grateful for the blessings God has bestowed upon me and mine.