TALENT? WHAT TALENT?
It has been well-established in these columns, past newsletters, in my Seminars, all my instruction books, and other far-flung methods of talking to those interested in my calling, that talent and legible handwriting have nothing to do with what I do. Yet it was my calling somehow. I got to this point in all this by long years of hard work and dedication to what rang my bell. Talent? Very little. Handwriting. Nope. I have a good eye for design and what looks good and what people respond to. But artistic talent? Not in my DNA for sure. Calligraphy in its many forms became my calling. Maybe predestination. Maybe exposure to certain events and things that made an indelible impression.
Calling. What’s yours? I discovered mine decades ago but I didn’t know it when I knew it. Contradiction? Perhaps. I just knew I connected with something that sent pleasant shivers through my bones. Was it the sign painter I watched as he swung from his ropes on a giant billboard on the edge of town? Was it the guy’s printing on the house plans he drew for my parents when I was 9? Was it the old guy who hand-lettered signs at the department store where I earned a whopping .30 an hour selling womens’ shoes and mens’ overalls in the late 50s? Who knows.
For whatever the reason, THIS became my calling. I had numerous detours while I honed my hand-lettering. In my early 20s, I thought I was to be a great television producer. I did tv and had a great time. Never at the level I had hoped or wished. All the time I was working for a meager salary at the ABC affiliate from 1969 – 1972, I kept nurturing what gave me those shivers and warm fuzzies. The beautiful letters that flowed from my cheapie dip pen enchanted me and all who saw them. I discovered quite soon that people would pay me for what gave me pleasure. That multiplied the joy! It was my moonlighting. It was my ‘other love.’ It was my calling, though I still didn’t have a clue.
So, in this brief space I’ll just say that you probably have a calling too. Perhaps it’s gardening. Maybe it’s sewing. Could be restoring old cars. If you have it and if you know and recognize it, you know that you know more about that thing than most other people in your daily circles. Develop it to the fairtheewell! Sure, there are gardening gurus. There are people in high places who can sew up a suit and get 4 grand for their work. I know of a guy on Long Island who is THE expert in restoring Corvettes. Bring this guy an old beat-up, tired, hulk of a Vette and, if you have enough cash and imagination, he can give it a re-birth better than new. That’s HIS calling.
Do you know yours?
Of course, at this stage of my life and work, I teach what became my area of expertise. That gives me pleasure too. I’m confident and experienced enough to know I can impart the information to help others accomplish so much in their lives. You have to want to do it. You have to see a need and have the wherewithal to jump into the ring and begin the fight. And, honestly, it will be a fight for some time for most. But it gets easier the longer you stay in the ring.
But those who believe in what I do and teach can become a part of THEIR lives, it really can grow to be a major force. You may feel you haven’t the right stuff to do this. If you’re reading this blog occasionally, you must have some desire to follow my path.
If that inner voice tells you to hold back, remember the Henry Ford quotation I think of so often. “Whether you think you CAN or CANNOT, you are always right!”
Somehow, discover what may lie within you. Whatever it is. If I can help through what I do, you know where I am.