You are currently viewing A fresh perspective on talent and labels, and how to make the most out of them.

A fresh perspective on talent and labels, and how to make the most out of them.

here are labels on everything and for everything. We live by classifying ourselves, defining levels, and comparing talents. We judge and are judged based on what we can do or output. It happens at school, at work, at home, everywhere. We spend our day-to-day lives, whether consciously or unconsciously, placing labels on what we know, what we want, our abilities, our relationships, unaware that in doing so we are also labeling the humans involved.  

Haven’t you ever noticed that everything around us is classified? 

If you think of something as simple as basketball should be, for instance, it is quite likely that the first thing that comes to your mind is “NBA”. What you probably hadn’t noticed is that this is the league for those who are considered to be the best players in the country (and probably the most important players in the world). The top players at the college level play in the NCAA. Others are representing their high schools, while some are just waiting to be picked by their neighborhood’s top team. Each of them giving their best with an eye on the upper level. 

These rankings and labels are what lead to awards (and unfortunately, also to rejection or discrimination), bringing out the competitive side of our human nature. It feels ugly to think that our capabilities can be measured with a ruler. But at the same time, it’s the inspiration we need to push us to keep climbing until we reach the top. 

Are you the type who gets discouraged or the type who brags? 

Talent is defined as: 

Special intellectual capacity or aptitude that a person has to learn things with ease or to perform an activity with great skill. 

Commonly, those who know they are talented tend to brag about their impressive ability to others. They even make the most of it by turning it into their way of earning a living. On the other hand, there are also many virtuous people who feel they are just one more grain of sand in the desert, like another fish in the ocean. They doubt what they can do or feel overshadowed by the brilliance of their peers. 

Your talent may seem basic or unimportant precisely because it comes so easily to you. It’s not always about being brilliant as a scientist, athlete, or musician. You may be good at more everyday areas like speaking, writing or listening. You may be the best in the world at it, or at least love it enough to try your best every day.  

Maybe someone else has more discipline than you and will let you know it. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have something of value to offer in return. And you just won’t know it until you care enough to try. Everyone is good at something; you just have to work hard to discover the beautiful piece behind the rough diamond.

Focus is the key 


Rankings exist, labels exist, comparisons exist. That’s never going to change. And while some brag and others are demoralized by this, appreciating and understanding that there is room for every nuance in such a diverse world is the only thing that matters. A wide range of levels in your ability is helpful, and not to compare yourself to anyone else, necessarily.  

If you are completely honest with yourself, you will notice that your only competition is you, you will see what your faults are and you will focus on working on them to be better every day. It’s about analyzing what makes us different from our peers, what makes them better than us in that same field, and understanding the different ways in which we can scale our ability and do it.  

We need to focus on what we are good at, what we care about, what we like or are passionate about. And above all, make sure that nothing and no one can disrupt our focus. It is this that will allow us to move forward on our path towards self-confidence, towards continuous growth. 

Some will fly until they reach their best version, others will crawl. The pace does not matter, because it is not a race. What matters is our commitment to improving our image, our mentality, and how we are changing our future. 

A different perspective 

If you have been around here lately or follow my work, you will notice that I am known for – among other things – offering a completely different perspective on topics that cross many people’s minds. And today I won’t make an exception. 

I come to offer you a different idea to help you develop your skills on your own by seeing yourself in someone else’s reflection, filling your gaps, and shaping you into an exquisite piece. The one that always goes for more, the one that always gives more. 

If knowing that you are good at something that many others excel at is a source of joy, imagine how you will feel when your constant effort allows you to master your skill more and more and continually outdo yourself. 

Since our very first day on earth and until the day we die, our life mission is to keep learning. I’ve been doing so for the past twelve years and just now I’m seeing the results of believing in myself, and all the knowledge I gathered so far. That says a lot.

Are you willing to get to work and join me?

Connect with Nico Pengin

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Twitter: @NicoPengin1


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