Sunday, December 30, 2012

Do talented people have an obligation to success?

It's been a tough, crazy 2012 and many of us, including me, will be looking at making hard decisions in 2013. As I stand poised to reshuffle my career I have started to wonder about the nature of drive, passion, decision and destiny. It all came down to one question: Do those who are talented in some way have an obligation to use their talent? 

I suppose most of us would say yes. It would be selfish of a man who could be a gifted doctor to turn down the opportunity to save lives to learn to stilt-walk instead. What if Beethoven had decided to go be a fisherman or Thomas Edison had remained at his job at the patent office? That is a good point. But what if despite his talent for music, the piano bored Beethoven? Or if Edison had been immensely happy at his job?

You see, to me, it doesn't matter that Beethoven was a musical genius. Without a genuine love for music he would have found himself able to compose pieces with technical perfection but his music would have lacked the soul, grace and passion that turn the good into the great. People often forget that it’s not enough to be talented at something. One has to enjoy doing it as well.