Ability

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Ability: n. 1. the capacity to do something 2. talent that enables someone to achieve a great deal: a man of exceptional ability.

Let me see if I’ve got this straight. Sometimes we think certain words mean the same thing, but if you look really carefully, you see that they don’t. So I have it figured this way: talent is what I think I can do, and ability is your opinion of my effort after I’ve completed it.

I know I’m always nervous when I hear somebody brag about their talent. I alway silently want to tell them to be quiet; play it cool. Don’t be such a blowhard. Because each one of us human beings has two different modes in which we perceive the performance or presentation of others. If we think they’re conceited, we put on our “mean” mind and get very, very picky. If we believe they are leading with a humble spirit, we are much more relaxed and willing to be forgiving.

So even though many people feel they have talent, their egomaniacal approach towards self-promotion makes the world around them judge their talent and pronounce a very low grade on their ability.

So maybe we don’t know how good we are until other people tell us the value of what we’ve shared or produced. Of course, we don’t like that. We are so preoccupied with our self-image that we would like to control all of the aspects of our offering to the world, including deciding for them what they’re going to think about it.

But it just ain’t so, Joe.

That’s why I think it’s better to play down your talent and come strong with your gift, so when people judge your ability, they will be much more merciful and generous. If you happen to be excellent on top of that, be prepared to be successful.

Talent is what I think I can do, and ability is the grade card you give me at the end of my test.

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