Passion vs. Natural Talent?

Dear Daughter

Yesterday I posted something about the fact that there is no ideal body, but this of course brought up an interesting dilemma in my mostly demented mind. BTW – I was sane before you kids came along, but your mother will never confirm this. Although, what does this say about your mother? That she was willing to have children with a less than sane man? This post is already too long – sorry.

Anyway, my dilemma is passion versus natural talent – some people have one, both or neither. I assume many of the folks in the photo from yesterday’s extremely wise posting ( are genetically inclined to have a specific body type that helped them become the best in their fields; height for basketball players, muscle mass for strength athletes, webbed feet and slimy skin for swimmers, etc. So what happens when the sport, career, or hobby you’re passionate about does not match your natural abilities or vice versa?

It would suck to be great at something that you can’t stand doing! On the flip side, it can be frustrating to be passionate about something knowing that you might never passion2.jpgexcel at it! However, I think you have a much happier life and greater chance of success in life when you’re passionate about something and then it’s likely you will become darn good at it – maybe not the best in the world, but better than “good enough.”  Even, if you’re not the best, it still means getting up in the morning and looking forward to the day’s events instead of hating what you know the day will bring.

Think about Michael Scott, great paper salesman, world’s worst boss, but he loved beingoffice the boss and that’s what he did! Yes, plenty of people could get hurt when you follow your passion and you’re incompetent, but this is about your happiness! Alright, this might be a good time to tell you to consider some balance. Like if you’re passionate about being a doctor, but will suck so bad at it that you will kill 99% of your patients, than maybe find another passion for everyone’s safety, including your own.  Or like me writing this blog, very passionate, sucking at it right now.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that in life I think you should follow a path that excites you and makes you feel like your life had value and meaning, that you made a difference, even if it’s small. Many people don’t ever find this and still live happy fulfilling lives, but it is a real gift when it happens.

If your father only followed his genetic inclinations, than I would have likely been a graceful dancer or male model, but instead I followed my passion and became the best mediocre real estate agent and father ever.


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