A Final Word on Talents and Passions


Coupled with understanding your talents, discovering what your passionate about is a critical piece in determining career direction.  I find, though, that many people forego incorporating their passion and even their talents into career choices because they don’t think they can make money doing it or they are afraid they will fail.   While I’m an advocate for understanding the marketplace and the demand for certain skills before making career choices, I also believe that people putting aside their gifts and passions end up leaving themselves in very undesirable states.

Consider this quote in A Clearing Season by Sarah Parsons that expresses just this issue:

“In The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron describes the phenomenon of the ‘blocked’ artist, a person with natural creative gifts who, for various reasons, does not use them.  The blocked person may fear using his or her gifts, thinking that being an artist would mean financial ruin, a tumultuous lifestyle, or painful failure and rejection.  Unfortunately, choosing not to use one’s gifts is like choosing not to experience one’s emotions- the inner reality remains the same and continues to beg for expression.  The obstacles preventing self-expression create distortions in the blocked person’s life, leading to anger, jealously or unhappiness.  The blocked artists may pretend that he has no desire to be an artist himself, but subconsciously he envies others’ choices to do things that he himself would like to do.

What we do to make a living affects every facet our lives.  Pursing something that expresses who you are is a critical piece in life, not just work, satisfaction.   My encouragement is to find something that you can make a living at that allows you to express who you are.  If that isn’t possible in the short term, it’s important to make sure you find opportunities for self-expression in some aspect of your life.


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Mary Ila Ward

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