What’s in your corner?

Remember the last time you walked into someone’s apartment and saw an acoustic guitar sitting in the corner? It looked dusty, forgotten and barely used. An instrument that was once purchased with so much promise, dedication, hope and intrigue. But there it sits. Just waiting for someone to pick it up and make it feel alive again.

The guitar, like many other endeavors is not easy to learn. It’s painful, frustrating, and takes patience to make some significant strides with.

I get into conversations with people all the time about the different fields professionals go into for business and the ability to make great money in one field or another. The conversation always goes to, “man, that’s a tough business to be in.” The conclusion of the conversation is always that nothing great is ever easy.

What the next natural point to make would be that nothing great is easy otherwise, everyone would be doing it. But that’s not my point. Nothing great is easy, otherwise it wouldn’t be, well… Great.

When you think about talent, you think of great musicians, writers, deep thinkers, people in the arts, actors, performers, etc. The problem with this line of thinking is that if you view that as talent you completely cut yourself out of the category of “being talented.”

I believe everyone was created for a purpose that is meaningful for the right here and right now. Becoming great at anything takes more than just natural God-given talent. I argue that the greatest talent is a person’s ability to push thought pain and fear.

When I was learning to snowboard and take on new jumps I would ride at the jump and naturally my body would pull away from the danger, which would throw my body off balance, and naturally I ended up in pain covered in melting snow. Not ideal.

What my coach taught me was that our bodies naturally want to pull away from danger, or any type of fear because it wants to be safe. But to accomplish the “talented” tricks that make snowboarding fun to watch and experience I had to learn to LEAN IN to my fear.

We watch the great’s all over the world performing for the masses. What we don’t see are the countless failures, mistakes, painful moments, fights, rejection, hurts, and fear that these people have had to overcome over the course of their life. What we don’t see is their “talent.” What we see is the result of their “talent.” We see the reward of pushing through pain.

People just want to be inspired. It’s why we do life the way we do. Look at the decisions you make. Places you go, music you listen to, people you talk with, books you read, and movies you watch. You are searching for inspiration so that you can feel like your life can or could have a sense of greatness.

But you are looking at these “other people” who are so “talented.” The truth is that you have the same measure of talent and ability that they have. My Bible tells me that God is no respecter of persons, what He will do for one person He will do for another. You have the same ability to condition your mind, body, soul and spirit to push through pain and fear.

What are you really capable of? Where have you had pain in your past that caused you to get off balance and you never leaned in to overcome your limitations?

I want to challenge how you view others at how “great” and “talented” people really are. Perhaps your talent isn’t intended to get you to the ability to play the guitar like Jimi Hendrix, or paint like Picasso. But is that what you really want? What do YOU want? What were YOU created for?

In boxing, boxers go to their corner during the fight to recuperate, gain insight/inspiration, refuel, and then go back out to the ring to fight. Some of you have gone into the corner with your talent and haven’t come back out into the ring.

Well, it’s time for you to go over to your corner, grab your talent and get back into the ring to get to work.

The world is yours, so take delight.

Ben Peterson