Thursday, June 11, 2009
Passion vs. Talent
by Amy Platon
Imagine if your passion is ice fishing, but you are born in Hawaii. How would you get from here to there? How would you know if your child has discovered his passion? How would you know the difference between passion and talent?
Stephen King wrote in his book On Writing that his son was taking music lessons for an instrument that he asked to play (can't remember which one). So, Stephen and his wife put their boy in private lessons for two years. Their boy was doing well, he was practicing like his instructor was asking. He was learning all the notes. He was willing to go to all the lessons without a fight. But then after two years Stephen told his wife, "We should take him out of those lessons."
“Why?” she asked. The answer was, because his son was not blowing up at it. He went to all the lessons, he did all the work, he was advancing at it, but wasn't tricking himself out on it. When the lesson was done, when practice was over, the instrument went back in the case.
Because Stephen knows that when you are tapping into your true passion, hours feel like minutes. You can’t get enough of that thing - You can’t not do it. You fill every minute of every day with it, or the thought of it. That’s when you know you’ve hit it.
I love that glimpse in time and matter that SK writes in his book. It was a huge parenting lesson in the last place I expected to receive one. I already knew as a writer that place he was talking about. And I feel lucky to have stumbled on it, or fortunate that my passion was at least an obvious one.
He revealed for me what I already knew as a writer but what I had forgotten as a parent.
Now, all I can hope is that my child’s passion isn’t ice fishing, cause we live in Florida and it might take us a while to figure that one out. Thanks Steve!