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Why Your Talent May Die an Inevitably Conventional Death

Why Your Talent May Die an Inevitably Conventional Death

Abdullahi’s Note: This is a guest post by Olayanju Phillips, a motivational writer and speaker committed to making a difference in the lives of the people he meets. He runs a personal development blog at Connect with him on Twitter @POlayanju


So you’ve got a talent right?

It’s called writing.

Or maybe it isn’t writing. Maybe it’s playing an instrument or dancing or singing or swimming or whatever it is you call it.

Notwithstanding what your talent is, you don’t want to cover it up. You have this strong desire burning through you to impact the world with it.

You want to get your talent out there and show people what you can do.


You see yourself on the stage of glory receiving accolades and awards smiling and waving to your fans remembering how hard you’ve worked. At last, you’ve made it!

Snap out of it! This vision will remain a mere illusion (when you’re afraid to launch your dream) and your talent will inevitably fade out unless you get your acts together.

Oh yes, it’s good to dream big dreams, but after dreaming, you must take purposeful actions.

Getting your acts together

At some point in my life, I came to the sudden realization that I wasn’t the only one born with the talent of writing. Everywhere I turned, I met better writers who were competing with me for the title of the ‘Prince of Awesomeness’.

I desperately wanted to be the best yet, I was frustrated at my sluggish growth. Eventually, I threw in the towel. I felt I was no good and would never get any better.

Alas! I was deceiving and cheating myself.

I wasn’t doing the right thing yet, I wanted the right results. I wasn’t planting yet, I wanted to reap. I was living in a fool’s world.

So, what did I do? I got my acts together, tightened my seat belt and gave my talent a reviving boost by taking a step which I would share with you.

Do not just practice

Do you want to write like Soyinka or Chimamanda – and even better? Then, you must understand that they did not become good writers by sudden flight. They kept practicing! Even Abdullahi practices daily.

I know you’ve been told the lie that practice makes perfect. I’m sorry to disappoint you but, it doesn’t.

Quote me anywhere: “practice does not make perfect but, concentrated and perfected practice gives you a shot at perfection”.

About two years ago, there was this fad about being muscular amongst the guys in my university. I joined the bandwagon but, I didn’t have a gym at home.

What did I do? I used everything I could lay my hands on as a weight – including my 4 year old baby sister.

What was the result? NOTHING!

Apart from the deceptive inner satisfaction that I had exercised, there literally was no physical evidence of my efforts.

The problem most of us are facing is that we claim we’ve been practicing and we aren’t seeing any improvement..

However, we’ve been asking the wrong questions. The questions we should be asking ourselves are:

1. Is my practice concentrated?

In other words, am I doing it the right way? Sometimes, it’s neither about the effort we exert nor the time we spend. Sometimes it’s about the manner we do it.

A lot of efforts channeled in the wrong direction would do us no good when compared with a little effort in the right direction.

“You’ve removed most of the roadblocks to success when you know the difference between motion and direction” – Bill Copeland.

2. Is my practice regular?

Every successful writer I’ve met or read about says the same thing: Write every day.

The secret is not in the writing per se but, in the process. The rationale behind this advice is to strengthen your talent by practice.

So, don’t just ignore your talent. Develop it through constant practice.

Your talent is not enough neither is your practice. Your practice must be concentrated, persistent and perfected.

Only then can you become awesome in whatever you’ve set out to achieve.

Remember that you’re not the only one endowed with the talent you flaunt – there are 7 billion people on this planet and I’m sure at least a million people have what you flaunt.

Therefore, develop yourself to the point where you’ll be on high demand like party jollof rice.

Continuously sharpen your sword for the day of battle – the day the world will come to know about your art.

Invest in yourself and work your way to the top.

The world awaits your arrival.

Start practicing aright and never give up.

How has consistent practice helped you in your craft?website setup banner

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-- Dr. Mahfouz A. Adedimeji | Fulbright scholar | Senior Lecturer, Unilorin | newspaper columnist

About Muhammed Abdullahi Tosin

Writer. Difference Maker. Entrepreneur. Author, Your Right To Write & Vertical Writing. Winner, 11 Writing Prizes.


  1. This was motivating. Loved the way you used the ‘muscular-guys-rock’ illustration to drive the point.

    Additionally, To actualize your dreams, it’s necessary to surround yourself with people who share similar goals, in whatever field you’re in, because one time on the other, the gusto will inevitably wane a little and you may be discouraged to practice.

    But If you associate yourself with a community of like- minds, it’s a source of quick zest. Practice becomes easier and more likely to be persistent.

    • Hi Vanessa,

      Thanks for your enlightening contribution.

      You’re spot on! It’s true that having people of like minds -such as Abdullahi- around challenges one to do better. 🙂

      I often resort to reading biographies of people who have achieved what I seek to achieve. You should also try it.

      I wish you the best in whatever you set out to do, Vanessa. Just keep practicing and never give up.

      Thanks for stopping by 😀


  2. Great piece and also timely…

  3. Thanks a lot. Pls can you give me a direction on how to create an e-book and publish it?

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