Probably your whole life has been centered around pursuing what comes naturally to you. Mine has. We are encouraged as kids to forge career paths around whatever it is we are good at. That’s a fine thing, but the emphasis is wrong – don’t do things because they are easy, do them because they are meaningful.

A talent is being a good conversationalist. A skill is listening when it matters, even when it is hard. A talent is making things look good, while a skill is laying out meaning. A talent is unpredictable. A skill is a finely-tuned and practiced tool.

It is more admirable to work hard than to coast through life on a natural, undeveloped talent. I’d rather see talents controlled and applied where they are most useful than an emphasis on natural greatness. Talent doesn’t have to be your safety net, because skills can be.