What is talent anyway? If you type those four words into the search engine of your choice then you are bound to get trillions of articles on that topic alone. I was too tired to actually read through most of them so I guess we are stuck with Jada Natural Heritage Dictionary.

I think of talent as something innate to a person—something you are born with; perhaps more an instinct than anything else. Raw talent is like giving super heroes brand new super powers. Those (super) natural abilities have to be honed and fine-tuned or your super hero will always be throwing fire balls at the wrong targets! And that’s where the practicing and repetition part comes in.

I also tend to think of talent as this big, bold, brash thing. Something that other people can watch you doing on a stage. Pick a pageant of your choice (Miss America, Miss World, Miss Universe, etc.) and then think of what the ladies do during the talent portion. Of course, contestants do more than just dance or sing these days. Check out Miss. Philippines at the latest Miss Universe pageant and Hawaii’s own Lauren Cheap with their unique talents.

I do know that talent isn’t always something that can be demonstrated on a stage. I’m actually positive that there is nothing that I could do well on a stage— no talent I could demonstrate to the masses. I can’t craft elegant examples of wordsmanship for a live audience. It doesn’t have quite the same appeal. I call these undemonstrable gifts “quiet talents.” These are the innate abilities for which you are unlikely to go viral on YouTube, make morning TV show appearances, or win any show with “got talent” in the title. This does not make these unassuming talents any less worthy than their showy counterparts–they are equally important. Talent does not have to make one rich and/or  famous to  be noteworthy. In fact, others might not even notice it.

The Twin, for instance, is a natural encourager. She is definitely the voice you want on the other side of the phone when your carefully crafted life starts to unravel. My mother? She’s the number one person you want to invite to a party where no one knows each other since she’s guaranteed to set people at ease– she’s also one of the best listeners this side of Heaven. Quiet talents have intrinsic, though not necessarily financial, value. So thank that person — you know the one you always call when things are heading south– for their calming presence, encouraging words, or plain old listening unassuming talent.

My quiet talent doesn’t seem like much of a talent at all. It’s pretty silly actually: I can spot similarities between people who don’t (at first glance ) look anything alike. Take for instance Jennifer Lopez and Kate Hudson. Have you ever noticed that they look a lot alike? Ok, so maybe millions of other people have noticed it as well, but it’s pattern recognition plain and simple. My brain spots something familiar and immediately tries to come up with a twin for it (I wonder if my being a twin has anything to do with it??). Silly, but my ability to recognize patterns and recall data routinely helps me out of the maze of trouble that I (too often) find myself in. It also makes me above-average at remembering names.

In case you didn’t believe me:

What’s your quiet talent?

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