If you have a unique gift, or an unparalleled talent for doing something, then you’ll definitely be recognized and distinguished from the rest of the flock. In fact that gift of yours could place you on top of other people, and give you a great advantage that might last for a very long time to come. BUT talent is only a starting point in any business: you’ve got to keep working that talent! A song writer, Irving Berlin, understood the truth behind the words in the previous sentence when he said: “The toughest thing about success is that you’ve got to keep on being a success”. After gloriously climbing to the top, and reaching that enviable peak, if you lose focus, and slack, other serious people who are steadfast, would soon fly ahead of you.
One of the greatest writers in recorded history, Stephen Kings, once said: “Talent is cheaper than table salt. A lot of hard work is distinguishes a talented individual from a successful one”. The truth is that if you observe the lifestyle of hardworking people, you will also see a glimpse of hard work in many other aspects of their private life as well. You must have come across certain people who should have risen to the top, but they didn’t; they were in possession of all the talent a man could ever want, but they ended up NOT succeeding. Their talent made them to stand out – but their lack of integrity made them sit on the ground. Meanwhile, the stable integrity within other people (who were once at the bottom of the ladder), made way for them to overtake those at the forefront, and reach the top. The families, mentors, friends and bosses of fallen stars, often see their talent or giftedness but wonder why they keep falling short of expectations. At the starting point, their talent opened up doors for them, but wrong choices and a possible lack of integrity – shut those doors.
If you take time to consider the character and talent of Nehemiah in the Christian Bible, you’ll notice that he rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem’s within two months! It was actually an outstanding feat to achieve in that era of history: read further and notice how Nehemiah’s character and integrity stood out. While many of his peers indulged in fattening their pockets – by lending money at extremely exorbitant rates (which people couldn’t repay), he cautioned them to do the right thing so that the favor of God would come on their nation (read Nehemiah 5: 9). Furthermore, he said: “I did not act that way. I rather devoted myself towards completing the construction of the wall” (Nehemiah 5: 15 – 16). Later on, the character of the greedy merchants was found wanting, and their talent and business lost appeal and success at the same time. If you want to develop an attractive character and maintain success, do what is right, and just, as you keep on working out that talent.