Trust Your Talent

Many years ago a young Kansas City artist struggled to get his cartoons published in city newspapers. His offerings, however, were met with rejection after rejection. “Forget it,” editors told him. “You have no talent. Get a real job.” But the artist felt that he did have talent and he refused to compromise his career.

Finally the artist found himself holed up in a mice-infested garage, penniless. Bored, he began to sketch his environment, especially one little mouse who ran back and forth on his window sill. Over time the artist made friends with the rodent and the two developed a relationship. He named the mouse “Mickey.”

The artist was Walt Disney, and you know the rest of the story. Disney went on to establish the most expansive entertainment empire in the world, with amusement parks spanning the globe, major film and television companies, and countless spinoff products. Over the years Walt, Mickey, and their entertainment progeny have provided limitless joy for hundreds of millions of children and their families. If you have every visited one of the Disney parks or watched Disney films or television, you can thank Walt Disney for trusting his talent.

Everyone has a bankable talent. You came to earth for a purpose. On the deepest level you are here for a spiritual purpose, to discover your identity and your value in the cosmic plan. You also have a form of expression in the world, to serve others while fulfilling yourself. Do not stop until you have tapped into your talent and expressed it. It is why you are here.

In biblical times, a “talent” was a high-value unit of currency, about 80 pounds of silver, equal to the wages paid to a man for about twenty years of work. Translate that into the dollar amount for twenty years of work today, and you will understand its huge worth.

The biblical parable of the talents tells of a householder who left home for a long time and gave three servants talents to use wisely. When the master returned, he found that two of the servants had invested their talents and generated a significant return. The third servant, however, had simply hidden his talent in the ground and made no use of it whatsoever. The master was highly displeased with this servant, and cast him out.

The parable teaches that talents are valuable only if you use them. If you “hide your light under a basket,” the light doesn’t get to do what it was created to do. If you ignore or deny your talents, the world misses the blessing you were born to bring to it, and you miss the spiritual and material reward you deserve.

A more modern wayfarer, Cesar Millan grew up poor in Mexico in a house with no running water. Young Cesar was shy and unpopular, and other kids made fun of him because he spent time with dogs; they laughingly calling him “El Perrero,” or “dog boy.” In 1990 at age 21 Cesar crossed the border into the U.S. as an illegal immigrant, paid for by his father’s $100 investment in his son’s better future. Speaking no English, homeless, and penniless, Milan walked the streets panhandling, and hung out in a park. There Milan befriended people walking their dogs and helped them improve their pets’ behaviors. Eventually Cesar got a job in a dog grooming shop, where he helped tame an aggressive Cocker Spaniel. The owners liked him and gave him a key to the store so he could get off the streets and have a place to sleep and shower.

Milan moved to Los Angeles, where he worked hard in a car wash. The owner gave him a van to start a mobile dog training business. Cesar met actress Jada Pinkett (who later became actor Will Smith’s wife) and helped her with her dog. Pinkett was so impressed that she introduced Cesar to her Hollywood friends and paid for him to get a tutor for a year to improve his English. In 2004 the National Geographic Channel gave Cesar Milan his own television show, which became a hit and fueled his worldwide reputation as “The Dog Whisperer.” Milan’s show, broadcast in 80 countries, has spawned five bestselling books, a line of pet products, several dog sanctuaries, and generous charity donations.

One has to wonder what the world would be like without the gifts bestowed by Walt Disney, Cesar Millan, and Stephen Jobs, who quit college to design fonts, and eventually built the Apple empire. Do you believe you have less to offer than them? You may not be interested or destined to build an empire, but you can build a kingdom of heaven raising your child, waitressing in a restaurant, or helping the elderly. God has given everyone a unique talent to serve and find reward, including you.

The beginning of a new year is a perfect time to take stock of your talents. What comes easily and naturally to you? What would you do even if you weren’t getting paid for it? What do people compliment you for? These are all clues to your talent. This year don’t bury your talent or hide it under a basket. It’s why you’re here.


valleyfever 15th January 2013 10:42 am

Thank you so much for the stories of Walt Disney and Cesar, I did not know their history.

My main talent is researching genealogy. I absolutely love finding documents and stories about our ancestors. I have set my intentions to be a psychic genealogist within the next few years. I know I will achieve this and have have a career that I love. 2013 is all all about laying the groundwork.
Thank you again for writing about this today. :)

Homeostasis68 15th January 2013 11:46 am

These are great stories, but what about all the people where this does not happen? What about their talents? We always hear about the successes, but not of the failed stories. Then there are people who think they have talent and spend their lives and every cent on it, and it still does not work out for them. Because maybe they truly do not have talent. I think it is important to know when to let go and move on, to me this is key. People tend to be obsessive and rigid about their dreams... If you believe it enough it will happen... America bathes every day in this mantra... I live in LA, this is what people 'run' on. The biggest and most successful CEO's said most important is to know when to let go and move on, I deeply believe that. If there is a storm the branches of an oak can break off, but the grass just moves slightly with the wind...

Peg D. 15th January 2013 1:20 pm

This belief that if a person continues to do what they love they will succeed, is false. Look around you, almost all of the population is not employed, underemployed, or not doing what they love. Holding up a few token souls who have "reached success" perpetuates the lie we have been told for centuries. The current social structures we live under enslave us for life, taking all our life energy just to survive, and then we have people under the disguise of spirituality say these things keeping those who don't succeed feeling guilt and shame because they were not good enough. This system is flawed and is exactly what those who are truly seeking ascension, DNA activation, lightbody, or however you describe it are moving away from. Wake up Alan and take responsibility for your words and their cost.The Truth is always free of charge and easily accessed through your own heart.

valleyfever 15th January 2013 5:02 pm

A lot of the reason people don't succeed in their business is because they do not trust their intuition. I just finished reading Doreen Virtue's "The Lightworkers Way" and she named several instances where her intuition tried to guide her in the right direction but she ignored it and went with what SHE thought was right. Until she started listening to what her soul was telling her, her books were not published and she was not successful. A lot of people focus on the money instead of the dream. Some people jump into things too quickly... like giving up their day jobs to pursue their dreams.
I have a dream and that's what I will focus on. When the time is right, everything will start falling into place. Because I believe this, it will happen.

zorro 16th January 2013 5:18 am

Thanks, Alan. You've got a point.

Everyone in life has a talent. You can trust that talent. It is what is right about a person. What is right about a person is the “point”, the starting point. Everything else is “beside the point”. Focus on the starting point, not what is “beside the point”.

The inspirational people you mention focused on the starting point in their creative lives, however humble, and not the lack, not what is beside the point. And that starting point became many points which became a line across time. This is the power of “trust” which builds tremendous focus and richness in outer manifestation. When we all do this our lines intersect and create interesting geometric patterns and shapes and we all experience the fullness of life.

As the old saying goes:

"As you go through life, make this your goal:
Keep your eye on the doughnut and not on the hole."

valleyfever 16th January 2013 10:14 am

very good 'point' :)

Loki 20th January 2013 10:51 am

Clearing some of the blockages of unworthiness, and other forms of disbelief are essential to successful manifestation. God is not in a vacuum about our needs and worthwhile desires. I think that when it comes to creating reality it's important to understand that this is exactly what we have been doing all our lives. So all the techniques available to us, all the instruction, is all good. But when it is slow to come, or not working, I'm asking what do I need to know. What, or whom do I need to forgive?
I'm finding: be happy now as much as possible, find the joy that is present currently. Use the techniques you know; they are tools given to you. Ask how am I blocked. How do I change my consciousness and bring my "sails" into alignment? And most of all see your current reality as a co-creation. You are a part of someone else's co-creation. Be patient!
Take action. Make calls. Trust. Be grateful, and as loving as you can.

kitegirlcoach 20th January 2013 9:24 pm

Great post. Intelligence is another thing many people forget they have. They listen to their parents or a teacher who doesn't understand their learning technique and accept being told they have lack of intelligence. What would happen if we told every child of their immense intelligence, wisdom and talent? What legacies would they create?


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Alan Cohen

Alan Cohen is a heart act to follow. One of the most popular inspirational writers and speakers in America, his books, tapes, syndicated column, and transformational seminars have touched the lives of millions of people who have found the courage to believe in themselves and follow their dreams. He is the author ofauthor of many popular inspirational books.

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