Brianna continued her exploration into multiple talents and the motivation for their discovery. She had been privileged to interview a number of talented people over the years and one thing she noticed was that they often reached a plateau with the talent that made them famous. They wanted something new in their life and that required the discovery of a new talent. Often that new talent was one of purpose. Scott Neeson was an example of this.
Scott was born in Scotland but immigrated to Australia when he was 5. He never imagined that he would amount to much coming from a working class family. In fact, he dropped out of high school and got a job running the projector in drive-in theaters.
From his beginning as a projectionist, he eventually became the President of 20th Century Fox International. During his 10 years at Fox, the studio released such films as Titanic, Star Wars, and X-Men. Scott was due to start a new position at Sony Pictures when his life changed.
Scott took a trip to Asia. While in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, he visited a garbage dump. Children were all over the dump scavenging for food. Returning to Los Angeles, Scott reflected on his success: “I thought there was something wrong with me, because the more I got, the less happy I became.”
Scott sold everything he owned and moved to Cambodia and set up the Cambodian Children’s Fund (CCF). He discovered a talent for lifting up the lives of those who had little. Since its beginning in 2004, CCF has educated young people. Many of them have graduated from college. CCF has also provided housing and food. But above all, Scott Neeson is happy. When Scott describes what gives him joy, he often reflects on stories of children: “Even just yesterday, the first girl I took off the dump when she was 10, she posted a picture of her first paycheck on Facebook. She’s studying at university and working during the day.”
Brianna began to realize that talent and happiness are connected in ways she hadn’t imagined. A person changes over time, and a talent they developed early in life from self-discovery of their interests and abilities may not be one that fulfills them later in life. Discovering one’s talent and developing it is a life’s journey. For Brianna, that was exciting.
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“The whole journey of life is a journey of perception… to see, to feel, to understand the beauty of what lies ahead, of the homeland towards which we walk.”
– Pope Francis