Brianna Hopkins was anxious to continue her interview with Henry Jacobs. She had completed the five stories of individuals who had found their talent in spite of barriers that were limiting. She especially wanted to get Henry’s insights on what he found to be reasons why some used the barriers as motivations while there were undoubtedly many other people that never discovered their talent and let the barriers define them.
BH: I hope the stories have been useful to you and your residents.
HJ: They have. I’ve been sharing them and will use them when the occasion arises.
BH: I’m glad. What I want to do today is to explore why you think the individuals in my stories were motivated rather than discouraged by the barriers they confronted in using their talent.
HJ: Brianna, I want to say something now that I’ll probably repeat many times. Every person is different and it’s hard to make meaningful generalizations.
BH: I understand, but can you help me think about talent in general and how it’s discovered.
HJ: Think back over these past few weeks. I sense that you became obsessed with writing your talent stories.
BH: That’s true. Obsessed is the right word. Not only did I enjoy learning about people I never knew, but writing their stories expanded my talent. I’m used to writing long-form stories. When I was forced to write stories that could be read in 2 minutes, I gained new insights into my own talent.
HJ: Suppose you were inhibited from writing these stories, would that have stopped you?
BH: It would not. I started writing them to get another interview with you. But I quickly started writing them for myself. I doubt that I’ll ever stop writing these talent stories.
HJ: Now what does your experience tell you about the question you raised earlier?
BH: One thing I learned is that once you discover your talent, nothing can stand in your way of the continual development of that talent. It really does become an obsession.
HJ: What else?
BH: I am glad that you are able to use the stories, but honestly that’s not my motivation. The reward for me is internal. The stories inspire me. One story leads to the next one. Random things that appear in my mind spark my curiosity. I feel alive when I explore and write these stories.
HJ: I believe we have answered your question. Once you find your talent, nothing can stop you from pursuing it. They key is to have the mindset to believe in yourself. For some, those beliefs are there naturally. For others, they need to be nudged. Are you willing to do five more stories before our next interview?
BH: I am, but I think you interviewed me rather than me interviewing you.
HJ: (Chuckling) I believe you have just discovered my talent.
* * *
“The same boiling water that softens the potato hardens the egg. It’s what you’re made of. Not the circumstances.”