I have often wondered…

I have often wondered about “gifted” people, as distinct from the rest of us “normal” folk!

I have known a number of people who, at least from my perspective, are “gifted”. They have achieved a very high level in a particular interest, and at a quite young age. I remember reading an article on “high achievers”, and the writer’s conclusion was that behind many high achievers, is a traumatic event which is being buried!

It does make sense to me that some individuals will certainly “throw themselves” into a project simply to distract from their reality. I once knew an elderly Polish Jewish gentleman who worked all his waking hours at his lumber business. He candidly explained to me, on one occasion, that he needed to keep his mind busy, otherwise it would drift back to his childhood in a WWII POW camp where he lost both his parents and his sister.

However, I have also known “gifted” people who appear to have reached that level of competence as a result of encouragement and enthusiasm from their parents. I am sure that most of us have “dabbled” in something that appealed to us and, while modesty may have prevented us from announcing our perceived progress, we have smiled within when somebody complimented our ability.

Based purely on my experience, I would suggest that it takes a remarkable amount of dedication and self control to pursue an interest without any outside encouragement. Who knows what each of us could have been capable of, if our parents had offered unbridled enthusiasm, guidance and support?

I have often wondered – If I had been allowed to follow my dream of becoming a railway locomotive driver, how different my life could have been.

I have often wondered – When I was capable of completing 100 mile bike rides at 16/17 years old, how different my life could have been if that level of ability had been channeled into a competitive cycling culture.

I have often wondered – Having displayed a love of classical music in my early teens, and having picked up my Mum’s violin and experimented with it, how my life could have been different if my interest had been directed to violin lessons.

My children were independent before I realized the importance of unconditional support and overall enthusiasm in their goals and aspirations but, better late than never, I now encourage them (and many other people) to follow their dreams and aspirations and, if I can help them in their endeavors, then I will.

Is there really such a thing as “gifted”? I can well imagine the answer is “Yes”. I can also well imagine that so many “normal” people could achieve very high levels of ability in areas of their interest if only they received ongoing support, enthusiasm and perhaps some guidance towards their goals.

I have often wondered how different our world could be if, every time we met somebody with a clear interest in a particular area of expertise, we expressed absolute support, encouragement and overall enthusiasm in their endeavors.

I have often wondered how different our own lives could be if we were able to look back at an individuals achievements and smile to ourselves knowing that we had, in our own way, contributed to their success.

Just thinking!

 

 

 

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27 thoughts on “I have often wondered…

  1. Interesting about the traumatic event theory. I have a friend who thinks people that are “really in to their dogs” have relationship issues with at least one parent. I think he’s on to something. Dogs give unconditional, non-judgmental love. Your dog is never going to say, “I’m disappointed in you,” or “I told you so.”

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    • I think your friend is taking a very narrow view of dog ownership. Other possibilities (not all are good) – have the “child” that never happened; replace the child that grew up and left home; taking an abused dog and giving it a good home. Also, of course, a non-dog owner cannot possibly appreciate the bonding that is necessary to develop a healthy relationship with a dog. Parental relationship issues could well be a factor in some cases. I cannot comment on that because I don’t have a degree in psychology! 🙂

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      • His idea is not about dog owners, but those who, for example, prefer their dog(s) to people, spend (and want to spend) more time with their dog than anyone / anything else, consider their dog one of (if not the most) the most important things in their lives, etc. The key to the theory is those who are “really in to their dog.”

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        • I still think that he is over simplifying the situation. There are people who, through no fault of their own, do not have close human contacts. Perhaps a history of mental/emotional abuse led them to adopting a dog which they could befriend and nurture. Carol and I chose to put $3500.00 into getting Ray’s heartworm condition addressed. It could be argued that the same amount of money would have provided some wells in Africa so, in effect, we put Ray’s cure of an otherwise terminal condition over and above the importance of fresh water for a village or two in Africa. This has nothing to with interpersonal relationships of any sort, but everything to do accepting responsibility for the care of a living creature who we adopted.

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  2. You know, after reading your post a part of me wanted to yell at the top of my lungs that it is all about practice and skills and dedication and of course, if it makes you happy. But my best friend – I will call her gifted. There is no better way of putting it, but yes. She is a genius.

    It makes me feel good – about people having gifts. That there are things you cannot control for once.

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    • I have no doubt that isolated individuals have a genetic predisposition to certain abilities however, only yesterday evening, a professional cellist here was asked about the necessary ability to play the cello. His response was that it takes a little bit of ability and a huge amount of work to become proficient. I thought it was a great answer. A kind of “reality check” for the dreamers!

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  3. Wonderful post! So true about how a parent’s encouraging of a dream can make a big difference as to whether it is pursued. Unfortunately discouraging words can make a big impact as well and has snuffed out a lot of dreams. I am thankful to have had and still have encouraging parents. Brad and I try to be as well.
    I believe there are many like you who can look back and wonder what would have happened IF…What i love is how you can look back without bitterness, how maybe things would have been different, but that doesn’t dictate to you whether or not you can be happy with your life now! That is the key!

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  4. I am sure it is true that many people were born with gifts that would have made them outstanding in that area except that either a. They were never encouraged or b. They were actively discouraged from a pursuit that a parent, teacher or other influencial figure deemed unemployable.

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  5. Great thoughts! I believe it is very true that we might all be in different places in our lives if we had that encouragement. I have always wanted to work somehow with animals, but have never been able to figure out exactly what to do. I always knew what i didn’t want to do. I never received a lot of encouragement in this. Nobody in my immediate family feels the same way I do about animals. I am still trying to figure it out, my blog is a start in the right direction.

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  6. I always loved to write and wished I would have been encouraged to go into a writing career. I did later in life end up doing a lot of writing in my job but I wonder how it would have been if I had started while in my 20s. As for the gifted….hmmmm….we have a gifted person in our family. His IQ is over 140. I watched Jeopardy with him once and he couldn’t answer any questions (even I had many correct). His response was that they didn’t cover his topics. He knows a lot about a limited span of interests. I think this is often the case with the gifted.

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  7. This is such an inspiring post, Colin! It is interesting what impulses make people get going and what can keep them from following the inner calling. But what I believe for sure is that when something is meant to be for us to go for then the time will come when it breaks through. If we haven’t been encouraged before then it is our way to experience how it feels to live and not being afraid anymore to do something we want without caring what others think about it! So many options and directions our life could have been going… if…. but what counts is the direction we decided to go in order to arrive where we are today. I thought about this lately and I know for sure that with all I know now I would make every decision again in order to arrive again where I am now!

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    • Hmmmmm! Interesting comments Erika. I have always loved your perception on the world and on life in general, but I have to think about your final sentence in your comment. From my perspective, life is a series of learning opportunities, of choices, and of consequences. It is an ongoing education. If I could go back and revisit all those learning opportunities, would I make the same decisions again? Hopefully not because, if I did, it would infer that I learned nothing over my significant numbers of years.

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      • I know what you mean, Colin! What I meant here was, that I am now at that place where I longed to be for so long and that I and that I can finally see the dream I have been dreaming since I was a little child coming trure. If I had done anything different perhaps I would not be where I am now. On a side note, I don’t think we are making mistakes but experiences in order to develop from one step to the next. If we would skip an “experience” because we already know, life would be different again but would provide for sure other challenges to make sure we develop!

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        • I can understand that! If I could go back in time with what I know now, I have no doubt that I would make different choices… but I would expect to have ultimately arrived at the same philosophy of life such I would be just as happy (as I am)! i.e. My story would be rather different, but it would still have a happy ending!:)

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          • That is an amazing thought, Colin and I can relate to that a lot. I pondered about this subject since I read your post and comment. I also believe that we are having several destinations in life which we will reach one or the other way and life however will direct us there. So whatever decision we would make we would arrive at our destined places but (as you said) with a slightly different story. Yes, I come to the same conclusion! As I said: very inspiring post, Colin!

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