Your Gifts Mean Nothing

My grandfather deciphered the fucked up financial documents and the 2016 budget for the association he lives in, mostly, and he’s never thought of himself as being good at math. He actually hates it. The finances are handled by a management company and most board members take it for granted that the management company knows what it’s doing. Even though there have been increasing signs to the contrary. But of all the current board members, every one of them with access to the numbers, the documents, the paperwork, he was the only one that acknowledged that something seemed wrong with the numbers. So he’s used his free time the past few days to grind through every part of it, line by line, to figure out if he’s missing something.

The reasoning was: either he’s missing something, they fucked up the numbers, or they deliberately complicated everything to make it difficult for board members or third parties to check up on them. And because he’s been chewing threw bit by bit of this ridiculous fucking mess of budgets, expense reports, etc. it seems pretty clear that it is, in fact, a problem on their end. Either a fuck up, or a mass of papers and sets of numbers deliberately meant to discourage and confuse whoever might try to figure them out. All because a man with zero talent in and even less fondness for math saw some things that didn’t make sense, and he felt compelled to figure it out. To me that’s a great illustration of what I’ve been saying for the last few years.

Talent don’t mean shit.

Any skill can be learned if you’ve got the passion, the desire for something, driving you forward and requiring you to learn it. If what you want makes a set of skills necessary, you will find a way to learn them. Sooner or later, you’ll find a way. That’s why writers become successful. Not because they’re talented, although plenty of the good ones are, but because they *wanted* to write. Wanted it badly enough to try, and then to try again when the words didn’t come out quite right, didn’t convey what the writer wanted it to. Badly enough to try again after that first rejection letter came, and to try again after the 100th came. My grandfather wanted to find out just what the fuck was going on with the money homeowners pay in dues every quarter, so he did just that.

Talent’s got nothing to do with it. He had the necessary basic skills, and he applied them single-mindedly until he got what he wanted with them. Without a natural affinity for the skill, without any enjoyment from using it, he exercised it effectively.

Focus and passion and…

That’s all it takes. If the strength of your desire is stronger than the strength of your obstacles and deficiencies, you can accomplish anything. If it’s stronger than the obstacle, nothing can stop you. Whether it’s as mundane as auditing the finances of your neighborhood association, publishing a book, building a skyscraper with your name on it, starting a business venture, or whatever else…

Anything can be done if you want to do it bad enough.


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