The gift is nothing without the work.

I'm constantly blown away by the talented people that surround me in my city, my church, my creative community and my family. People who have a knack for words, dance or paint. People who have invested hours upon hours of time and energy into their craft, honing the rough edges and discovering the nuances that make all the difference.

Sometimes I'll think about what this world would be like if people didn't practice their talents. The joy that would be lost because they were too busy working at a job they hated. The awe and wonder that would never be experienced because no one helped them discover their creativity. That's a world that has lost its flavor.

The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without the work.
— Emile Zola

But just as soon as I shake my head and come back to reality, another thought floods my head — what about all of the people who are in that exact situation? The people who don't have time to practice the art they love? Or the people who don't even know they have a gift? So much beautiful work isn't being created because people aren't given the chance to create.

This led me to two conclusions:

1. Put in the work

Don't let your doubts, fears or haters keep you from pursuing your own talents. You're incredible! Make time for the art that you love and put something new and beautiful out into the world.

2. Help others discover and refine their craft

Some people aren't fortunate enough to have discovered what they're good at. This might be a product of circumstance or a lack of guidance — either way, we can play a huge part in helping people pursue their love. Encourage them to try new things and challenge them to do them better.

I believe that some people are more bent toward artistic disciplines but I also believe that everyone is creative. Their creativity may manifest itself in different ways, whether that's a chalk art or creative business models. The problem is that we don't always recognize creativity in ourselves and need others to help draw it out of us. Open yourself to creative pursuits and put in the work so that your gift isn't wasted.