Saturday, November 22, 2008

The saddest thing in life is wasted talent

If you saw the movie "The Usual Suspects," you remember Chazz Palminteri's character.  He plays the detective who questions Kevin Spacey's character.  [Here's a clip.]

Palminteri is currently doing live theatre performances of “A Bronx Tale,” which chronicles his childhood in the NYC borough.  

At the end of each performance, Palminteri passes out a card to the kids in the audience and asks them to sign it.

The card reads:   “The Saddest Thing in Life is Wasted Talent.”

It's something his Dad told him when Palminteri was a teenager.  "His words were an attempt to steer his son from the more glamorous, more exciting life of the New York wise guy (read mob member) and to the more realistic results of hard work."

Says Palminteri: 

"When I ask the kid to sign the card, I tell him or her to pay attention to schoolwork, to develop his or her talent, and do work that is loved."

As John Maxwell puts it, "Too many talented people who start with an advantage over others lose that advantage because they rest on their talent instead of raising it.  They assume talent will keep them out front."

Here are Maxwell's 13 keys to maximizing talent:

1.  Belief lifts my talent.
2.  Passion energizes my talent.
3.  Initiative activates my talent.
4.  Focus directs my talent.
5.  Preparation positions my talent.
6.  Practice sharpens my talent.
7.  Perseverance sustains my talent.
8.  Courage tests my talent.
9.  Teachability expands my talent.
10. Character protects my talent.
11.  Relationships influence my talent.
12.  Responsibility strengthens my talent.
13.  Teamwork multiplies my talent.