Quick, what’s the first thing that pops in your mind when I say the name “Whitney Houston?“
If you’re like most of the people I’ve talked to this week, your gut reaction is very likely something like “What a waste.”
The world is mourning the wasted talent of a once-brilliant star.
Not me. I’m mourning the wasted talented of all those who are still alive (including me).
When someone like Whitney dies I don’t spend much time thinking about what she could have accomplished if she hadn’t wasted her talent.
It makes me wonder what the world would say about me if I died prematurely. It would just kill me if the world summed up my life with the phrase,”What a waste.” Ok, it wouldn’t actually kill me because I’d already be dead, but it sure would put a damper on my afterlife.
Funny how we can look at somebody like Whitney Houston, pass all kinds of judgement on her, describe her as a waste, and shake our head pretending we’d never throw away the chance to contribute to the world if we were that talented.
Guess what. You ARE that talented. Maybe you can’t belt out the National Anthem like she once did. Maybe you’ll never sell millions of albums — sorry, I mean CDs — sorry, I mean iTunes downloads. Doesn’t matter. You’ve got talent. Lots and lots of it.
And you’re wasting it.
Don’t think so? Think again.
Are you using your gifts and skills to their absolute maximum?
Do you ever think to yourself, “I could do better”, but you don’t even really try?
Are there people you know you could help, inspire, build-up, save, or contribute to with your talent, but you’re not helping, inspiring, building up, saving, or contributing to them?
Do you let your talent shine at work? I mean REALLY shine? So shiny your boss recognizes you for it and your co-workers start wondering how you got all that talent?
Do you let your talent shine at home? I mean REALLY shine? So shiny your kids admire you for it and brag about it to their friends?
Hey, I’m guilty, too. I seem to have a knack for this whole writing thing. If I died tomorrow, at my funeral I’m pretty sure somebody would say “Too bad he never wrote that book. Such talent…wasted.” Ok, that sounded pretty full of myself, even to me. I hope you get the point, though.
What talent are you wasting? You know the answer because it just showed up in your head, blinking on and off like a marquee on the Las Vegas strip.
Stop wasting your talent. You may not have all of the problems Whitney Houston had, but don’t be fooled for a minute into thinking that you have all the time in the world to let your talent loose. Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. But one thing is for sure: you will have a funeral someday, and people will be talking all about you and what you did with your talent.
The great news is that if you’re still alive right now, you get to choose what they’ll say.
P.S. For the record, I am sorry that Whitney’s life and light was cut short, which we all know actually happened long before her death. Like many people, I will always have very fond memories of her music.
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