You have no special skill or talent. You’re only passionately curious.

By Tomiwa Olaoba. Tomiwa, 16, is a secondary-school graduate and currently studying web-design and computer programming. He lives in Oyo, Nigeria. Please read his article and leave your thoughts and comments below.

A friend of mine once said ‘I am awesome in English Language and I am better than you at Mathematics; it seems I have some special talents than you do not’. Well, I had no chance to bargain with him on his Mathematics and English prowess, I only convinced him with my below words.

Have you forgotten Albert Einstein’s quote that goes thus: ‘I have no special talents, I am only passionately curious?’ or do  you not know the meaning? If you have forgotten or you don’t know the meaning, I will tell you the nitty-gritty of what the quote means.

Albert Einstein was a man full of wisdom, a man of knowledge and a great genius. He knew how brilliant he was and he detected what brought about his wisdom and knowledge: He was able to deduce that his curiosity led him to his passion, and his passion led him to his great knowledge and wisdom. If he had checked and examined himself once again, maybe he could find some special talents in himself, but he came out with the result that he has no special talents – it was just his curiosity about what he saw and discovered that led him to his passion, and that made him passionately curious.

The special life of Albert Einstein is so similar and relevant to everyone’s life, and your life in particular. In such a way that if you said ‘I am awesome in English Language’, or ‘I am brilliant at Mathematics’, it is not reckoning that you have some special talents in you, but because you are curious about what you see or discover, and that constructs a path to your passion. This in turn establishes your brilliancy and awesomeness in Mathematics and English Language respectively.

Are you saying you have a great knowledge of something? Or that you are a bundle of wisdom? And you think it is your talent that brought you this? No! It is not. It is not in any way your talent.

I will not forget to share with you William Arthur Ward’s quote that ‘curiosity is the wick in the candle of knowledge’. This quote is perfectly elucidating a typical candle; without a wick in a candle it can perform no action. There will be absolutely no light and that was why William Arthur Ward said this. The candle of knowledge cannot bring forth its light of knowledge when you are not curious; it is your curiosity that serves as a wick which brings forth your light of knowledge which makes you to detect your passion.

The succinct and concise meaning of William Arthur Ward’s quote is that your curiosity leads you to your knowledge: before you can derive knowledge from what you study, there must be a bridge between curiosity and knowledge, and the bridge is passion. Passion can do great work in the learning process. If your curiosity does not produce passion for what you are doing, then you may have to go for a quick withdrawal. If your curiosity does not offering you the supposed return of knowledge, then you may also have to opt out of what you are doing. But I am sure the opposite has happened as a result of your own curiosity: your curiosity came out as the wick in your candle of knowledge, which was lit up by your passion, and which is simply pointing at, ‘you’re passionately curious’.

Dear friend, do not be fooled that you have some special talent and do not link what I am saying to there not being anything called talents. Talents are real, but if you have not run after your curiosity and detect your passion and thereby made yourself passionately curious, you can find no talent. We were not born with a skill or a special skill; it is the process of learning which constitutes curiosity and passion (i.e. being passionately curious) that makes you have a skill serving as pointer to your talent.

To supplement it more, before you detected you are good in Mathematics and English Language, did you not sit down for several hours pondering on a mathematical problem or an English Language term? Before you could perch and start to heavily ponder, you had already created some curiosity in Mathematics and English Language. Will you tell me you found no obstacle when studying? No! You must find an obstacle!It was your curiosity that saved you from quitting and gradually as you study you gain more knowledge. Within you gaining your knowledge is your passion, which has already connected your curiosity and knowledge together.

Then, as you stand up or sit down and examine yourself and your brain, you will discover that you are passionately curious, even this very moment we are confabulating, check yourself! You see, you are passionately curious! Hence, your passionate curiosity has brought you your Mathematics and English Language prowess, and this is what made Albert Einstein to say ‘I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious’.

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