Natural Abilities

I enjoy writing, but I have to admit it doesn’t come naturally.  These days, I’d say that I bat about .700 when it comes to starting a topic that eventually comes to some sort of conclusion in my blog.

I like to play music.  I have a keyboard, but I’m no natural musician.  Sight reading is a chore to me and even after playing for years, I still feel most comfortable playing in the key of F.  That was the key used by my Magnus chord organ when I was a kid.

I like to draw, but I’d be the first to admit that I am generally limited to doodling, designed to amuse The Wife primarily.  I shoot a lot of video and I like to think that my stuff is above average.  It doesn’t come naturally though; it’s basically the result of a lot of hard work.  I’m no auteur.  I have the videotape to prove it!

This lack of natural abilities in the things I enjoy most in life is really not a problem.  I have the ability to understand what it takes to be good at something… even if the person (a Natural, if you will) makes it look so easy.  I can appreciate art.  It allows me to appreciate what it takes to make a truly memorable movie and cartoon animation just blows me away.  I can marvel at a good book or the works of a gifted musician.

It also helps me be a better teacher.  At work, I train people how to use GoldMine – a CRM product designed not for the faint of heart.  But I try to be patient; answering questions that help people find their way towards the answers they’re looking for.  I tell stories to lighten the mood.  I use an awful lot of metaphors (“computers are like cars”).  I empathize with these end users because I used to be one of them, stumbling around, trying to figure out how this f***ing thing worked.

It’s this empathy – I think – that makes me a better person; kinder, more compassionate towards my Fellow Man.  And – believe me – that doesn’t come naturally to me at all!


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