How to Develop Your Yalent – Part Two

The cultivation is like that any other part of the body; it is done by exercise, taken in the right mental attitude. The benefit of exercise depends mostly on the attitude of mind in which is taken; exercise builds up the athlete, and when it is called work, stiffens and cripples the laborer. Play will make a child grow healthy and happy, while the same, or less, exertion in the monotonous work of a cotton mill would soon kill the same child. It is mostly a matter of mental attitude in which the work is done. The exercise of a faculty causes innervation of the brain area involved, and causes an increased flow of blood to that section, so the brain cells are quickened ro activity, and new ones are created. If effort is made to do the work in hand perfectly, the capacity is tried to the utmost, and imperative demand is made for more power, and for rapid creation of new cells. The child which practises its musical exercises in a shuffling and indifferent manner having no other interest or desire than to get through so many hours of “practice” each day, will develop musical talent, but the process will be slow. The child which eagerly and conscientiously tries to make each exercise a perfect performance will develop rapidly, and if its interest and confidence are intense, will be considered a prodigy.
It doesn’t matterwhether the talent you wish to develop is mechanical, executive, literary or artistic, you must begin by using what you do have, and by doing what you do in the most perfect manner possible. If you do not use what you have, you cannot get more, and if you use what you have in an imperfect fashion, you are not making a demand for more. If you only give a muscle light and easy work, you will not develop it and increase its size, and if you give a brain only light and easy work, you will not cause the development of many new and active cells. If you habitually and regularly work a muscle until it is tired, nature responds to the demand by increasing the muscle; and she will increase it very rapidly if the exercise is taken with purpose and faith to bring such results. So, if you use the brain regularly and systematically, with full faith and purpose and use it to its full capacity for effective work, nature responds to the demand by a very rapid building of new cells, and a quickening and refining of those already in existence.
You were born with certain sections of your brain larger and more fully developed than others; so certain things were easier for you to learn than others, you had a “natural talent” for them. In other words, your subconscious already had the tools to work with, in expressing itself along those particular lines. Other sections of your brain were smaller and contained fewer cells; and it is by developing these that you aquire or develop new talents. You do not need to change the shape of your skull, or to enlarge these parts of your brain, but only to refine the brain tissue, and multiply the number of active cells. And this is what you can certainly do, by using the faculty steadily and regularly, and by seeking perfection in your work. And your progress will be rapid in proportion to the faith and purpose with which you do your work. The development of talent is not by any means a necessarily slow process.
Let us suppose, for example that you wish to develop a talent of literature. First, you must know that you can write. However little the ability you seem to possess now, you must know that you can bring the latent possibility to the surface. This will give you the absolute faith which arouses the subconscious to full and effective action, and which causes it to draw on the infinite for more power if necessary. If your faith is absolute, there is no limit to set to the genius you may develop; no one has ever done such perfect work but that better work is possible to you. You may write better dramatic verse than that of Shakespeare; better character delineation than that of Dickens; better fiction than that of Dumas. All the limitless resources of the Universal Mind are yours to draw upon, if your faith is unwavering, you are not limited by what others have done.
Along with faith in your ability to develop talent must go the purpose to develop talent. It does not build a faculty rapidly if we merely use it as the ditch-digger uses his muscles; in drudgery, without the purpose of development. We must use the brain as the athlete uses his body; use it in hard work but with the purpose of development always in view. The object of work is to produce something; the object of exercise is to develop the instrument. Work which is not exercise may produce something, but it tears down and wears out the brain; exercise which is not work may build up brain or body, but it produces nothing.
Work which is exercise both produces and develops. If you have faith that you can develop talent, and keep steadily in mind the purpose to develop it, your work becomes exercise, if it is done in the proper manner.
Do not allow yourself to be hurried or driven into doing imprfect work. Do not try to live solely by your literarly talent until you have developed it to such an extent that it will support you without worry or driving. This is true of all talents; you should not try to make your living by the exercise of the least developed ones.Make your living by the exercise of those talents which you are strongest, and meanwhile, develop the others. If you have good arms and shoulders, and a strong back, you had better get a job in the street cleaning department of your town, and so earn your bread while you develop your literarly talent, than to depend on literarly work before you developed the talent of doing it.
Whatever talent you wish to develop, know that it is an absolute certainly that you can develop that talent; and know that it is quite within the bounds of possibility for you to develop it to a greater extent than has ever been done. Begin in full faith, and with an unshakable purpose to do what you can do now, with what talent you have now. Do this regurarly, and as continuously as possible, never losing sight of your purpose of limitless development. Do all you can do in the most perfect manner in which it can be done, in the full faith that you are developing a brain which will enable you to do it still more perfectly tomorrow, proceed exactly as indicated in all the foregoing, and you must certainly succeed so rapidly as to astonish you.

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