X Factor (HLD 416)

15 June 2021

Yesterday morning I tried channeling a famous author, by sitting in a coffee shop, and writing.

There were just a few subtle differences. It wasn’t Scotland, I’m not writing Harry Potter, and I was basically biding my time while my car got serviced.

But yes, I was writing something. It could have been yet another chapter of my soon-to-be-famous series of novels about a boy wizard, but there were some differences. The quality of the writing being produced, for instance, was just one of those.

JK Rowling apparently spent time writing in a cafe, because they had heating. She justified spending a lot of time there by buying the occasional cup of tea, so the story goes. For me, in Not-Scotland, I was there because the cafe is convenient to the car place. I had two hours to kill, and quite frankly I felt a bit edgy at taking up a seat for that amount of time. Sure, I did the right thing by the cafe and ordered food and drink to justify my long stay, but I made those drinks last a really long time!

To all intents and purposes though, I COULD be a potential best selling author, sitting here writing bits of a five book series. Most of the criteria was being met. Surely 😂.

BUT…. apparently it isn’t as simple as replicating how someone else does what they do….

For every golfer playing in a professional tournament, there’s millions of wannabe’s in charge of a sand wedge, hacking their way out of a bunker. They may have all the expensive equipment, they may even be wearing similar type of clothing and gloves. But they aren’t the ones playing in a professional tournament.

For every singer who sells millions of copies of their music, there’s billions of warblers belting out their rendition of the same song, in the shower. Some are able to hold the tune, but most not.

There is something that sets certain people apart from the rest of us. Whether they are writing novels, hitting a small ball with a stick, or writing or singing something that becomes part of the fabric of our lives – some people have a gift or a talent that most of us just dream of having.

But does that mean we shouldn’t give it a go anyway???? Heck, no.

When it comes to a lot of areas in our lives, ‘giving it a go’ is the ultimate testament to our success as a human being.

Not a human being who sells millions of books, wins green jackets or sings in front of thousands of fans regularly. But success as an average human being, who can still put their thoughts into words, or who enjoys a game of sport in the company of friends, or who enjoys playing or singing music. A regular human.

We may not have that X factor that sets us apart from the crowds, but the enjoyment we get out of the activity is actually all that matters.

We can still try to get better at whatever we are doing. We can practise regularly, try harder, aim to improve. The only person we need to impress is ourselves. The only person we need to compete with, is ourselves, and the way we did it yesterday.

No offence to Ms Rowling, but I prefer to do my writing sitting comfortably on the couch, at home. I could also be ignoring the golf on the telly, while singing along to the radio. And drinking my own home made coffee.

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