Wouldn't life be boring if we could do anything we wanted?

by Jordan Green

Wouldn’t life be boring if we could do everything we wanted to?

Think for just a minute. If everything we’d ever wanted to do, every job we ever applied for and every talent we ever desired came to fruition, wouldn’t life be pretty mundane? Maybe even unrewarding?

The beauty of not getting everything we want in life makes us appreciate what we have. From this, we should learn to admire – not envy – others because of their talents and gifts.

This thought crossed my mind a few weeks ago when a friend of mine started taking piano lessons. I’m proud of him for learning something new, and I’m thrilled that he’s already off to a great start.

Before he began his lessons, my friend said he wished he were a good singer, too. But frankly, I’m glad he’s not meant to be a singer – just like I’m glad I’m not meant to be an accompanist.

I tried taking piano lessons several years ago, and they just weren’t for me. I had the best piano teacher anywhere in the country.

She wasn’t the reason I didn’t succeed at piano. Lord knows she’s taught countless students to play their hearts out while tickling the ivories. It simply wasn’t for me. And that’s not only OK – it’s fantastic.

I can’t play piano, but I’ve been known to sing a couple songs from time to time. Vocal music was, and is, for me.

I’ve had some success singing, and I’m sure my friend will have countless accolades as an accompanist.

I took a while to learn that instrumental music wasn’t where my gift was, just as I’m sure my friend will find with vocal music. Don’t ask me to play the piano, but I might take you up on the chance to sing.

Just like some people who can hammer out notes on the piano wouldn’t dare try to sing along. But when people with these different gifts come together, they can make something gorgeous.

If we were all able to do everything – play instruments and sing, write songs and paint pictures, build houses and work on cars – why would we need to surround ourselves with other talented people? If we could do everything by ourselves, we’d have no need to interact with other people.

And worst of all, we’d have little to no gratitude for the people around us. If everyone had all the same gifts, nobody would stand out for anything. What a sad world that would be.

I’m thankful not only for what I can do, but for what I can’t do. The stuff I can’t do gives me reason to ask others for help or pay them for their services. Watching people use their gifts is a beautiful process. Try it sometime.

Another good friend of mine often talks about his appreciation for people who are excellent at their crafts, whether they’re mechanics, teachers, musicians or artists. He has a knack for knowing when people know what they’re doing. His life is richer because of it.

Now that’s something everyone can do with a little practice: Seeing the great qualities in others and appreciating them. Instead of wishing we could do what others can, perhaps we’d find more satisfaction enjoying what we can do and complimenting others because of what they can do.

None of this is to say that learning and trying new things is bad. By no means. Those people who can play instruments, write books, sing songs, build houses and paint pictures? Kudos to them; that takes hard work, too, and they deserve our compliments.

So does anyone with any gift that he or she puts to good use.

Those of who can’t do all of the aforementioned stuff – and I’d wager that’s most of us – have a lesson to learn. We shouldn’t envy gifts and talents we don’t have. Instead, we should be happy for those who have them – and call them when we need them.

No matter what your gifts and talents are – no matter how many or how few – embrace them, and try to grow in them. Focus on improving what you can already do well rather than trying to do what other people do. Quality over quantity.

I’m glad I can’t do everything; my weaknesses allow others to show their strengths. Contrary to what you believe, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Where we have voids, others are there to help us fill them.

I’ll never play the piano, and my friend may never sing. But when we make music together, we’ll be thankful for the gifts we have – and the ones we don’t. The talents we don’t have bring us together and allow us to create something we couldn’t do on our own.