On the last day of classes during my senior year of college, I dropped in to say good-bye to my professors. I was graduating in a few days with a degree in history and had absolutely no idea what I was going to do with my education. When the dean asked me about my plans, and I confessed I had no clue, he said something I’ve never forgotten. “Let me tell you something, Teresa. Every year we teachers take a poll at the faculty meeting to decide which of our graduating students we think will go on to do something special. Which one we think we should keep an eye on. And we unanimously decided it was you.”
I left his office stunned. My teachers had sometimes seemed to expect more from me than other students, but I assumed that was because I often challenged the status quo (and sometimes their teachings). Not one of them, though, had ever taken me under his/her wing. Knowing then that this entire group of people had high expectations for my success made me feel both honored and scared. What if I never figured out how to use the knowledge they had shared? What if I tried to use it and failed?
Ask yourself who were the people who noticed your talents and potential long before you did? Who were the ones who believed in you before you believed in yourself? Who are the people who have never stopped waiting for you to impress them? Are you living up to their expectations or have you given up? They may have been right or wrong about the direction you would take, but they believed you would figure it out. Have you?
Most of my professors have passed on now, but I’ll go to my grave hoping I earned the faith they put in me. Though none of them kept in touch after I graduated, and most of them probably never knew what the dean had told me, that passing comment helped give me the motivation to eventually pursue my dreams.
So when you see talent, call it out. You may provide just the right amount of encouragement to a fellow artist when he/she needs it most. And when someone shows faith in you, don’t dismiss it. Sometimes others know better than we do of what we are capable!
P.S. This is my 150th post on this blog! If you like it, please share it.