The Parable of the Talents – a cue for success

Kofi is a graduate student in the Department of Agricultural Economics, at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as works as a research assistant on a consumer behavior project. He previously studied at the University of Delaware. Kofi is passionate about global and international affairs, and devotes time every day to catch up on news items and documentaries featured on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability.
The lucid and unambiguous reality is that nature endows humans differently. This is easily evidenced in academic and professional environments. In college, one student may grasp the seemingly difficult physics concept easily than his colleague would, and his colleague may excel in the chemistry class almost effortlessly. Yet still, there is this all-rounded student who seems to get it all. Naturally, we would have wished for that capability that lends to grasping concepts in a snap, although it is not always the case. The good news is that regardless of how much ‘talent’ we have been endowed, it is just enough to succeed in college. Life has its way of compensating, so what matters really is not the abundance or the “dearth” of your endowment, but the lengths at which you go to hone what you have.
One fact worth knowing is that we run our individual tracts/race in school. This is a tract designed only for you, and whist it may not appear so, there is no first or last on your tract. It is absolutely fine to take a peep at how the next person is running his race, and learn what can be done better with yours. But you are the only competitor on your track. That said, what gets you winning over yourself is hard work in college. Even more beautiful, hard work almost invariably triumphs over hard luck. Having come as far as graduate school, I notice that being in college is in itself an indication that you are capable of succeeding in your chosen field of study. The outcome (what becomes of you) is always an individual choice. Study as hard for that test as much as your ability takes you. Be productive with what you have. Don’t make excuses that you are unable to do that homework. Get help where you can. Excuses are giant talent killers.
Let’s finish off our parable. The steward who obtained five talents worked with it, and made an extra five. Likewise, the bearer of the two talents made two more. But this was not the case with the steward of the one talent. He despised what he had, and hid it. By being unproductive, the master was displeased with him. The moral of the story: he lost his talent. This is analogous to the oft-quoted saying: if you don’t use it, you lose it. Never despise your abilities in college. It is perfectly okay that you didn’t emerge the best in that test, but it is not okay if you didn’t give it your best shot. Much of the time, we are more capable at solving problems than our minds seem to tell us. The truth is that it is very painful unlocking our abilities to understand and think through difficult concepts, but it is very doable. Make use of your friends who understand better. Make that appointment with the teaching assistant. Visit that Professor in their office hours. Engage in extra-curricular activities. Get involved in that debate. Learn to play that instrument when you get the chance. In other words, turn that five talents into ten, turn the two to four, and the one to two. Watch out for the time stealers and time wasters. If you are spending too much time online than is necessary, cut back. If too much partying is taking a toll, cut it back a little. You have just being rightly endowed to succeed in college. But only you can decide the outcome. And let’s always remember: good better best, never let it rest, until your good is better, and your better, best! It is all in your hands.

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