Everyone has talents! When we have a chance to earn a living by using our natural gifts and talents, work somehow doesn’t feel as much like work. When I think of natural talent, Aretha Franklin stands out. She was a musician of incredible gifts, who earned her Queen of Soul title. She sang for numerous celebrities, won 18 Grammys, and recorded numerous top singles. She certainly had every reason to brag about her accomplishments, but throughout her career, Aretha remained humble. In 1998, at the height of her fame, she told CBC TV, “I’m not a star, I’m just the lady next door”. In a world of A-list celebrities, she was about as real as it gets, which made her music all the more special.
Aretha began singing Gospel music at a young age and was often heard saying, “Gospel goes with me wherever I go”. It was not something that she sought out; It was something that came out of her. It was who she was. In the movie, The Blues Brothers, one of the most memorable scenes in the movie was when Franklin belted out “R-E-S-P-E-C-T”. You can’t fake that kind of emotion. It was pure and real. Her journey as a black woman was just as important to her as her musical career. She used her gift to make a difference in the world and in the lives of those she touched. Not everyone can be Aretha Franklin, but we can all make a difference by tapping into our talents and making a difference in the lives around us.
Something to Think About
If you tapped into your natural talents, what would you be doing today? Sometimes life takes us on a detour, but it’s never too late to circle back around and do what you love.
If you are working in your zone, it never feels like work. If you’re not in your zone, what would it take to incorporate what you love into your life? Whether it’s a hobby or a career change, this week, take a look at your talents and gifts and find new ways to incorporate them into what you do.
Words of Wisdom
It’s the rough side of the mountain that’s the easiest to climb; the smooth side doesn’t have anything for you to hang on to. – Aretha Franklin
Always semi-retire, never retire. Who wants to just sit somewhere? I’m a people person. And I love performing. It’s the way it is and the way it’s going to be. – Aretha Franklin
We all require and want respect, man, or woman, black or white. It’s our basic human right. – Aretha Franklin
Be your own artist, and always be confident in what you’re doing. If you’re not going to be confident, you might as well not be doing it. – Aretha Franklin
Don’t say Aretha is making a comeback, because I’ve never been away! I am doing what I love to do, and you cannot beat that. – Aretha Franklin