Reflections on: John C Maxwell, Talent is Never enough: Discover the Choices that will take you beyond your talent -Part 1

In April, 2018 I attended a Wealth Creation Forum, organized by my local Church, the International Christian Assembly(ICA), in Lilongwe, Malawi. While, I was at the session, a book ‘Talent is never enough: Discovering the choices that will take you beyond your talent’ by John C. Maxwell caught my attention. A day later, I bought and started to read the book. The knowledge I acquired from the book drove me to develop this series of blogs. I will encourage you to purchase the book and read it to get a deeper understanding for yourself.

When is talent alone enough?

John C Maxwell, begins the book by addressing the question: when is talent enough? Maxwell argues that talent is very important in the journey of success and that every human being is born with a talent. He gives examples of circumstances that require individuals with some special talents i.e. musicians, athletes, orators etc. However, Maxwell, makes emphasis that being talented does not automatically lead to success. Rather, Success comes when people make right choices. In this series of blogs, I will discuss belief, passion, initiative, focus, preparation, practice, perseverance, courage, teachability, character, relationships, responsibility and team as elements that turn your talent into success

Belief lifts your talent

‘once people figure out where their sweet spot is (the area where they are most gifted), what often hinders them isn’t lack of talent. Its lack of trust in themselves, which is self-imposed limitations (Maxwell 11).’ In this chapter, Maxwell makes it clear that our lack of belief in in our potential, ourselves, and our mission is what is standing in the way of who we are meant to become.  Our lack of belief in: what we can become; our ability to fulfil; and the things that we are doing, is what is contributing to us not thriving.  It is therefore important that we find ways to address our lack of Self-belief, in order for us to breakthrough the hold of self-imposed limitations, and live life the way its meant to be. This chapter finishes with application exercises that can help you to begin to address self-belief challenges that you might have. I will encourage to do the exercises that have been given in this book. Don’t rush to finish the book. Take your time to absorb the content by taking a good pace.

Passion Energizes your talent

Passion is what drives people to succeed in different areas of their life. People who are passionate and pursue their passion consistently, do create wonders in this work. Think of how many people in your life who have pursued their passion and where they are now. Are they where they were when they started? Think of talented people who refused to pursue their passion. Where are they now? Passion works wonders in your life. According to Maxwell, Passion: is the first step to achievement, increases willpower, produces energy, is the foundation for excellence, is key to success and make a person contagious. Some will say, ‘I do not have the energy to pursue my passion.’ Maxwell submits to all of us that we need to fire up our passion. He suggests that this can be done through: a) prioritizing our lives according to our passion; b) protecting our passion) and pursuing our passion with everything that we have got. We cannot become Talent plus people, if we do not use our passion.

Initiative Activates Your talent

‘Ideas are worthless. Intentions have no power. Plans are nothing…unless they are followed with action. Do it now!’-Michael E. Angier

Maxwell makes a case that apart from belief, and passion, one needs to act. Action is what makes the difference. However, a good number of individuals look for ways to avoid taking action, which leads to no success despite being talented. Maxwell writes, ‘writers write. Composers compose. Leaders lead. You must take action in order to become who you desire to be.’ This sounds like commonsense but how come we don’t take action? Maxwell mentions that this is because of: failure to see the consequences of their inaction; the spirit of waiting for someone to motivate them; looking for perfect time to act; and liking tomorrow better than today. It is very important that we find ways to addressing the factors that is causing our lack of initiative.

Focus Directs your Talent

Focus does not come naturally to human beings. We have to discipline ourselves to focus. For you to test the validity of this claim, I will borrow an exercise from Robin Sharma’s The Monk who sold his ferrari, take five minutes and concentrate on one thought. Let your mind focus on just that one particular thing. You will eventually realise, that naturally your mind will be wondering of from one thought to another. Maxwell in his book gives an example of a child. If you take time to watch a child, you will notice that he/she will jump from one thing to another without necessarily finishing anything that he or she is doing. Sad to say that some of the grownups are like children jumping from one thing to another without making any meaningful progress. Where I come from, Malawi, I have cases of young people who jump from one course to another in the name of this course is marketable now. For seven to 10 years you have a person who has nothing to show for except the bills from the schools and God willing, the certificates that come with it. It is therefore important that we realise that focus is key.

This is the end of the first blog, In the second blog, I will cover preparation, practice, perseverance and courage as discussed in John C. Maxwell’s Talent is never enough: discovering the choices that will take you beyond your talent.


Maxwell, John C. Talent is Never Enough: Discover the Choices that will take you beyond your talent. Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2007. Document.

Sharma, Robin. The Monk Who sold his Ferrari. Mumbai: Jaico Publishing House, 2001.