Talent & Climbing a Mountain

DSCN0458I listen to the radio quite a bit as part of my working week, mainly during my drive time – a newsy, current affairs channel on the way to work, and music often on the way home.

On two different occasions this week, I heard the life story of women who are now in their twilight years reflecting on life and work as creative artists. One of these ladies is a painter, the other a singer-songwriter.

Let me share with you what they gave me this week…

A Wonderful Artist

This lady passed away this week at the age of 84, after battling cancer.  Her name – Betty Churcher. Betty was a wonderful artist and a brilliant arts administrator who taught so many Australians to fall in love with the arts.

The radio station were replaying an interview where she was reflecting on herself, others and her life work, and she made this statement:

 “Talent can take you to the bottom of the mountain, but desire and hard work are needed to get you to the top.”

What a clear picture.

We love the idea that we have talent but talent on its own does not equal success.

It’s not enough is it to notice and know our talent and gift.  Talent is not sufficient to climb the mountain and realise our dreams and contribution.

It takes a desire, a discipline, a lot of hard, and consistent hard work to get to the top of the mountain.

DETERMINATION is the right word here.

Calvin Coolidge wrote…

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence.

Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent.

Genius will not…

Education will not…

Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”

A Legendary Singer-Songwriter

And then just yesterday, I was listening to Judith Durham, the lead singer from The Seekers – being interviewed on radio.

She was full of life and gratefulness as she reflected on her past 50 years as a singer-songwriter. Her life has been so full. She was giving us an update on a 1976 recording of ‘Climb Every Mountain’ which Universal was looking to re-record and release as the title track on a new album. She was so thrilled and mentioned as a side point that she had written over 300 songs but only 50 had been recorded.

And then we heard her 1976 version of ‘Climb Every Mountain’ – I wanted to stand up in my car!

What a fabulous, hopeful, song speaking of a dream “that will need all the love you can give.”

Again it reminded me of DETERMINATION.

Climbing a mountain “will need all you can give”.

  • Preparation
  • Discipline
  • Hard work
  • Skilled navigation
  • Courage
  • Bringing your best each day for many, many, many days.

Two Ladies who understand that talent gets us to the bottom of the mountain but desire, hard work and consistent DETERMINATION is needed to get us the top of the mountain.

Climb my friend.

“No Regrets”

Penny Webb

Photo credit: Elaine Fraser

About Penny

Penny was born in England, raised in New Zealand, lived in America and settled in Perth, Australia. Together with her husband Mark, she is raising a teenage daughter and has twin twenty-something sons. "Coming home at the end of a solid working day to family and friends is my delight" says Penny, Co-author of the book – She’s Not Your Competition. She is a heart-felt communicator who believes in the power of a person’s story. Penny has over 25 years experience as a high level leader and spokesperson in both the private and non-profit sectors with significant public relations experience. She is currently the CEO of South Coastal Women's Health Services, and prior on the Leadership Teams of Rise Network and Riverview supporting people in areas of mental health, domestic and family violence, and children overseas at risk of exploitation. She holds an MBA and MBL, and is a Board Director for the Youth Affairs Council of Western Australia. For the past 15 years she has provided pro-bono support as a mentor for leaders and consultant to not for profits. Penny’s personal life endeavour is a determination to "make life better not bitter".