Mildly Talented: A Winning Formula

Joy is a supreme motivator.

When I'm working on a large or challenging project, fear gets in the way. What if my work is mediocre? What stops me throwing in the towel is the real joy I feel when I'm writing. The vulnerability that fear creates opens a door. 

While the fear feels crippling, the joy is a supreme motivator.

Matthew Eastwood and I were in the same class at school. He was a kind, unassuming, quiet fellow. By his own admission, he was good with creative pursuits but not exceptionally talented.

Matt is now creative head of J. Walter Thompson, one of the world’s largest and most successful advertising agencies with 200 offices in over 90 countries. He is sought after for interviews and creative wisdom and recipient of many prestigious awards. With Matt at the helm, JWT earned 80 Lions at the 2016 Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, a record for the 153 year old agency.

What I discovered recently is that his passion for creative ideas has always brought him joy. Matt credits his self-described (I feel the need to repeat that) lack of exceptional talent as the greatest motivator to overcoming the obstacles he encountered on his career journey to the top in his field in advertising.

In a recent interview with Adobo Magazine Online, NYC-based Matt explained the advantage of being ordinary when it comes to getting to the top:

“What I did have was passion,” he said. “Talent can somehow make people comfortable and not have to try as hard, so when they’re faced with adversity, they’re not sure how to cope with it.

“If you haven’t been the best at what makes your heart sing, you have had to deal with adversity while pursuing your passion. Facing and managing adversity throughout this pursuit becomes a skill; you get better at it." 

Some don’t find their career passion for many years, others know right away. It comes down to identifying what brings you joy.

Check out Matt's interview with Adobo in this video.

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