There is a slightly derogatory Chinese proverb “大材小用”, which translates literally into “big resource, small use”. It denotes a situation where a superior talent is not used wisely, and is used wrongly in a small, trivial position.

When younger, I used to think have a lot of ambition. Even now, I need to catch myself to prevent myself from asking “why not think bigger?”: the habit is so ingrained in me!

But nowadays, from my personal point of view, it would be WONDERFUL to be a big talent put into small use: that would free up so much time, and be such a lightness compared to the burden of responsibility and duties which I have seen eat up the best people I’ve worked with.

In any case, I also think that talent and usefulness is so contextual: most corporate boardrooms will have little use for a brilliant survival expert like Bear Grylls. But if you’re marooned on a desert island, boy, he’s definitely more useful than the typical corporate CEO!

So, I don’t mind being a big talent put to small use. Afterall, what’s more important is how I use my talent, and that I’m of service to someone.

Tags #contentment

Written on: 7 Jan 24 at 21:47
Finished on: 7 Jan 24 at 21:57