Winning Words

Amazing amateur talent shows outcome of encouragement


Although I do not spend a whole lot of time watching television, occasionally I will come across a segment of a show where there is a singing, dancing, baking, cooking or other type of show where there are amateurs competing for the winning prize.

Sometimes it’s a small prize and more about the bragging rights, and sometimes it could be a large enough prize to be life-changing for someone. Not just monetarily in the moment of the win, but it could launch a winning amateur into a whole new professional career.

There truly are amazing amateurs who have blessed us with their talent and who have possibilities of even greater opportunities in this life, and I am grateful whenever I have a chance to witness such amazing feats.

And it really doesn’t matter if we are talking about the young or the old or anyone in between. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about huge productions with massive audiences or small or even local productions. The talent levels we are seeing are truly phenomenal.

Now whether they move on to become a professional in whatever skill or talent that they have and display or they always remain an amateur, that is not the point I want to make. The point is that somewhere along the way, there was someone in their life, there is someone in their life that lifts them up, encourages them, coaches them, and gives them hope.

When you watch a child produce a decorated cake, baked with such precision and beauty that it could easily be sold at some of the finest bakeries in the world or sold at some of the finest restaurants in the world, it is an incredible thing to see. We could have our back turned or otherwise preoccupied yet hear on the television a voice that is worthy of being a recording star and professional musician and it is unbelievable. Sometimes we see clips or videos shared on social media with millions of people viewing this amateur talent.

As I listen to the interviews or watch the pre-story about the amateur performing, it is never lost on me the amount of time, dedication, practice, and support that they put in and receive. They talk about a single parent who made sure that they stayed the course, or they talk about being a single parent and still finding the time to pursue their own passion. Families who find ways to fund the practice time or equipment necessary to compete.

Although there could be just a few professionals who read this column who find themselves on the field, stage, or in the kitchen, and there are probably many business professionals who take the time to read this column, I’ll bet there are many of us who are amateurs at something. We have hobbies or passions and things we like or love to do. And without saying we walk away from our jobs or careers, we should absolutely do whatever it takes to pursue and enjoy a hobby or passion. We may never make it to television, but we should look all around us at our friends and our families and think about who we can encourage and support and who we might need hope and encouragement from.

So how about you? Are you as amazed as I am at some of the incredible amateur talent we get to see? Can you appreciate the love and support, hope and encouragement that they receive and the hours of practice that they must put in? Could you use a little of that support yourself? As always I would love to hear your amazing story at, and when we can find and pursue the passions that really fuel our inner amazing amateur, it really will be a better than great week.

Michael Norton is a resident of Castle Rock, the president of the Zig Ziglar Corporate Training Solutions Team, a strategic consultant and a business and personal coach.

Michael Norton


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