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About Me

About Me

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Hi, I’m Elaina and I want to help you live life on your terms, find a career you love, and travel as often as you want. These are the best years of your life and you deserve to be FREE! 

 

I’ve lived, worked, and traveled to more than 60 countries, including some pretty off-the-beaten path destinations like Mongolia, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Paraguay. I lived out of a suitcase as a full-time nomad for 5.5 years, ever since leaving my management consulting gig in New York in 2013. You can read my full story here. I’m now living my dream, settled in Bali, Indonesia, fully independent and working happily on projects that support my deepest passion! 

 

What makes my story unique is that I’ve traveled AND built a professional career, working for companies like IBM and Uber over the years. I’ve also spent long stretches of time freelancing and traveling adventurously through South America, Asia, and Africa. I now make my living helping others break out of ordinary living and get clear on their mission in life. I get paid to help people MANIFEST THEIR DREAMS like I did — how cool is that?  

 

I write about self-development, digital nomadism, charting unconventional life paths, finding jobs overseas, pursuing long-term travel, and living purposefully in a fast-paced, confusing world. There’s simply no one-size-fits-all model for creating a life you love. I’ve always done things a bit differently and I think there are SO many feasible ways for people to live “off the beaten path”. I hope my blog lets you see what’s both possible and practical.  

 

I started this blog because I want to help you find an exciting career, travel the world, break the norms, and develop yourself both personally and professionally. Drop me a line at elaina@lifebefore30.com or apply to work with me directly! 

How to Nurture Your Own Talent and Not Be Intimidated by Other People’s Gifts

Posted on June 24th, 2016

“That is the best salsa dancer in Salvador,” my Aussie friend said, pointing across the room.

 

“Him?” I replied, looking incredulously at the scrawniest, most awkward-looking Brazilian man I had ever seen, sporting big hipster glasses and a sloppy afro. There was no way that guy could be a dancer.

 

As if aiming to prove my inner dialogue wrong, the smoky upstairs of a gritty, crowded club in central Salvador cleared and the unlikeliest specimen of a salsa dancer took center stage.

 

And he was mesmerizing.

 

He literally lit up the room, not one eyeball daring to stray from his performance, not one mouth lacking a giddy smile, not one set of hips not shaking from the contagious effect his dancing had on your body.

 

For me, seeing this kind of talent in another human being is a bittersweet experience.

 

On one hand, witnessing a person who is that incredibly gifted, who has polished his craft into gleaming, dazzling perfection, brings pure joy to the soul. It awes and invigorates, transporting you to a heavenly plateau where art is god and worship is thoroughly, deliciously enjoyed.

 

On the other hand, it serves as a bewildering sort of mirror, begging the on-looker to see himself more clearly, to self-reflect in that unexpected moment. It implores the question, “And where is your talent?” – essentially a frightening reminder that there is not one thing you can do that would clear a Brazilian dance floor and bring an audience to its knees.

 

At least that is how I felt that night, dancing and clapping and laughing through that brilliant performance, with tears of sad joy welling up behind my smile. Raindrops of the disheartening notion that I would never be that good at anything in my whole life sizzled on the steamy dance floor in front of me.

 

That night stuck with me for weeks afterward. However, it finally dawned on me that talent like his is truly an art, a craft that needs to be nurtured like a garden. The seeds need to be planted, the sprouts require ample soil and sun, and the attentive gardener must remove weeds, trim vines, and water judiciously.

 

I suppose I simply plant a lot of flowers, fruits, and vegetables and expect them to blossom with minimal effort and maintenance. And that’s just not how you grow a garden.

 

I do believe there is something to be said for “natural talent.” Gifts have their roots, but it is the proper time and cultivation that enable them to flourish. I like to think that any of us could salsa like that Brazilian dancer if we simply devoted the time, energy, and focus. The real question becomes: to what do we devote ourselves with this kind of passion?

 

As such, I have decided to renew my focus on investing in some of the things I would like to be good at, realizing that nurturing talent requires a combination of opportunity, practice, frustration, and incremental success.

 

I will not beat myself up for not becoming the next J.K. Rowling or Condoleezza Rice overnight. I will make deliberate personal investments in myself that bring me closer to realizing my goals and dreams. And I will embrace the mirror of self-reflection that displays of raw human talent put in front of you. Because someday I, too, will clear my own Brazilian dance floor.

 

 

 

Do ever feel intimidated by other people's talents? How do you allocate time and energy to developing yours? Share in the comments section below!

 

 

Did you find this article helpful? Please share with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter.

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About Me

About Me

IMG_5937

Hi, I’m Elaina and I want to help you live life on your terms, find a career you love, and travel as often as you want. These are the best years of your life and you deserve to be FREE! 

 

I’ve lived, worked, and traveled to more than 60 countries, including some pretty off-the-beaten path destinations like Mongolia, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Paraguay. I lived out of a suitcase as a full-time nomad for 5.5 years, ever since leaving my management consulting gig in New York in 2013. You can read my full story here. I’m now living my dream, settled in Bali, Indonesia, fully independent and working happily on projects that support my deepest passion! 

 

What makes my story unique is that I’ve traveled AND built a professional career, working for companies like IBM and Uber over the years. I’ve also spent long stretches of time freelancing and traveling adventurously through South America, Asia, and Africa. I now make my living helping others break out of ordinary living and get clear on their mission in life. I get paid to help people MANIFEST THEIR DREAMS like I did — how cool is that?  

 

I write about self-development, digital nomadism, charting unconventional life paths, finding jobs overseas, pursuing long-term travel, and living purposefully in a fast-paced, confusing world. There’s simply no one-size-fits-all model for creating a life you love. I’ve always done things a bit differently and I think there are SO many feasible ways for people to live “off the beaten path”. I hope my blog lets you see what’s both possible and practical.  

 

I started this blog because I want to help you find an exciting career, travel the world, break the norms, and develop yourself both personally and professionally. Drop me a line at elaina@lifebefore30.com or apply to work with me directly! 

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Currently in: Bali

 

Previously in: India

What’s Hot

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Coaching

Coaching

Hey friend, thanks for finding me!

 

I’m sure there’s a reason you landed here. Maybe we’re meant to work together and your whole life is about to flip upside down… That tends to happen with my clients as they transform from the inside out.

 

I work with extraordinary, brave, and self-inquiring souls who are ready to do the inner work required to launch them into the next huge chapter of their life. I work with people who are willing and ready to wake up and become more alive and aligned than ever before! 

 

Does any of this sound like you?

  • Successful on paper but not fulfilled inside
  • Feeling like you’re working so hard but not getting anywhere
  • Knowing you’re destined to do

Read more

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Follow me on twitter

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