Developing skill takes practiceThe following is a post by our newest blogger, Brandon Quist. He will be writing each Monday on hobbies and talents.

Let’s face it, Church and dating both encourage everyone to embrace a certain amount of sociability foreign to introverts. Service, breaking into conversation, giving talks, steering discussions, and so on are very taxing to such people, but there is hope.

“Skill comes from drill. There are many people who can think the most beautiful music, or imagine the finest success or contrive the greatest wealth, but there is only one way to reach any accomplishment, that is by developing skill or expertise in actual performance.” Sterling W. Sill

Rather than quote Napoleon Dynamite, let me just say that developing a skill provides a great deal of hooks for social interaction. If you are just beginning, use that to get to know someone more knowledgeable. Failing that, just working on your skill in public can get people interested, and some may even be inspired to join you in this endeavor. In so doing, they can become a good friend with whom you already share an interest.

As you develop your skill, you can then apply it in many ways. If it is creative, make gifts for others, be it a song, or a knitted scarf, or even a simple paper crane. Handmade gifts occupy a special place in this mass produced world, and serve as a reminder of time and sentiment spent in their creation. If the skill is more practical in nature, teaching it to others is a valid form of service. Doubly so if it is cooking; there are those who have moved out with only a rudimentary knowledge of culinary arts, and thus it behooves those who have more to give more abundantly.

Make yourself useful with your talentsAll this can also be conversation material; to the eternal question of “What did you do last weekend?” you may now answer “I practiced drawing” or “I worked on my idea for a book” or what have you. As you display your skill, talk about it in light conversation, and use it wisely, people will remember. You will be that guy who knits, or that girl who sculpts. Then, when people meet someone else who shares your interests, your name will come up. “Oh, you paint? I have this friend who likes to paint as well. I’ll have to introduce you to them at the next ward function.” In dating, as in employment, it’s who you know, and who they know.

Once begun, there is no reason to stop at one skill. As with the servants and their talents of gold, let us double our talents with earnest labor and investment. Even in the unlikely possibility that you do not get to know people in this manner, you will have gained a skill that can provide fulfillment for yourself and blessings for those around you. That is nothing to be left buried in the ground. I testify that as you seek to develop yourself, to become more than what you have been, the Lord will bless you in your efforts. As you become more, He can use you more fully to bless the lives of others, and in turn you will be blessed even more.

Brandon Quist About Brandon Quist
Brandon is originally from Olmsted Falls, Ohio. He has studied both at Baldwin Wallace college and Brigham Young University, and is currently pursuing Chemical Engineering, among other things. He considers himself a jack of all trades, and a master of none. In his spare time, Brandon enjoys knitting, guitar, reading, origami, writing, and photography.

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