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Appreciation is to talent, what breastmilk is to an infant.

Nutrition and nurture are both essential for the growth and sound health of any living being. The talent of an individual is also a living, breathing entity just as the individual that houses it and expresses it. The two are separate in some ways and united in some. They are dependent and may afford to live without the other, but they will surely not thrive without each other.
There is a certain talent in each and every individual. This is true of humans, animals, and plants. Every substance on this living planet has life in it. A rock, a piece of driftwood, clay, gold, gemstones, they are all living. They have within them a certain unique gift. It is hidden until it is found by an artist who has a matching talent and when they are both mature and ripe, they bring out of each other the very best. The result is a spectacular display of beauty and artifice.
To live is to grow and prosper. Anything that is devoid of growth and prosperity is either dying or already dead.
The talent of an individual is also hidden at first. It can only be revealed by constantly hacking away at it. It is not an automatic process, a number of factors play into this. The environment, the opportunity, mentorship, resource, access, audience reception, and most importantly self-drive.
I mention self-drive as a very important factor, as it so may happen that an individual may never have the right environment, opportunity, mentorship, resource, access, or audience reception, but if one is able to tune into their own talent and find that unique communion with this entity that is their personal channel to greatness and genius, then that person can thrive regardless of all other elements. It is a rare feat, but not impossible.
For most people, this may not apply. All these other factors will influence how most discover, refine, and express their inherent talent. One or more of these factors missing or lacking may severely affect the possibility of the individual maturing to a level where their talent gets fully expressed along every stage of their growth.
The most dangerous outcome could result from the lack of appreciation from their immediate environment, then the mentors, and then from their audience. This lack of appreciation can end up being the make or break factor for several individuals who may wither away without this nurturing element.
It is the one factor that is beyond our control. We cannot force appreciation out of another. It is a sensation that must be inspired in the individual purely of their own volition. Yet there is such a thing as hacking the audience taste and the swinging of popular vote by use of marketing and advertising as well as several other tactics regularly employed by politicians and large entities such as brands and movie studios.
Some people pursue their art and express their talent wanting to remain a purist, expecting their effort to in itself yield results. It may be true in some instances, but in the context of today, it is all but rare. One has to be intelligent enough to learn about manipulating the environment and to garner a position of great vantage with any and all available means and continue to accumulate credit, visibility, and recognition that places them at a greater advantage than when they started off.
Self-promotion is critical in this new environment and the earnest are losing out owing to modesty and honesty. The one's who understand their disadvantage, often the ones who have the least talent, are the persons who overcompensate for it by exploiting the situation and taking every bit of unclaimed credit, visibility, and recognition. They'll even go so far as to sabotage the truly gifted ones and dissuade them at every opportunity.
This article is geared toward the truly talented and gifted honest individuals wondering why after years of effort they may find themselves further away from their goals while others less deserving may have advanced far ahead with little effort. Don't wait to find honest appreciation, there is no such thing in this day and age. If there is, it is just as rare as honest art. It is nobel to believe you are on such a path and pure conquest, but if you or your unique gift get ruined in the process, it won't help anyone.
Work where and when it matters. Your talent is worth something only if you think so and you have to pitch hard to get the most reward for what you offer. Quote high and keep stretching it. Yes, people will fight it, but that's something they always do. Everyone loves to think they are getting a bargain. So give them a discount on a higher price, that will satisfy them more. Place yourself higher, this will make your audience feel better about themselves too. Modesty is surely out of fashion. Honesty too has become a matter of context.
Is George Clooney really one of the sexiest men alive? Is a Louis Vitton purse really worth the hundreds of thousands of dollars it costs to own one? Are all Ivy league graduates geniuses? There is marketing behind everything that you offer your valid time, energy, attention, money, and appreciation to.
For you to grow and keep growing it is important that you appreciate yourself the gifts and talent you bring to the table and the way to show it is by demanding it from your audience, whether it is by asking for better credit, higher compensation, or greater visibility. It is something that has to start with you. Believe that you deserve it and go demand it. Don't stop at anything. Don't let anyone get away with what should rightfully be yours. There is no honor is crying about what you lose, you only get to celebrate your victory.
Always celebrate no matter what; the celebration is a sign of victory. People believe what they see. It is important that they see you victorious so they will offer you more conquests without even having to lay siege.
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