Ability and Desire

Just because someone has the desire to do something does not mean they have the ability.

Just because someone has the ability does not mean they have the desire.

And yet, we tend to associate these things as hand in hand. True, having the desire AND ability for something is ideal, but it doesn’t always happen that way.

I have the ability to sing. I have a nice gift. I’m not going to blow you away, but I can hold a tune. However, I don’t have a desire to sing in choirs or talent shows or American Idol or something. That’s not something I aspire to be; a singer.

On the flip side, someone can have the desire to sing, but has absolutely no chance of being even a decent singer. Simply put, they don’t have it. Even with practice, it’s never going to happen. They have the heart though. They have the desire.

Is one person better than the other? No.

When people read my book, and even hear me talk about religious stuff, I get a lot of “You should be a preacher”. I may have the ability to preach, but this does not mean I want to preach. I get smacked around with the “but you have a gift” and whatever.


There is a 3rd factor with ability and desire: Calling. For me, even if I had the ability and desire for something, is it my calling? Am I called to do it? If not, then I’d better leave it alone. Granted, in most cases, when you’re called to do something, God does give you a desire and the ability to do it. Still, for me, the calling of God overrides our own desires and abilities.

Back to my original point.

I feel like desire and ability are two things that are a great fit together, but are not destined to be together.

Do me a favor. The next time someone that you think is gifted says that that’s not something he wants to pursue, just understand. Don’t make him feel like he’s doing something wrong simply because he has no desire for it.

Shoot, I may have the ability to kill somebody, but I don’t have the desire. Is that bad? Is it good? Right.

Be understanding, please.

If you have the desire, but no ability, you have to accept that reality. Right now, you suck. But, that doesn’t mean quit. It just means you have more work to do. Although, with my singing example, you may never be good at it, and you simply have to be prepared to accept that possibility too.

It’s not over. You can work around. For instance, if someone has the desire but no ability to play sports, they can do other things relating to sports. You can write about it. You can be a ref at a game. You could take on a coaching role. It’s not the same as being out there with the athletes, but at least you’re involved in some way.

Ability and desire are both important and both are needed. The more of both, the better off you’ll be. At the same time, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with having just one.




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