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Interviews

Talent Journaling


An informative interview for parents and teachers who have students in middle school, high school or college.

Hardcastle:
We’re here with Phillip Hathaway, author and creator of Talent Journaling. Thank you for being here.


Hathaway:
Thank you. My pleasure.

Hardcastle:
Is discovering your talent really so important? Most people just want to get a good job, buy a house, have a family . . .


Hathaway:
That’s true, however . . .

Hardcastle:
Do you need to discover your talent to do that?


Hathaway:
You can do all the things you just mentioned without discovering your talent.

However, CBS News recently pointed out that as many as seventy million people go to a job they dislike every day. That’s half the workforce, so it’s a forty-year trap that most young people will fall into—an awfully big forty-year trap.

I’m trying to reach as many young people as I can before they fall into that trap.

Hardcastle:
I see.

I’m holding in my hand a copy of Talent Journaling; Grades 5 – 8. And, I have a copy of Talent Journaling; Before Declaring Your Major.

Now, what in the world is that big backwards E looking thing on the front covers?


Hathaway:
Right (laughing). It’s a mathematical symbol, which means “there exists exactly one.” It’s the logo I came up with — that I chose for Talent Journaling. The idea, of course, is that young people are throughly unique in the way they express their talent and hence their critical importance to society.

Two young people may be identical twins. Yet, each is profoundly “unequivalent” since talent is an amalgamation of all his or her life’s episodes.

Although today’s educators heroically try to reach each student, many of the most gifted ones are overlooked. This is a tragic loss.

Hardcastle:
Interesting.

Now, Talent Journaling is a series you created for kindergarten through college. One for every age group.


Hathaway:
One for kindergarten through 4th grade. One for 5 through 8th grade and one for high school and college.

Hardcastle:
Tell us about Talent Journaling. What’s the benefit? Any benefits besides discovering your talent?


Hathaway:
There’s a big benefit to parents. Tonight many parents will go to bed and just before they fall asleep, they’ll think, “I wish I would’ve said this or done that with my children!” Life flies by us at a frightening speed. Before we know it, it’s too late.

Hardcastle:
I have kids. I know the feeling.


Hathaway:
Right. So, young people are continuously in a fast growth mode. They’re struggling to exceed the gravitational pull of infancy, then adolescence.

Often an adult’s offer to help is rejected for no other reason than that young people feel it interferes with this upward struggle.

Hardcastle:
I know that feeling, too.


Hathaway:
The benefit of Talent Journaling is that—in a comfortable, easy way— it poses questions that parents may long to ask their son or daughter but never find that right moment or the perfect emotional timing to do so.

Students journal about themselves, answering questions that teachers, counselors or even parents would give anything to ask.

Now, of course, I don’t guarantee that Talent Journaling will suddenly reveal a young person’s precise talent. Only the individual student can do that. However, it will definitely direct their thinking to do so.

Talent Journaling may be the best opportunity they will ever have to discover their talent.

Hardcastle:
How long did it take to create—to write?


Hathaway:
Quite a number of years. Quite a number. Researching the way the mind works and the formation of my concepts and theories was followed by writing my book, The Psychological Elegance of Talent, which is the formulaic exposition of my theories about talent.

Hardcastle:
This is rather a new field, I take it.


Hathaway:
Yes.

Hardcastle:
So, you’re the original theoretician—a pioneer in the field of talent. Is that right?


Hathaway:
Well, I’ve never read a book about talent. Never read an article on talent. I’ve never heard anyone speak about it. I’ve never seen a documentary about it. Never taken a class or attended a seminar on talent.

My contemporaries always tell me this is new. So, I suppose I am a pioneer of sorts. And, yes, that’s right, Talent Journaling and the theory of Psychosymmetry, which is much more involved, are my original theorems—ideas.

Hardcastle:
After you wrote The Psychological Elegance of Talent, you then wrote the Talent Journaling series.


Hathaway:
Yes, however, there were a few years in between. First, I wrote the basic work then conducted focus group studies with young people in which I listened to their feedback. It was all videoed and transcribed for analysis. Then meetings with educators and parents to get their feedback.

During that time—the time I was mastering Talent Journaling—I wrote three screen plays and six books. I didn’t rush the process.

By the way, I’m not a particularly slow writer—I wrote an epic novel with over five hundred pages in only five months. Yet, these journals, which are incomparably shorter than my epic novel, have required years and years to master.

Hardcastle:
If I’m correct, that’s what artists call letting it sit—they let a work sit for a while to ensure they have a true perspective. A great deal of love has been poured into it.


Hathaway:
Letting it sit. Correct. And, yes, a great deal love. Thank you. I’ve used the very finest didactic methodologies I could possibly create.

Hardcastle:
So, once again, Talent Journaling is based on your book, The Psychological Elegance of Talent. Is that right?


Hathaway:
Yes, yes, that’s right. The Psychological Elegance of Talent is the treatise for my theories about talent and is the premise for Talent Journaling.

The Psychological Elegance of Talent is written at a somewhat high reading level, however, and is conceptual intensive. So, it may be beyond the reach of most younger students.

Hardcastle:
I have a review here in my hand by The Constant Reader. He says this about The Psychological Elegance of Talent:

“This is a tremendous piece of literature that both energizes as it teaches. The writing is above outstanding.” Do you feel that Talent Journaling is an equally good a read?


Hathaway:
Yes! Yes, of course. I made the concepts easy to understand without compromising them. You may be assuming that I “dumbed it down” to use a colloquialism far too common in this region of the world. I didn’t do that.

Talent Journaling is easy and comfortable. It presents the same concepts that are in The Psychological Elegance of Talent in a way that flows effortlessly.

Oh, and by the way, there are no wrong answers in Talent Journaling because its all about the one who is journaling—in this case, the student. It’s one of the few cases of healthy self-indulgent. This is the kind of self-indulgence that young people need so dearly.

Hardcastle:
Will parochial schools feel comfortable with Talent Journaling?


Hathaway:
Absolutely. These concepts do not originate from humanism or any related philosophy that may be incongruent with parochial education. Talent Journaling is purely about discovering one’s talent.

Hardcastle:
Could Talent Journaling be used in the classroom as a course subject?


Hathaway:
As a textbook?

Hardcastle:
Yes.


Hathaway:
It’s interesting . . . during our focus group studies, I found that not a single participant had discovered his or her talent.

Approximately 6% —it was right at only 6% had an idea of what they wanted to do in life but not related to a talent. The remaining 94% were somewhat directionless. Yet, these were extremely bright students who were about to start college.

So, this question —what do I want to do in life?— should I be posed often and openly in our classrooms. Talent Journaling is a fully appropriate teaching plan to address this question.

Hardcastle:
Thank you so much for your time. By the way, where . . . almost forgot . . . where can we buy the Talent Journals?


Hathaway:
Yes. The Talent Journals are available exclusively at TalentJournaling.com. Thank you, as well. Always a pleasure.
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