1: Give. You got your talent for free. Nobody buys it, steals it, or copies it. It can only be developed from that little seed (as unique as it's DNA) you nurtured since when you fell in love with what you love doing. Help them (the people who appreciate you work and who ask your advice) by showing them your short cuts. You will get it back somewhere along the way. Give advice. And give support, especially if you have some sort of authority over them.
2: If you hear “You speak good Spanish from the native Spanish speakers, it means you have to work on it. If the established musician tells you “You are a good guitar player” it means you are a beginner. If they say “You look good” you are probably in the hospital bed and they have just arrived to see you first time after your operation. God knows what have they expected. When was the last time you did something so well they thought you were a natural and there was no surprise? When did you speak foreign language last time and nobody even thought you were not a native speaker? When did you play guitar so well nobody thought about mentioning the guitar but just had a grateful grin on their faces because they just had an out of body sort of experience? When was the last time you were so good at something that everybody took for granted that it was just your speciality and they appreciated it as a standard performance delivered by you? When they take it for granted that you can deliver it means that you have set your standard very high.
3: Ask. It is the biggest compliment you can give: you admit that there is no logical explanation to somebody's skill. But still the answer will most likely be much less of a mystery: practice, practice and much more practice. They will also tell you about the short cuts.
4: Need to criticise? There is much more in + than in -. Use criticism only to reroute their effort into the right place, when you know EXACTLY how it should sound or look and can show it to them - there and then. Otherwise they won't like your input.
5: The best ones? They are just humans with MANY hours of practise behind them. And most of the time they didn't think of winning the competition, they were just enjoying the dance.
6: The dance? That is when you are carried away by the music, and even if you don’t do the all the right steps, they seem to be right because of the honest fulfilment that is oozing from the inside of you. When you are GOOD and you don't dance by the book, you seem to be creating new rules as you dance. Did the skill just became part of you or you just incorporated a part of yourself into it?
7: Think it’s too late? Just think that if you start today, you would be really, REALLY good in 5 years time. Whatever that means: graduating from the university, becoming dedicated and faithful to the talent, mastering the surf / guitar / foreign language, etc. You are 38 and you think it’s too late. Wouldn't you prefer to be a 43 year old with something BIG accomplished, or a 43 year old who thinks it’s WAY too late?