Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Talent vs. Effort

There are two mutually exclusive statements that we can choose to teach our children:
You can be anything you want to be!

You have your own unique talents no one else has!
From a broader perspective, these could be classified as Nature versus Nurture, but from a practical standpoint it comes down to effort versus talent. And based on my own experience and observations of the world, I am firmly on the talent side. Now, talent has to be developed and nurtured through additional hard work, but I do believe the talent has to be there to begin with, especially for someone to be truly successful in a specific sport, art, or even career.

I have seen too many people struggle, work, put in the hours in one area only to reach mediocrity. It's not that they didn't want it, it's that the the talent wasn't there to begin with, so the effort could only take them so far.

I remember watching a movie - I can't remember what it was - where a girl's dream is to join the Ice Capades. She practices and practices and really wants it, but when she tries out she isn't good enough. She simply didn't have the talent, and after she fails she finally realizes it. From what I remember of the movie she wasn't bitter about it, and she had the good sense to simply move on.

So the secret in live is to find your talent. Unfortunately there is no one to simply tell us what it is and we have to discover it ourselves.

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