Can’t Increase Talent, but it can be Developed

Talent is an innate gift. It is a quality one possesses which is rare, by definition. But what is talent? Personally, I believe that talent is a quality one possesses, enabling them to perform a task with efficiency, skill and a quality of seeming ease. This last part of this definition is, I believe, is most special.

When we watch an Olympic gymnast do a floor routine, they make it “look easy”. That effortless appearance is talent, backed by countless hours of hard labor and work. They have maximized the effectiveness of their talent and they utilize their talent with great efficiency. We are each born with a certain degree of talent and that talent cannot be increased (Others will disagree and if you do, I invite you to comment). You cannot become “more talented”. However, what talent you do possess, can be developed, nurtured and fine-tuned in a way that enables one with less talent than others to appear more talented. They can appear to have more talent, as they know how to utilize what talent they naturally possess.

What is the secret of maximizing the effectiveness of your talent? Two things:

Technique. Technique liberates art. The more talent you have, the more technique you need. Technique also translates to mean “tools”. The greater the mastery you have over your tools and the more tools you have that you have mastered, the better your chances of appearing very talented. With mastery of tools, an artist can express whatever impulse that may arise.

Hard work. American inventor Thomas Edison said “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration”. Ben Franklin, American inventor and patriot was often asked how he was able to achieve so much. He would respond that when you do a lot of things, you get a lot of things done. Ever hard of the 20/80 rule? This rule states that 20% of the population is doing 80% of the work. All of these ideas translate to mean that if you are going to succeed (for most), we must work harder than others. We must be in the 20% category. By working hard, we improve. In our improvement, we utilize our talents more efficiently and effectively and we gain technique. Mastering technique through hard work gives the appearance of greater talent.




2 thoughts on “Can’t Increase Talent, but it can be Developed

  1. I disagree with u talent can be developed in any discipline art, music, drawing talent to me is just a head start in the 6 stages of learning like me personally I wasn’t born to be a fighter nor had the talent for it I developed talent for it through hard work, pain through a discouraging process but I got it so just becuz or not born an athlete doesn’t mean u cant be one

    • Thank you for your comment, Anonymous. I believe that talent and skill are two different things.

      Both can be developed and enhanced. Skills can be dramatically expanded–like the ability to fight fires when previously one did not know how to.

      However, talent, one is born with in measure. I like to describe talent as “complicated tasks done with the appearance of ease.” In brief, you make difficult stuff look easy. You may make fire-fighting look easy, which means you have learned a skill AND have talent at it. Can you can identify some fire-fighters who are more talented than others or are all equal in their abilities–both natural and learned?

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