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.