The talent – hard work – success misconception

“Hard work without talent is a shame, but talent without hard work is a tragedy.”

“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.”

So the big question now is – What is talent? What is hard work? Is every one born with talent? If yes, what happens to that… do we lose it as we grow old? Why do some kids turn out as starlets and have enormous success at a very young age while the others fade out into a mundane lifestyle?  If every one is not born with the same talents, isn’t it a bias played on by nature – which we believe not to be true because evidently God does not play dice with the universe!

Talent which is usually defined as natural ability or quality is – rightly defined as ‘natural’. It is in a person by nature. It is something everyone is born with. After all the process of birth is not an event of 9 months rather a few million years of evolution. Every event of human evolution is incorporated into the DNA when a baby is born. Dreams of past lives? Ability to sense things and relate to events of history… it is no ghastly wonder but a meticulously incorporated feature into the human DNA. Did you ever wonder how you picked up a language – English, Hindi, Chinese for that matter, when you were a baby without any official training in that language? And this is something that adults struggle to do even with great training – how many of us attended French classes for two years and actually ended up learning French? So my point here is a baby is an omnipotent phase or the alpha being of the human life. As a child you are creative and potent, you  ideas limitless and unrestricted. Then what happens to immense potential? The answer is so simple… When a baby is not exposed to a verbal language (when he does not hear people conversing around him) up-to the age of eight, science states that there is a very good chance that the child might not speak again during his lifetime. The parts of his brain responsible for verbal communication just shut down permanently. This is exactly what happens to the other so called talents that everyone is born with. The last example in favour of this argument is – How many times have you done something new, that you have never tried before yet you feel comfortable and do it good. Happens…right? Knowingly or unknowingly we were made to grow up with most of our inborn talents striped from our brains. The only way to keep these alive is to condition the talents or gifts right from a very and i mean very young age!

Now where does this discussion fit in with our topic at hand. To hit the nail in the coffin, in a single statement I assert that talent has nothing do with how successful someone is. Micheal Jackson was not born with a mic in his hand and moon walk in his blood. Micheal Jordan was not born hanging to a basket ball net. Micheal Carrick was not… aah crap, this is supposed to be a list of super starts. You get the point right? It was not talent that made them what they are… it is sheer determination and defiance towards failure that got their names etched into the record books. Question – Then how do you explain the atrocious success of chaps like Justin Bieber? Answer – Remember the part earlier when I talked about conditioning talent. That is all what it is. Young achievers are usually those lucky ones who had their talents identified at a very young age and had them nurtured and conditioned to the best of their abilities.This conditioning is what enhances the natural abilities in an individual to extraordinary levels that may appear to be ‘ingenious’.The others like you and I were not so lucky and have to find things out the hard way. But the good thing is there is a point in life when you become conscious of what has happened to your life so far and what you want next – that is the time when you start to switch your gears to the never failing trick called hard work. Conditioning of talent at a young age is like the eye candy that might get you the lime light – a mere kick start into the big world but the real deal is hard work. With or without conditioning of talent, hard work can take you places – the right places. People worldwide give into this misconception that there are talents that some people posses and others don’t, that others can not develop no matter how much they try – like music : only people with a good ear to music can excel – tell that to this one guy called Ludwig Van Beethoven! Music, Dance, Art, Math, Science, Sports, Oration, Spontaneity, Cooking name anything…anything can be learned and perfected with the right amount of practice involving hard work with no talent what so ever. Remember – the reason the door did not open is either because you did not knock it for long enough or you simply dint have the b***s to kick it open!

The next time some one tells you that you do not have a talent for something you now know it is not the talent you lack but the audacity to work for it. Do yourself this favour –  try and nurture the talents that are dormant in you, lying asleep waiting to be woken and to surprise you. And please promise yourself that when your kid cries or runs about or dances crying loudly, don’t ask him to shut up or behave…who knows you might have killed the next Micheal Jackson! Finally, a small modification to what a friend of mine says – ‘Dream on…Dream on till your dreams come true and if they show no signs of coming true then be ready, work to your death and make them true!’


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