Natural Talent vs Hard Work

One great fundamental of human culture is the concept of equality. The belief that some people are born with better circumstances than others is often an issue around the world, as most of us think that, as human beings, we should have equal rights to certain things, such as liberty, good life and other sources of happiness. However, as equal as we might be in the eyes of the law, it would wrong to assume that all of us are the same.

Naturally, there will be things that come easier for some people that others would work hard for. For example, you might find it easy to play a musical instrument or perform in a certain sport, but other people cannot just get these things right, causing them to quit. Undoubtedly, there exists the elusive quality we call talent, which seems to be the fuel of some things we do in every corner of our lives. You can either get better at something or learn a skill, but it appears that you either possess a talent or you do not, without a space in between.

For many years, the topic of natural talent vs hard work is common in debates all around the world, with people having reasonable grounds. To get a better understanding of this subject, here are lists of justifications from both sides.

List of Justifications for Natural Talent

1. Natural talent is an inborn gift for a particular activity.
By this definition, the main benefit of having talent is that you can easily learn, as you acquire skills readily with less hard work or practice than the average person. Aside from the advantage of a steep learning curve, it is also said that natural talent can boost your maximum potential, which implies that each person faces a limit that caps the highest performance level he or she can attain, no matter how long or hard he or she trains. As for a gifted performer, his or her ceiling is believed to be higher.

2. Natural talent is essential for success.
People are said to be “natural” or “gifted”, and this belief is the foundation of most, if not all, talent scouting programs that aim to recruit children with untapped or raw talents that they can build upon with rigorous preparations and training. The primary reason for this is that natural talent is thought of as a completely essential ingredient of a top performer. Some scouts even believe that without it, one can only go so far.

3. Hard work is a form of natural talent.
Tenacity, itself, is believed to be a form of natural talent and is not something that every person is capable of. Having the consistent ability to work hard towards a certain goal, despite all the difficulties, is considered a natural gift. It would be easy to judge talent by a particular work, such as a music score, a photograph or a painting, because it will be more conceivable.

4. Natural talent, in many cases, creates better performers.
If you have natural talent in a particular field, you will likely show better performance than other people who do not have the necessary talent for the activity. But though natural talent is needed for you to make astonishing achievements, you still need continuous training. For parents, when they notice their children having talent in particular skill or field, then they should motivate their children to challenge and exploit their potentials using reasonable means. This would result to a considerably higher incidence of their children becoming successful. In addition, children with natural talent can easily build up their self-confidence and become more prominent than other people when they reach adulthood.

List of Justifications for Hard Work

1. Hard work can grow talent.
With hard work, talent can be built and grown, but still it is usually the natural sort of inclination towards a particular thing that gets the job done more easily. Some people who have achieved greatness, like guitar player Paul Gilbert, are said to have talent and an inclination towards a particular area of interest in life. But still, they managed to achieve their status through hard work.

2. Hard work allows for more success.
You can consider talent as fuel for the fire that will kick-start you towards success. It makes things easier for you to get going from the start. But, if you have talent but do not work hard, things do not go the way you would expect to be. Remember, people who work hard without the talent can succeed more than talented people who just stick to the mediocre.

3. Natural talent tends to be just wasted.
Let’s face it, there is a lot of people with talent who just wasted their gifts and did not work hard to support themselves. Even those who are already well-known or famous have faded into the background when really hard-working and skillful individuals come into the scene. This boils down to work ethics and the amount of effort one is willing to exert for something.

4. Hard work can develop new talents.
In some cases, hard-working individuals can develop a certain talent or skill, which can imply that natural gift is just the result of long and hard work. In fact, many influential people around the world were able to achieve their status by working really hard behind the scene.

Bottom Line

With regards to success, there are certain qualities that can hold greater value than talent alone, which are desire, persistence and hard work. Of course, it is not impossible for a person with normal intelligence to learn to develop a certain attribute or accomplish an activity with sufficient and regular practice. And while having natural talent is good, it can still prevent someone to achieve something. A person who is told over and over that he has talent would tend to decide that he does not have to work hard to attain success. Also, it is rational to say that an individual can make it without inborn talent if he works hard. What is the lesson here? Well, natural talent will not give you an edge if you do not work hard!