On Talent

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1 minute, 32 seconds

I’ve stumbled upon a great article called I Have no Talent (via). In that article, John says you can do anything if you put your mind to it. I couldn’t agree more.

Joen also wrote about the subject a few years ago in There Is No Such Thing As Talent. Here’s a quote of his I loved since the day I first read it:

There is no such thing as talent. Talent is greek for “divine gift”, and since I do not believe in anything divine, I do not believe in predisposed skills. Hard work, persistence and interest can get you anywhere, though.

It all reminded me of my early web design days. I used to print out hundreds of web design and development blog posts I found online. These were mostly articles and tutorials, a lot of which I did not understand at first. So, I reread them and reread them again. Then I thought about what I read and tried things out myself on my PC. Then I reread. Again. Sometimes, even that was not enough and it was months after that I figured things out while working on a project.

Where’s the divine gift in that?

Of course, it’s so much easier to say “I have no talent” and waste zero energy and zero time and do something else. But remember, nothing ever comes easy. There is no magic and there are no divine gifts. It’s all practice and determination.

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5 thoughts on “On Talent

  1. We all have our talents, in some cases they are hidden and we have to find them out. I know, there are always peeps who don’t care about their career and so, but who cares about them.

  2. While I’m with you mostly (“not having talent” is not an excuse for not doing what you enjoy), I acknowledge the existence of talent because I simply have to. There are situations where you just can’t deny it.

    An individual is talented when he can produce results as good as someone else’s with less initial effort.
    People do have different kinds of intelligences expressed in different amounts, and this “natural intelligence” in my book equals as talent.
    Some people play by ear naturally, while I was never able to learn it.
    I was able to draw better than most kids from art school at their age although I did 0 hours of practice and I had no one to explain all the theory to me.

    Web design is a technical skill, invented in the last 20 years. There’s nothing inherent and familiar in web design. We all start from zero and build up with the help of tutorials.
    Web design doesn’t require talent itself, but you’ll still be a sucky web designer if you can’t match colors.

  3. I do not think of talent as most people do. Just as Joen said in that quote, to me talent is a combination of work, persistence and interest, more than anything. I can agree with you in your “natural intelligence” theory, but I think that’s just one small piece of the puzzle.

    In any case, I just hate the picture that the people have created, and that is that talent is a divine gift, and hard work is rarely and barely mentioned.

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