Talent vs. Hard Work

Stephen King, a renowned writer once famously quoted that, “Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.”

Well, he’s right, read on to find out why. 

Undoubtedly, we’re all born talented. It often takes time to find out. Some of us know it right away or some of us might accidentally stumble across it. Some of us really excel at academics, while some of us fare better at extracurricular activities like drama and sports. Or, we were pushed at summer camps, drawing classes during vacations, or just picking a book up to pass time and then falling in love with reading and cultivating an interest in language. Or, some of us are a jack of all trades. Either way, realising that you have a talent makes life all the more meaningful. Our time feels more worthwhile. It feels like we have a purpose. It can make life more enjoyable and less of a boring chore that you got to do in order to survive.

In short, talent is associated with ability and how easily and effortlessly a person can grasp ideas and learn skills. It is associated with skills that we’re good at, something we pick up with ease and interest. Those who are considered talented are regarded as smart and intelligent. You might know someone like that in your circle, about whom people say, “Oh, Rahul? He’s such a talented singer.” or “She’s a gifted mathematician.” Upon hearing such comments, it sure does make you wonder, whether is talent everything. Or, whether everything comes easy to those who are talented.

Here’s where hard work comes in! When people talk about someone’s talent and shower praises on them, they rarely ever mention how hard that person must have worked days in and days out to better themselves. The hard work rarely gets to share the limelight and it feels scary. Whereas, in reality, a talent can go to waste if it is not utlilised in the right way. Without any hard work, the talented person isn’t challenged to do something with their skills. This can lead to feelings of unproductivity and laziness.

Hard work has other very important friends whose names are determination, discipline, and dedication. All of these factors contribute towards our personal development and make us a better and fully rounded person in the long run. Talent needs to be honed and cultivated with patience and practice.

Without the dedication or the determination to make the best use of the talents, it can make people lazy and laid back about pursuing goals. Yes, talent gives a push in the right direction and it’s very motivating to receive praise. But can the motivation last? More often than not, it tends to fizzle out leaving one feeling dispirited.

We are surrounded by so many examples that just prove how important hard work is.  Lazlo Polgar, a Hungarian psychologist decided to perform an experiment, which is now regarded as one of the greatest efforts in the history of mankind. To prove that talent is not all, he raised his three daughters, Susan, Sofia, and Judit to achieve extraordinary success in chess. They trained hard throughout their childhood and grew up to make records and achieve world-class results like never before. Lazlo Polgar’s experiment shows that when a child is born healthy, it is a potential genius. Whether that happens or not, depends on the upbringing and effort put in. It also shows that practice beats talent in the long run. If we spend enough time and effort to achieve mastery, we can reach the peak. Susan Polgar remarked, My father believes that innate talent is nothing, and success is 99 percent hard work. I agree with him.

Well, that is more than enough reason that proves he’s right.

Hence, Mr. King is right about what he said- only hard work can differentiate between a talented individual and a successful one. Clearly, just talent is not enough. Without the required amount of hard work, someone’s talent for dancing would eventually be forgotten, or dreams of becoming an artist and painting the world with their vivid imagination be left behind.

Like, it’s not just enough to wool and cotton to clothe yourself; you must also know how to sew. Like, how there are so many things that contribute towards cooking a meal. It’s not just one ingredient, but many that make up the great taste.

When talent is not used in the right way, it can consume a person and lead them down a self-destructive path because talent doesn’t know how to be quiet. There are so many resources to identify our strengths, such as guidance counselors or just as easy as talking to people we trust.

When it comes to hard work and talent, one is not better than the other. Both are crucial to lead a happy and fulfilling life, along with other aspects such as perseverance, and a much needed positive attitude. Talent gives the predisposition for becoming good at what you love and making an impact. But, just having talent is not enough. It needs to be nurtured.

The most important thing to remember is that we must always keep going and doing what makes us happy even though the results might not be that great. Don’t give up that one small thing you love and keep trying and exploring new things. Because how else will you know if you never try?

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