The Problem of Talent

Talent is wonderful. Some people find easy and enjoyable things that others find difficult and scary. At an early age, I found that a few things that other people thought were hard, I found easy.

But there’s limits to (most) talent. There comes a point where raw talent will not take you further, whether it’s in athletics, acting, singing, directing, mathematics…anything.

Education and practice must step in. The more talented get further more easily, and perhaps can enjoy training more readily, because there’s an inherent joy in doing something you’re good at.

But therein lies the danger of talent. At a certain point, something stops coming easily. The enjoyable part is over, and the work must begin.

For me, and for many of the talented, I suspect, it meant that when the going got tough, I thought to myself “ah, that might be the limit.”

For those with less initial talent, but more determination, however, hitting the wall is a familiar feeling. They know that if you keep leaning on the wall, keep pushing, it starts to break. Tenacity is the first order of business.

For those who have never met the wall…they can be stymied, and decide it is impenetrable.

Talent does not guarantee tenacity – even as the fullest realization of talent REQUIRES tenacity.

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