Talent is a topic that spawns most controversy in any kind of discussions I usually tend get involved in. The saddest thing about it is that most people usually approach this kind of talk with no intent to ever change their opinion. It's not the kind of talk where people search for truth together, but rather try to convince the other guy, that he's wrong. Like politics or religion, or both.
But nevertheless everyone deserves to have their own opinion, so here is mine:
I think it is rather obvious that there are a lot of things in life that are beyond our comprehension. To some it's luck, to others, more prone to German philosophy, it's vagueness in display of natural and logical laws and for others it's just things that happen. Some things we could comprehend if we put enough effort to it, some we couldn't. Some truly prevent us from achieving our goals while others greatly help us.
A sum of those factors could technically result in a person, being more prepared for something, more skilled from the get go. Which, viewed from aside, could seem like the person is getting a fairly impressive outcome with hardly any investments at all(at least compared to the others). This usually leads people to believe in someone having a “natural talent”.
But I hardly agree with the sense that most people put in these words. To become professionally good in something, and I mean real good, you've got to put in a lot more effort, than any “pre-made” experience could ever give you, if it's not the improved ability to learn itself, that you poses. Pretty soon all this initial knowledge wears out and becomes of little significance and you've got to work as much as everyone else has to.
But people, who got used to not putting any effort in what they do and getting results usually abandon their work as soon, as it becomes more demanding.
I know hundreds of professional artists and musicians. Some of them really amazing. Each of them put years of dedicated hard work into what they do and I'm yet to meet at least one, who attributes his skills and accomplishments to having a natural talent. From a professional artists perspective it appears that talent is more of a thing that self-proclaimed talentless people believe.
Some say, that talent is a spark or a soul of an art piece. That talentless people could achieve great results, but they'll never be like true gifted geniuses. If you don't have that “spark”, then no hard work would ever get you beyond a certain level. And your work would hardly have The “Feel”, which true masters have.
But I'm hardly buying that thing(crap) either.
Since this “spark” thing is incredibly individual. And hundreds of people (who prefer to think for themselves that is) would have their own say in what's the spark of this art piece is, and why it feels great. It's absolutely impossible to make every single person like what you do, and the only ones who really feel it would be those, who want to. What's genius for one is absurd for the other.
I am completely sure, that for every piece of art ever created, there is, was or will be men who could say that they understood that work. That they connected with it on an emotional level, “felt” it and possibly even found a deep philosophic sense in it (even if there was none).
From this we can conclude, that every single person is talented, which in it turn means that no one is.
Nowadays I've come to see a lot of situations when the term is usually misused as a social defensive mechanism. It is a great excuse for not pursuing ones dreams, when they demand to much work from you.
“I wanted to be an artist. But I had no talent for it, so I dropped it”.
It's really much easier to say this, then to spend sleepless nights studying light, anatomy and doing your art, or whatever else that is. It's amazing how easily humans' dreams shift from what they want, to what's easier for them, once they realize that dreams are hard. It is usually considered that talent is something that comes easy. So it's pure genuine human rationalism – to declare the easiest thing for you - your talent and then try to pursue it.
But, once you try some things in life, comes the revelation – there's no such thing as easy and everything comes at a price. And your dreams usually turn out the most damn hardest thing imaginable, because we always want what we do not have. And so, you may find yourself wondering, why would anyone want to waste a life on something hard, when there are things that come easier?!
And the only possible answer I can thimk of is “Because I Want To”.
Because doing what I feel is right is the only way to make me feel like anything, but wasting my life. I don't believe that “talent” comes easy and I am more than glad to work for it.
If there ever was any kind of divine gift, spark, luck, then, it must be your reason to keep on going. It's your love for what you do and your will to pursue it whatever the cost. That is your talent. That is the most precious thing you could ever have. And don't you dare burry it into the ground.
Knowledge comes with experience and skills come with practice. But your will comes from you, from your heart if you will. Be it because you are emotionally attached to something or you feel that this is a noble cause worth pursuing, whether you just want to say something, share a story or a lesson, help somebody, or even yourself – it could be your greatest advantage, your greatest strength, your undying reason for getting better. This is something that so many people lack – a clear vision of what they want to do with their life. And that really is something that brings it all in order.
So if a talent is something that only select few of us possess. Something, that gives one advantage before others, than it must be your dream, your desire, your will, which makes you not give up, no matter how hard you just want to fall flat on your face.
Cherish it. Please.
Anything mentioned above is just my modest humble opinion and I absolutely do not expect anyone to go with it, especially considering the tender nature of the topic. All of this could be proven useless easily, provided you can ask yourself one simple question:
“If there was something you were dreaming of doing so much, that you could hardly imagine yourself being happy doing anything else. Would you, or even could you, abandon it, if it was going extremely hard and everyone around you told you that you are absolutely positively Talentless?”
Having lived a bit I've come to think that a person really wants something, only when he considers no such option as a failure. In other cases it is just something “nice to have” or “nice to do”. When you really want something there's only one unchanging excuse for not succeeding:
“I've just haven't put enough work in it yet”.
All other excuses signify, that a person realizes that he can clearly live without it and is in doubt if he ever wants to overcomplicate his life and if his “nice to have” thing is worth working for. When a person says, that he has no talent in something even though he wants to do this, it clearly sounds for me like:
“If it was easier I'd take it, but since you have to work more for it I'd rather pass”.
And it's good for people to try and seek what suits them most. It just hurts sometimes to see people chase the illusive “easiest thing” for the rest of their lives.
So if you said “No” to the above mentioned question, then don't hesitate to throw all this talent crap out the window.
You don't need it.