Work vs. Talent

Success is not a one time achievement. It is a habit. All of us are born with capabilities that are unique to us and that will set us apart from the rest. However, in today’s over achieving world innate talent is a given. Therefore, what sets you apart and gets you to the top is the willingness and ability to labour diligently in order to hone the skill set you possess. Success is a flame that is ignited by inherent capacity and that is kept burning by hard work.

The world today markets talent as the “thing” they are looking for. If you are not exceptionally talented then you aren’t worth talking about. This is why it is easy to fall under the misconception that talent alone will get you places. Although the inherent capacity to excel at something would be favourable to you in your climb to the top you cannot rely on it alone.  Talent is amplified with your ability to work hard on it. For example, the NBA legend, Michael Jordan, is known for his exceptional prowess on court. However, when Jordan joined the league his jump shot wasn’t good enough. So he spent his off season taking hundreds of jump shots every day until it was perfect. Successful people in every field are often termed as “blessed” or even “lucky” but this is a gross injustice to the amount of hard work they have put in to get where they are today.  There is no substitute for working hard, not even exceptional skill.

Hard work in itself can be called a talent because not many people are capable of it. It requires grit and determination. These are not things you are born with but things you inculcate.  So even if you aren’t an unbelievable talent you get successful with just one big push towards your goal. For instance, the current world champion at chess, Magnus Carlsen, mastered the game just because he wanted to beat his sister. His parents narrate that they knew their children weren’t geniuses; however, Carlsen was driven by the need to be better than his sister.  This shows us that in the end you don’t really need to be a Beethoven or have an IQ of 170. You need to shun lethargy and find yourself a driving need to get down and dirty and get work done and you will soon find yourself on the top. If you keep reaching for and relying on the talents you were born with to support you, one day you may reach and not find anything left. On the other hand hard work is a well that doesn’t run dry.

The path to success is never happy go lucky. It is a meticulously planned, well charted out path. People who’ve made it big are those who have stuck to the plan, put in long hard hours and worked on their existing skill sets endlessly. They have worked very hard and then worked harder. Work is that thing that brings all the other pieces of the puzzle together. You can be a believer of luck, miracles, and even God, but God himself wouldn’t help you if you haven’t put in enough work to deserve his help. Thomas Jefferson once said, “I am a great believer of luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.” So in conclusion, working hard is a prerequisite for success. Talent is integral to success as well, but as the saying goes, “Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard.”



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