Does Talent Exist?

Is there such a thing as talent? Does it exist? The more I think about it, the less likely I think it is. There’s definitely skill acquisition, but I think talent is a myth.

I think we call people talented because we see the result of their hard work and perseverance. And because we see the result and not the effort and hard work it took to get to the result, we call it talent.

And let’s face it, if you spend a lot of time working at something, you eventually get good at it. And it looks easy when you do it.

Why does it matter?

The problem with the concept of “talent” is that people think either you have it or you don’t. And it’s easy to dismiss doing something difficult, like learning to play a musical instrument, as beyond your abilities because you don’t have “talent” for it.

You don’t have to become a professional musician to enjoy playing a musical instrument. You don’t have to become a professional artist to enjoy sketching or dabbling with paints. You don’t have to publish anything to enjoy writing.

Don’t let the idea of “talent” prevent you from discovering something you enjoy. And if you want to get better, keep working at it. Before you know it, people will be calling you talented.


© 2019 Peter Gruner

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