Are the talents that people are born with enough to guarantee success?
Are the talents that people are born with enough to guarantee success?
Rachel Lee

Talent is Nothing Without Hard Work

When people typically fail at doing something, it is convenient to attribute it to “not being good at it.” Be it sports, playing an instrument, or a school subject, oftentimes, the challenges people face are simply pushed aside and regarded as something just out of their natural skillset—the set of tools they were born with, thrived with, lived with, worked with. On the other hand, there are prodigies, a rare sector of people who excel at those sports, 

instruments, subjects, and more.

I believe the difference between someone who is successful and “naturally talented” and someone who is struggling at something is the approach they take to learning something.

NeuroNation states that the success various talented people display “is due to their family environment and social background that [prodigies] become such geniuses.” Factors like memory may also affect information processing within individuals, with many talented individuals including the prodigies discussed in the quote above having excellent memorization skills.

Essentially, this means that someone who is skilled at their craft doesn’t have to be gifted at it, per se, but simply willing to work on it daily, no matter how long it takes, to become a master of it. Throughout the process, they will likely develop prodigy-like skills such as excellent memorization abilities. Similarly, no matter how talented a person is, if they aren’t willing to work hard to consistently improve at something, then they’re no better off than a person who isn’t naturally gifted. Gifted people are credited with being naturally talented at something, and yet, a person has to work to be talented at something that could be equally as talented or successful. Someone’s willingness to continuously put effort towards something can also create opportunities for them to succeed.

People argue that, in the end, someone who is talented will always be the #1 choice for anything they do, for example, first place at an athletic competition. However, studies have shown the contrary. 

In athletics, high school athletes and American Olympians and Paralympians believed that hard work was beneficial to their success at 70% and 96%, respectively. 

However, the benefits of effort over talent are best highlighted in a study done in regards to the work industry. 86% of people said they would prefer to employ a worker with a strong work ethic, despite gaps in talent and experience, and 75% of business executives believed that the work ethic people display is more important than an individual’s talent. Over 90% of employers also opt to promote hardworking employees in comparison to ones who demonstrate talent.

This professional preference towards people who place more effort in tasks means that hard-working people not only have the same opportunities as naturally talented ones but are substantially more likely to succeed in that field simply because they show a willingness to improve.  

All of this leads to the conclusion that if someone is talented and refuses to put in the necessary effort to be the best in their field, then they are essentially wasting their potential because hard workers are constantly improving themselves, learning important skill sets, and building their character, and thus outperforming them. 

We as a society should recognize that simply disregarding our challenges with phrases like “That’s just not “my thing” or “I don’t think I’m a ___ person” are not only limiting our success but are blatantly untrue. With the proper effort, principles, and practice, anyone can succeed at anything they wish–the only thing they have to do is try.


Photo courtesy of STOCKVAULT.NET

View Comments (1)
More to Discover

Comments (1)

All The Arcadia Quill Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • A

    Arts & EntertainmentFeb 2, 2024 at 12:30 AM

    Great article Myriam! I share your feelings on the importance of hard work and the danger of self-imposed limitations, thanks for writing about it 🙂