Talent: 3 dishonest myths about it


“I just don’t have the talent for it, man” is probably one of the most annoying remarks I hear. While I cannot deny that it is something that exists in the world, I feel that people have a warped vision of what it truly implies.

So, I will attempt to give my own interpretation on what talent is and how much it can influence genuinely gaining a new skill and not only.

Talent needs to bring you money

Don’t we all love living in a capitalistic society that values money more than genuine human wellbeing and happiness? The idea that being talented should make us rich and grant us fame is kind of bad and it might make us even hate the thing that we are talented at.

I think that once something that you’re talented at and passionate about is the same as the thing that brings you money, things can get pretty tricky. Sure, you might love it at first, but there are a lot of hurdles when it comes to this approach. What if you start to dislike what you’re doing? What if you want to feel happy again when doing something that you are talented at, but you are too busy thinking about whether it will make money or not. What if you have to compromise a lot of yourself and your vision in order to make money?

I am not saying that making money out of something that you are skilled at is inevitably going to end in sadness. However, I do think that it is something to look out for when you decide to go down this path. Maybe you will discover that you enjoy doing something greatly, and you are quite talented at, without feeling like it should be your career.

Talent is a given. You even have it, or you don’t.

Let’s say you actually want to work in a certain industry that requires you to be talented. This is once again a point that annoys me. Sure, talent is probably reliant on genetics and a certain “it” factor. However, this fact is usually used to diminish the amount of hard work that goes into being proficient at one thing.

It might seem reluctant to say it, but the best people in a certain field aren’t there just because of talent. There’s a lot of work to make, networking to do, and failures to go through. Reducing all of that to a certain genetic predisposition or a caprice of fate can be pretty demeaning to the person that has worked so hard to achieve their dreams.

Only genetics and hard work matter

What really annoys me about the whole discourse about innate skills and genetics is that it seems pretty much centered around people who are at least middle class. Sure, you have your stories about people who rose from poverty due to their incredible skill. However, I see those stories as more of a failure of our society, rather than a triumph of human perseverance.

Like it or not, some talents require you to have money and time to develop them. Moreover, you need to have the time and the circumstances to be able to even find yours. It is easy to do so if you are living an average life, but it can be almost impossible for people who have to work multiple jobs only to make ends meet.

At the end of the day, I consider talent to be more about circumstances and hard work than it is about genetics. In order to genuinely get good at something, there is much more than it meets the eye, and actual work and possibilities that are used to the maximum capacity will often times outshine talent that is unused.

If you liked this article and you’d like to read more about talents, check out this other article or this video!


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