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There is no such thing as talent.

Guts

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Hey guys, I was talking to my girl friend and she was telling me how she loved art more as a kid. She's a phenomenal artist. But one time she entered a competition, and got told by judges that her work didn't follow the guidelines and lacked innovation. After that day, she never did art seriously. In belief that other people were more "talented" than her. Then I asked her; "Well, you never thought that maybe your 9th grade project wasn't the peek of your art, and that the judges were making a point?"

Two things I was upset by.
1: She let the opinions of others stop her from doing what she enjoys.
2: She believed that her lack of talent limited her ability.

Gladly enough she's very intelligent and listened to me and also now agrees with me!
So I told her a made up story. Who do you think is more talented?
There are two kids: Hugh and Mungus
*Hugh's father is an artist who has taught his son his passion on his spare time.
- Mungus' father owns a painting company. In his spare time, he taught him about hard work will always pay off.
* Hugh's EXPERIENCE in art makes him an excellent A student in art. Which kids then call it "Talent". Hugh now thinks he's a level above the students, believing he's way above the competition. So in his spare time he only needs to practice for an hour. He only has enough time to draw the things he likes.
- Mungus found great interest in art, but never really drew much. He was a D student. Listening to his father, he dedicates 3 hours of practice everyday. He has enough time to draw the things he likes, and the things he sucks at.

Flash forward 8 years, it is now 9th grade. Hugh and Mungus enter an art competition. To Hugh's surprise, Mungus wins the competition. He thinks "How did he win? In first grade I was so much better than him.. I guess he's just talented."

You see guys, this is why I don't believe in talent. I only believe in experience. To assume someone was fated to greatness is outrageous. All I'm saying, is the experiences of one's childhood can greatly mold a person. Break free from the chains you're in, and start working harder than anyone.
 

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Last edited:

CuttingTraffic

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100% agree.
I used to MASSIVELY hold myself back, sub-consciously thinking I was less talented than everyone else (or don't have the proper skills or whatever people tell themselves).

Looking back I now see, that it really just is a matter of taking continuous action toward a certain goal that will put you ahead of the game, almost no matter where you start out.
I think once you understand that, there isnt much that can hold you back.
 

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I agree with you on the importance of action. But, I disagree with you that talent doesn't exist.

Talent definitely exists. But, effort is much more important.

Talent x Effort = Skill
Skill x Effort = Success

Talent x Effort x Effort = Success

That's Angela Duckworth's formula from her book Grit.

Some people are just born with certain gifts. They could be physical, mental, or even emotional gifts. If those people put in the same amount of effort as a less talented person, they'll have more success.

You can't change your talent. And you should only focus on things you can change. So, you should never think about your talent(s) or lack thereof.

Focus on your effort. Give smarter effort. Give focused effort. Leverage your effort. And in the end you'll win.

The tortoise vs. the hare.
 

Mattie

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1: She let the opinions of others stop her from doing what she enjoys.
2: She believed that her lack of talent limited her ability.
This happens to many people.
 

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I agree with you on the importance of action. But, I disagree with you that talent doesn't exist.
Yeah I agree.

As fleshy meat sacks, genetics (and such) are unfortunately a thing in life.

Some people are naturally gifted at certain things.
You can't help that, but you also shouldn't deny it.
It just "is".

Of course, that should never stop you from taking action and persevering - lots of less talented folks beat out the talented ones simply because the less talented ones don't rely purely on a base skill that's taken for granted. They adapt, overcome, push through and kick a$$.

Someone may be a literal genius but make 10x less than a dumbass, simply because the dumbass is really good at trying and trying again while the genius "knows better".

Someone may be God's gift to sports but gets beaten out again and again by less genetically perfect competitors because they were better teammates, trained harder, analyzed plays, didn't stay out all weekend drinking, and took shit more seriously.

Talent is nice to have, and it's damn hard to beat a naturally talented person who tries as hard as a less talented person, but the world is huge and there's enough room at the top for all who try. Talent or not.
 

Kevin88660

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Talent is very overrated because for most cases of failure it is a lack of practice.

Talent matters when it is at the extreme end. Let me use academic study for example. Kids with diagnosed mental problem cannot handle academic work. National rep in math olympiad certainly have a high degree of talent.

But for most kids that score between A and F in normal curriculum math...it is largely a failure of practice and coaching.
 

NVious

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Total nonsense, ofc there is talent.

You don't have to tell lies to get people to work hard.

If you don't believe in talent, let's bet 1:1, you take an 80 IQ person and build them up and I'll take a 150 IQ person and build them up and we'll see how it goes for both of us.
 

Kevin88660

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Total nonsense, ofc there is talent.

You don't have to tell lies to get people to work hard.

If you don't believe in talent, let's bet 1:1, you take an 80 IQ person and build them up and I'll take a 150 IQ person and build them up and we'll see how it goes for both of us.
Well you are using extreme cases. 80 is someone having learning disability. 150 is MENSA level.
 

Kid

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Total nonsense, ofc there is talent.

You don't have to tell lies to get people to work hard.

If you don't believe in talent, let's bet 1:1, you take an 80 IQ person and build them up and I'll take a 150 IQ person and build them up and we'll see how it goes for both of us.

I first build 80 IQ person to 150 IQ. Then we can bet 1:1.
 
OP
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Guts

Guts

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Total nonsense, ofc there is talent.

You don't have to tell lies to get people to work hard.

If you don't believe in talent, let's bet 1:1, you take an 80 IQ person and build them up and I'll take a 150 IQ person and build them up and we'll see how it goes for both of us.
Intelligence isn't talent lmao, talent is the ability to do something better than someone prior to practicing. It is more likely to be talented if you are intelligent, but not all intelligent people are talented. Makes sense? The example you gave is a philosophical fallacy. People say that "He's more talented" But it's just genetic advantages. In the end of days the 95 IQ who puts in more work than the 105 IQ talented guy will become more talented. I'm clearly talking about how people believe talent is an indicator of success but they don't talk about the sweat and tears that were put in that "talent".
 

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rynor

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You see guys, this is why I don't believe in talent. I only believe in experience. To assume someone was fated to greatness is outrageous. All I'm saying, is the experiences of one's childhood can greatly mold a person. Break free from the chains you're in, and start working harder than anyone.
Agreed 100%. I also only believe in experience and concentrated efforts towards your craft over anything else.

Another confidence killer is comparing yourself to people with much more experience than you. For instance, if you're starting a business in a specific field, and you compare your success at 6 months to someone in the same field who has been doing it for 30 years, you'll get discouraged. I'm very guilty of this.
 

NVious

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Well you are using extreme cases. 80 is someone having learning disability. 150 is MENSA level.
Because it proves that innate ability exists.

Intelligence isn't talent lmao, talent is the ability to do something better than someone prior to practicing. It is more likely to be talented if you are intelligent, but not all intelligent people are talented. Makes sense? The example you gave is a philosophical fallacy. People say that "He's more talented" But it's just genetic advantages. In the end of days the 95 IQ who puts in more work than the 105 IQ talented guy will become more talented. I'm clearly talking about how people believe talent is an indicator of success but they don't talk about the sweat and tears that were put in that "talent".
Talent:
natural aptitude or skill.

Yes intelligence is talent.

Along an intellectual plane they are.

Sorry, your genetic aptitude matters, your friend sounds mentally frail. Sorry to tell you but there is likely no helping her. You can try lying to her about talent, but personally I think an extreme belief in genetics as mattering a ton is hardwirded into us (hence her attitude).

I think telling people the truth works better than telling them these extremist lies, at the end of the day you are really no better than someone who says that only talent matters. Take a more nuanced and less black and white position and you might have better luck.
 

Kevin88660

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IQ is a performance test. No test can test “ability” exclusively. Ability and potential is an abstract concept. They exists but they matter a lot less than what people think with the exception at the extreme spectrum.

A kid scoring F versus A kid scoring A on a high school math test is largely due to difference in coaching and practice. Someone who can get a PHD in math and publish a prize winning paper has a strong element of talent as the prerequisite in addition to his handwork and that talent is not found in most people.

I will use the next example of body buildings. A six pack guy had six packs and ten percent body fat is not due to talents. Anyone can do it. The difference of him from an overweight guy has nothing to do with talent. But a NATURAL bodybuilding contest winner with NO DRUG certainly have a very unique talent in addition to his hardwork.
 
OP
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Guts

Guts

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Because it proves that innate ability exists.



Talent:
natural aptitude or skill.

Yes intelligence is talent.

Along an intellectual plane they are.

Sorry, your genetic aptitude matters, your friend sounds mentally frail. Sorry to tell you but there is likely no helping her. You can try lying to her about talent, but personally I think an extreme belief in genetics as mattering a ton is hardwirded into us (hence her attitude).

I think telling people the truth works better than telling them these extremist lies, at the end of the day you are really no better than someone who says that only talent matters. Take a more nuanced and less black and white position and you might have better luck.
“I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” - Michael Jordan
Here's a TALENTED person. Telling you what SUCCESS is.

In the end the disagreement between us is simple. You think natural aptitude matters so much, while I think power of will matters more. The whole nature vs nurture argument. I am not completely disagreeing with you that nature is definitely effecting our lives. But I personally am on the nurture side of life. Throughout my life I've always been put in impossible positions but I always found a way to slither out of them. Perhaps you as well have been put in tough situations, and maybe by miraculous fate, your genetic advantages helped you get out of that position. The point im trying to make, in both scenarios, they share only one thing, and that is Power of WILL. Which is located in both Talented and Non-talented people. The people with power of will, will succeed. (pun intended)
 

eliquid

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Total nonsense, ofc there is talent.

You don't have to tell lies to get people to work hard.

If you don't believe in talent, let's bet 1:1, you take an 80 IQ person and build them up and I'll take a 150 IQ person and build them up and we'll see how it goes for both of us.
No offense. But this is the worst example I have ever seen.

Talent != IQ

I get what you meant overall, but the IQ example needs to be changed to something else.

Why?

In the extreme example you posted, you basically said an advantage is talent ( 80 IQ at challenged level vs 150 at MENSA level ). If I was born with a 3rd leg, that would not be talent.
 
Last edited:

Matt Hunt

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Take 10 people who have never hit a golf ball in their life, and have them do it.
Some won't even make contact with the ball, some will make contact, but it'll just roll forward, and maybe 1 or 2 will hit the ball just fine, as though they have played before.
That's talent.
Now, they won't make the PGA Tour on talent alone. But it does give them an advantage over the guy who couldn't make contact with the ball. If they both work equally as hard, the one with more talent will always be better.
 

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Hey guys, I was talking to my friend and she was telling me how she loved art more as a kid. She's a phenomenal artist. But one time she entered a competition, and got told by judges that her work didn't follow the guidelines and lacked innovation. After that day, she never did art seriously. In belief that other people were more "talented" than her. Then I asked her; "Well, you never thought that maybe your 9th grade project wasn't the peek of your art, and that the judges were making a point?"

Two things I was upset by.
1: She let the opinions of others stop her from doing what she enjoys.
2: She believed that her lack of talent limited her ability.

So I told her a made up story. Who do you think is more talented?
There are two kids: Hugh and Mungus
*Hugh's father is an artist who has taught his son his passion on his spare time.
- Mungus' father owns a painting company. In his spare time, he taught him about hard work will always pay off.
* Hugh's EXPERIENCE in art makes him an excellent A student in art. Which kids then call it "Talent". Hugh now thinks he's a level above the students, believing he's way above the competition. So in his spare time he only needs to practice for an hour. He only has enough time to draw the things he likes.
- Mungus found great interest in art, but never really drew much. He was a D student. Listening to his father, he dedicates 3 hours of practice everyday. He has enough time to draw the things he likes, and the things he sucks at.

Flash forward 8 years, it is now 9th grade. Hugh and Mungus enter an art competition. To Hugh's surprise, Mungus wins the competition. He thinks "How did he win? In first grade I was so much better than him.. I guess he's just talented."

You see guys, this is why I don't believe in talent. I only believe in experience. To assume someone was fated to greatness is outrageous. All I'm saying, is the experiences of one's childhood can greatly mold a person. Break free from the chains you're in, and start working harder than anyone.
 

Ilya C

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Some say talent is not intelligence. I tend to disagree.

As far as I know, IQ is a test with statistically significant results. And a big part of intelligence is the process of pattern recognition. If you've got experience in at least one area, you'll notice abstract patterns.

The more intelligent people are, the higher levels of abstractions they can grasp. It is no coincidence that some scientific breakthroughs are made when patterns from one domain are applied to another.

To move audience with a medium such as art, or to discover a way to move things (such as a wheel), or to burn them (such as fire) you've got to "see" things. In the early days you could literally see them. Now it's more about understanding, traversing hierarchies of concepts up and down, analyzing (deconstruction), synthesizing (construction).

Since low hanging fruits in the well known domains have been reaped generations ago, you've got to either discover a new domain, or work really hard to advance the existing one.

I think (years/decades of) the hard work will allow you to build (therefore, recognize) those patterns, but your innate abilities will define the limits. They are also responsible for the speed of learning, and it is clearly visible if you teach people offline.

Therefore yes, hard work spanned over the decades is instrumental. Whether it will lead to outstanding or merely good results is hard to predict.

So I'd say intelligence does matter, but to worry about its "level" makes no sense. You have to work hard, and focused, and for an extended period of time either way.

P. S. And of course, say, for a piano player intelligence is not enough. You've got to have fingers and hands to move in a particular way. Same for sports, etc.
 

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Talent is a poisoned idea, even if some people have higher natural aptitudes for certain things. The problem is, a kid will try to defend their identity as "talented" or "smart" by taking fewer risks and avoiding failures. Failure in a "fixed" model is evidence of a defect. Failure in a "growth" or "effort" model is evidence of progress. This is why you have to correct the grandparents when they say "Timmy is so smart and talented!" No, Timmy tries hard, puts in his practice, and cares about the trombone (or whatever.) That's why Timmy is so damned good for his age, and Timmy will have a better life if he understands that.
 

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Here’s a note that I read on an electronic card from Virgin Pulse:

“‘A happy life consists not in the absence, but in the mastery of hardships.’

― Helen Keller, author, political activist, and lecturer

It’s the difficult parts of life that make us stronger. Embrace the challenges. Face your fears. And learn to be resilient.”

Success is a combination of talent plus effort. The effort means even getting up in the morning to give it another go, even when you’ve got family stress, job stress, fatigue, dread about the futility that you’ve felt...

As a personal example, the fourth book of my middle-grade series is noticeably better than my first. My subsequent YA novel decent start. However, I’m now reading a YA novel, Skyward, by Brandon Sanderson. Despite that schoolteachers praised my writing, and my books were well-reviewed, Sanderson clearly has a lot to teach me. So I know I have work to do.

When I was 12, a friend and I both played the piano. We’re still friends, a decade or two or three later. My friend was naturally very talented. He also took it more seriously than I did (although I was pretty good). I didn’t hate playing music, yet academics were more important to me. My friend became a truly amazing pianist, yet had a very hard time with academic tasks that I found quite simple.

Is my friend a low-IQ person? He understands musical complexities, details and nuances like no other person I know.

Is he highly intelligent? Reading comprehension and other academic skills were not his strong suit.

He found a significant talent in one area and pursued it very diligently. So he succeeded in that area.

Had I taken music as seriously as my friend did, I still probably would not have become the next Bach. I would have fulfilled more of my own potential, though.

We all have our own potentials. Keep striving to fulfill your own; that is what truly matters.
 

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natew

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Here’s a note that I read on an electronic card from Virgin Pulse:

“‘A happy life consists not in the absence, but in the mastery of hardships.’

― Helen Keller, author, political activist, and lecturer

It’s the difficult parts of life that make us stronger. Embrace the challenges. Face your fears. And learn to be resilient.”

Success is a combination of talent plus effort. The effort means even getting up in the morning to give it another go, even when you’ve got family stress, job stress, fatigue, dread about the futility that you’ve felt...

As a personal example, the fourth book of my middle-grade series is noticeably better than my first. My subsequent YA novel was a decent start to a series, yet left room for improvement. So I know I’ll have to do the work.

When I was 12, a friend and I both played the piano. He was naturally very talented. He also took it more seriously than I did (although I was pretty good). I didn’t hate playing music, yet academics were more important to me. My friend became a truly amazing pianist, yet had a very hard time with academic tasks that I found quite simple.

Is my friend a low-IQ person? He understands musical complexities, details and nuances like no other person I know.

Is he highly intelligent? Reading comprehension and other academic skills were not his strong suit.

He found a significant talent in one area and pursued it very diligently. So he succeeded in that area.

Had I taken music as seriously as my friend did, I still probably would not have become the next Bach. I would have fulfilled more of my own potential, though.

We all have our own potentials. Keep striving to fulfill your own; that is what truly matters.
 

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Talent doesn't exist?

Eat this:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JL6NAIVpl54


History, and life, has many many examples of people like the above. Even more insane ones. That's innate talent.
Indeed, it's hard to swallow, which is why the self-help industry is an eternal, multi-billion business.
 
OP
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Guts

Guts

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Talent doesn't exist?

Eat this:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JL6NAIVpl54


History, and life, has many many examples of people like the above. Even more insane ones. That's innate talent.
Indeed, it's hard to swallow, which is why the self-help industry is an eternal, multi-billion business.
Talent doesn't exist?

Eat this:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JL6NAIVpl54


History, and life, has many many examples of people like the above. Even more insane ones. That's innate talent.
Indeed, it's hard to swallow, which is why the self-help industry is an eternal, multi-billion business.
Here's the real question: Has he ever done this before? Has he tried this before and failed?
 

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The guy who draws the skylines. His savant abilities are the result of brain damage. If you study the human mind, you'll realize this kind of thing happens a lot. When certain capacities are taken away from us, we have no choice but to direct all our mental energy to those thinking abilities we have left. In his case, that is his spacial memory and estimation skills. It's not 'unique talent', so much as the genius almost anyone is capable of if they focus on something. Artists get there by focusing on that part of their ability for years. He got there because that was the part that was left to him. You have choices, so you can focus on one thing or several things that you believe will make you great.
 

SamRussell

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The Talent Myth

These two books dispell the myth of "natural talent".

Talent doesn't exist. What is perceived as "natural talent" is usually a case where someone has either:
1. An inclination to working on something and does so obssesively
2. Is in an environment where working on the skill is a natural part of the environment

Talent is used as an excuse to be mediocre at something

EDIT: Writing a random fictional scenario that confirms your point, is not proving your point.
 

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Talent is not binary. Neither is intelligence. Nor hard work, nor anything else.

The debate goes on and on simply because people want an answer in a sentence but it just doesn't exist.

IMO a better question to ask is.

What are you willing to do and do and DO AND DO AND DO repeatedly day after day without wanting to bang your head against the wall? Regardless whether that is your "talent", do it.

Disclaimer: I DO believe there are some things that some individuals can do exponentially greater than OTHER individuals. But when you are looking to figure out your career path, that's just not the correct question to ask.
 

DayIFly

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Intelligence isn't talent lmao, talent is the ability to do something better than someone prior to practicing. It is more likely to be talented if you are intelligent, but not all intelligent people are talented. Makes sense? The example you gave is a philosophical fallacy. People say that "He's more talented" But it's just genetic advantages. In the end of days the 95 IQ who puts in more work than the 105 IQ talented guy will become more talented. I'm clearly talking about how people believe talent is an indicator of success but they don't talk about the sweat and tears that were put in that "talent".
IQ tests were designed so the military could sort out people who wouldn't provide a net positive result within a relatively short span of training time. This was based on empirical data they gathered. So the focus of IQ tests is the lower spectrum, e.g. learning-disabilities, etc. There is not much meaning in trying to do something with IQ results data in regards to high-IQ individuals; which ties into this being not a philosophical fallacy. A high-IQ individual can get a PHD in math/physics/whatever or be on welfare if there's a lack of discipline. But a low-IQ individual can't get a PHD no matter what. That's the difference. With a high IQ you have more options in life. You can call it potential or talent.
 

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