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Talent

August 15, 2013 Leave a comment

Heyhey all. Funny enough, it’s been a year since I last posted anything. Ok not that funny at all. Sue me.

Talent. It’s a strange word. What is talent? If you’re going to be cheeky about it, you’d say it’s money, or some measurement of wealth (cf. Parable of the Talents in the Bible). But seriously, when someone says, “Wow, he’s got talent”, or “Don’t waste your talent”, what does it really mean? How does one get talents? Is it possible to lose or waste it? Such a puzzling word, isn’t it?

Here are several definitions (or attemps thereof) of the word “talent”:

From Merriam-Webster:
the natural endowments of a person;
: a special often athletic, creative, or artistic aptitude;
: general intelligence or mental power : ability
From thefreedictionary.com:
A marked innate ability, as for artistic accomplishment.
Natural endowment or ability of superior quality.
Funny enough, Urban Dictionary defines talent as a sexually attactive person. Right. Interesting. Moving on…

Let’s begin. How does one acquire talent? The dictionaries seem to imply that since it is a “natural” ability, talent is something you are born with. It’s something that, the moment you entered this world through the womb of your mother, the special ability to, say, play badminton, or read a 1000-page book in 1 minute, or to do math, is implanted in you!! No one knows how it got there. It just happened to be there! Like, BOOM! You have the “talent” to play football! BOOM! You have the special ability to cook! BOOM! You have the ability to lead a nation! All of a sudden, BOOM it’s there! But here’s the best part……      …it is YOUR job to find and discover it! If you do, then good for you, and if you don’t, well, then, too bad.

The next premise everyone seems to believe in, is that everyone is born with certain talents. In order to contribute to society, one has to find one’s talents, whatever it is, and use it for the collective benefit of everyone around the world! Wheee. But what if you don’t? What if, in your lifetime you don’t find what your talent is, ever?! Well, then you end up being a beggar on the streets and considered a useless good-for-nothing scumbag. Of course then, one could also argue that your talent is begging. You have the “natural ability” to beg that other people don’t. No, they prefer to work, or as society puts it, “do something” with their lives.

This is pretty much the general view of talent as I understand it. Somebody tries something, people look at it, and first few glimpses reveal that he is better than average at what he does. “The kid’s got talent,” someone would say.

Here’s something to think about. What if, there is no such thing as “talent”? What if it’s all a big lie, something we cooked up in our heads? Just because a person, at a certain age, shows promise in something that he does, it does not necessarily mean he was naturally “gifted” with anything. It could be that he was just lucky. Not lucky in the sense that it just happened for him with him not doing anything, but lucky in the sense that, he tried something, it came off. He didn’t know much of what was going on, but it came off.  It could also mean that he had a better understanding of what he was doing earlier than others. That’s not talent, it’s just him being able to grasp certain things more quickly than others. Some people can learn fast, some people learn slow. Whatever it is, at the end of the day, it’s all down to how much hard work you put in to better understand what you do and eventually implement and put to practice what you know, subsequently producing better results every time.

Talent. Does it really exist? Maybe the term needs to be redefined.

FALCON, OUT!

P/s: Btw did anyone realize that I spelt “attractive” wrongly? =p
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Categories: Buzzes in my head