Musings/Opinionated Articles

Talent Vs Practice

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Since birth, we have been misdirected when it comes to the word talent. They, our elders (parents and many teachers) talk in terms of black and white only.

Either you have it or you don’t.

And it leads to either acceptance or rebellion, whichever suits your most dominant nature. For years, I chose acceptance.

Since my childhood, I am fascinated towards singing and storytelling. I just relish every moment I get a chance to sing or to tell a story in my way. And hence, I chose Music in the 8th standard as an elective – co-curricular activity. But my teacher never took my voice test. He said that I was not god gifted enough to sing in the morning assembly.

And after some teasing by my friends and siblings, I accepted it. I stopped singing in front of people. And it was only when I started playing guitar, I realized that I can sing. Though, not as good as my classmates in school who were chosen to sing in the morning assembly, but I can improve it.

And this thing not only happens with Music, but with every other thing. Let it be, sports ( even Michael Jordan wasn’t selected in his school basketball team in the first attempt) studies, arts (just google and you would be surprised to know about the earlier failures of your favourite artist) and so on.

Failures don’t mean you don’t have talent, they just mean you need more practice and more dedication. But instead of questioning our dedication, we ask ourselves: Am I talented enough?

And often when the answer, due to our conditioning, comes NO, we drop our interest in that activity. Who wants to be a loser at something, right? But, while doing so we forget that there was something that attracted us to that thing. Some kind of intuition, energy or something.

It’s not that we have nothing for a particular field. We have a desire, though weak sometimes at initial stages, to excel in it. And if great artists did anything besides making great art, they made us believe that if you have a burning desire to do something, you often end up doing it the best.

Talent is just the ability to do something better than others. If you meet someone who can do it better than you, you call him more talented. That means it’s measured relatively.

And a lot of capabilities, if not all, that can be measured relatively, can be enhanced through practice. Practice is a way of making new connections in your brain while learning something. It’s scientifically proven that when you do a thing often, it gets kind of hardwired in your brain. That’s why your handwriting gets improved, your driving gets improved, your speaking skills get improved and so on.

In a nutshell, never let “Having a lack of some God-given Talent” stop you from achieving what you desire the most. It’s often that desire is more God-given than the talent we make too much fuss about.

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Talent Vs Practice: If you really want it, it really doesn’t matter!
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