How many of us have been brought up on the notion that a lot of talent will automatically equate to a lot of success?
This is a notion that has been portrayed by the media time and time again, as well as perpetuated by societies to the point of glorifying talented people, at the cost of sometimes completely ignoring their faults.
There are even complete shows built around finding talented people that have been running for over decades. But once the show is over, we rarely hear of the participants again.
Ever since childhood, we were taught to believe that if we were talented at something, regardless of what it was, then we were special enough and on our way to stardom. These thoughts materialized, especially in cases where adults took talented children under their wings. These children instantly become worthy of their time, their efforts, and even their dedication.
But if talent was all it took for some of us to become successful, how come there is an endless number of “talentless” people who seem to prosper? And why, in contrast, are there many talented people out there who are sitting at home, brooding?
Saying that talent alone is all it takes to become successful is as erroneous as it is misleading because talent, in its raw state, can only get us so far.
On the other hand, if we were to combine talent with resiliency and the willingness to work on our skills and hone them, then we will be able to transform our natural gifts into advantages.
Growing our talents takes time, dedication, patience, ambition, and most importantly, a lot of hard work (that many of us aren’t willing to do). I, myself, was also one of these people.
I wanted everything and I wanted it fast. I had no patience, nor the will to take my time while learning. I wanted to become successful, as quickly as possible. After all, isn’t that the fast track to happiness, as advertised so willingly everywhere and anywhere?
It was a solid “no” that I learned the hard way. What I also noticed during that time is that many people were able to succeed in fields they had no talent for. In contrast, many people seemed destined for greatness, seemingly stuck in mediocrity.
There was this person I once knew who was averagely good-looking and an overall decent human being. Growing up, she was charming, but apart from that, there was nothing about her that particularly stood out.
Well, at least not for the naked eye.
Before her rise to fame, no one would have guessed that she was destined to be a star, least of all, her. But then, fast forward to a few years later and, there she was, on her way to achieving staggering success by forging her path.
Did she have some hidden talent that she only decided to reveal later on? No, not at all.
Was she so beautiful that the world was in complete awe of her beauty? Not really.
She was beautiful, yes, but so were many others.
So, why did she, in particular, succeed?
Well, because she was resilient.
She was willing to put in the efforts no one else was willing to put in and take the risks that would have deterred even the most ambitious ones of us. She stood her ground, while most of us would have given up a long time ago, blaming our unlucky stars and doubting our talent, instead of cherishing it and finding ways to improve it before unleashing it onto the world.
She found something she loved and taught herself all the skills she needed to succeed. She honed her craft and worked resiliently to harness her strengths and turn her weaknesses into powerhouses.
Watching her has taught me how toxic it can be to believe that talent alone is enough—because this will get us stuck. Solely believing that doesn’t make up for a solid foundation, and when strong winds start to blow, we will be shaken to our core, doubting ourselves with every passing cloud.
She has taught me that talents, without effort day-in and day-out, are worth nothing. Sure, talent might give us an advantage over others, but it might also get us stuck in the notion of doing only minimal efforts because we are secure in our belief that our gift is enough. This belief fails to make us realize that talented people need to double their efforts to truly honour their advantages.
And when they refrain to do so, talent will inhibit them from achieving their dreams.
Talent, if carefully treated, can be the catalyst to great growth but in the end, it is our drive that will dictate if we will be able to make it or break it. The question that remains is: Can we make it without having any particular talent?
I believe that in this modern-day age, and with all the available resources available to us, we actually can.
All that we need is a large set of skills that we are actively working on improving every day, along with an analytical mind to help us realize what we need to continue working on and what we need to let go of.
It is also important to have confidence in ourselves and the will to try over and over again.
Talent is great but alone, it is never enough.
What talent needs for it to become a force to reckon with is resiliency—and a lot of it—because resiliency on its own is a power of nature.