Let's start of by saying that the answer to the above question matters quite a bit.
If you believe that talent is more important, then there are only really a handful of people in a given field that can really be successful at what they do. If talent is more valuable than hard work, all you can do is wait to see if you are good at something or not, give up if you don't seem talented and and just hope that you will eventually be talented at something.
If hard work is more important, we're all at a level playing ground. If you work hard, then you will reap the fruit of your efforts. You don't have to be gifted from birth, you don't need to have circumstances that favour your dreams and aspirations, you just get on with things and make things happen.
I believe that hard work is more valuable than talent. Moreover, those with talent can only benefit from their talents if they put them to work. There is no shortcut. Pure hard work and determination has won over talent for centuries, and nothing is about to change.
There's a quote that addresses this topic quite accurately, it is by Calvin Coolidge, 30th president of the United States. It says:
Sadly, being born with talent does not guarantee anything. There are many with natural talent who don't get far because the desire to work hard and develop that talent is missing. Then there are others who have decided to become good at something they naturally fail at. They pursue their goal with relentless focus and hours of hard work to the point where, to onlookers, they appear talented. But all it was hard work, and the refusal to give up.
Thank goodness we don't have to depend on talent. Because there would be no hope. For me, there are lots of things I'd like to become good at, but I simply wasn't born with natural talent. You too.
But the good news?
The ability to do hard work means that I can become as good as someone who is naturally talented, if I put in that extra effort.
Talent can work to your advantage if you use it right, but talent alone is not enough. The problem with natural talent is that those who possess it can have the tendency to rest on their laurels and just rely on those abilities.
But if you become complacent, then you'll find yourself pushed back by someone who wants it more.
Someone who wants what you naturally have and is willing to work for it.
Hard work and passion are an unbeatable match. Throw talent in there and it becomes easier, because you don't have to fight with as much self-doubt in the initial phases of growth and development. But talent alone is not enough.
I guess the real take-home from this post is that you don't have to feel intimidated by those who seem to have it all. Natural talent, great circumstances - you name it. If you're willing to work hard, you will get results. Nothing is as powerful as relentless determination and action.
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