Talent vs. Hard Work

Personal Musings


Talented people are sought out in school, workplaces and field. They are quite rare that when we spot one, we have the instinctive reaction to acknowledge and nurture them. Teachers and mentors try to bring out the most of these people’s talents to put them into good use. Whether we like it or not, they are always one step ahead of those who are normal or close to being ordinary. Yet, more than anything, hard work gives someone the power to be three steps ahead.

A recent study by David Z. Hambrick and Elizabeth J. Meinz shows that profoundly gifted people outshine those who have less natural talent. But psychologist Anders Ericsson has estimated that it takes approximately 10,000 hours of practice to become a professional. So which one should people go after?

It was found that talent is not acquired but inborn or natural in some people. Talent will never come to people no matter how hard they practice. So if they chase after the right thing, they might just find themselves in greater places.


Hard work sounds exactly like itself and it is even rarer to find people who believe in its power and try to nurture this value. Statistics show that Japanese people are the most competent people in the world. They invest most of their time to practice in their field, and, as much as possible, they work during holidays. Their culture is also very rich and well-preserved because they put effort in learning and applying them in their lives.

Hard working people get way ahead from those who have natural talent. They are most likely to become successful than the latter. However, above these two, a person who has talent and works hard to develop it and excel in his field is even more difficult to find. We often see them in TV shows, books, and manga, but we get to find the real deal only once or twice in our lifetime.

If you have talent and you still want more, or if you’re not talented but motivated to take higher leaps in life, then it’s not yet too late for you. Guess what, the world is so fast that people would choose to sit in the corner and just observe the way it would turn out. If you stand and act to improve yourself, you are closer to those people who changed and impacted the world. “Hard work beats talent when it fails to work hard.” Instead of getting worked up about the gifts that we do and do not have, we should try to create long-lasting values to help ourselves first.

We can use the mentality of Japanese people as example. Holidays can only be taken after we can prove that we have worked hard. Be someone who, at the end of the day, deserves every praise and appreciation.