Natural Talent vs Hard Work

Natural Talent vs. Hard Work

In the debate between natural talent vs hard work, which side do you think is winning? Worldwide, the majority of our fellow humans go through their whole education, career and life working very hard. Yet, only about 13% feel like they’re reaching their potential, the vast majority are disengaged, bored and wondering about what their talents are. Why is this happening?  

Ken Robinson’s TED Talk on How Schools Kill Creativity goes to the heart of the matter of why so many people fall into careers that don’t fit what they do best. He debunks universally accepted assumptions that view human intelligence and ability as blank-slate or one-size-fits-all concept. If everyone’s a blank slate, then the people who work the hardest and go to the best schools come out on top, right? The stats don’t support these assumptions. Our “hard work is all it takes to succeed” mythology is not the whole truth, which is somewhere in between nature and nurture.

Robinson uses the term “creativity” more broadly to talk about different kinds of innate talents that each person brings to the table. Distinct natural talents such as spatial intelligence, social intelligence and other important abilities are not part of the vocabulary in most educational systems. 

The above video has been viewed by millions of curious people globally. Robinson’s playful storytelling warms you up to a profoundly important and controversial topic, that nature has essentially lost the debate to nurture at great consequence. Robinson calls for a complete reinvention of the educational process to one that embraces each of us as innately talented at very different things. I like to call it “being a natural.”

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