Do you believe in talent?

Pure Talent

So, I’ve heard a few motivational speakers in my life, or read the odd motivational blog on “how to be a great manager.” And I have found that they have a few theories that I don’t quite agree with. One of them really irks me…

They have this thing that they preach, which goes something like this: “We are all born equal.” Genetics or talent does not exist and has no effect on success. Everyone can be a professional athlete if they choose to do so.”

I don’t know if they’re inspired by the Declaration of Independence – “All men are created equal” (Which I think is fair when you’re talking about basic “human rights” or the law), or if they’re preaching a false sense of equality as a security blanket for stupid people, because a positive outlook improves productivity and stimulates the part of you that wants to succeed?

Surely all this ego-stroking would make people inflate their self value. And if everyone is special and equal… surely no-one is really special then?

Are we born with talent or do we eschew the averaging effects of socialisation and hang onto that which we all are given? If Inborn talent is a real thing, and the effects of education is real too, surely the key, then, is to know your own talent and then milk it for all that it’s worth. Right?

Are we afraid of excelling, or are we afraid of insulting people by having a genetic advantage in/on certain things? I do not mean this in a generalising/racist, dodgy kind of way. I believe some people are born with business skills, some people are born athletes, some people are born artists. I believe your life is made up of choices. You can do anything you put your mind to, but if it is not one of your talents, you will not necessarily be the best at it.

Do you believe in talent?