What Matters More: Talent or Hard Work?

Every day, you accomplish a lot. Sure, you may not feel like you do, but every day you do something that you should be proud of. Whether you did well on a test, felt strong on your run, or even if you just spent 20 minutes talking with a friend, you accomplished quite a bit. But one does not simply accomplish something by chance. No one sits atop a golden throne of entitlement. Either by talent or hard work, one accomplishes, but which one makes more of a difference?

Natural talent often stupefies. Onlookers of professionals across every field of study or practice are amazed at what one talented individual can do. Talent is associated with impression; talent is when one’s actions excel oneself in terms of appearance or lack of experience. If a really short basketball player dunks on a taller one, an audience might be taken aback by a display of talent.

Oppositely, hard work often garners respect. Waking up early, going to bed late, and immensely focusing on a goal are all admirable qualities. It may take days, weeks, months, or years before one’s process is fulfilled with a favorable outcome. With hard work, onlookers respect the process an individual takes, even if their results do not mirror those of the talented.

Two people may take very different approaches to accomplishing the same goal. You may study hours for a math test and walk away with an A, whereas your friend may not even look at his or her notes and receive the same grade. Hard work versus talent is at play here. Different people work differently. But do the ends justify the means? Or is there something unfair in this situation?

There is a certain level of unfairness in situations like these. Many people point to genetics when it comes to sport, or levels of intelligence when it comes to academia. Some people possess a certain biological superiority when it comes to completing tasks with more ease. Not every human is created equal in terms of their bodily capacities, and that’s unfair. But, every human is ideally created with the same opportunities, which is why those who work hard still push themselves despite an array of seemingly more apt competitors.

Talent matters more for objective results. Winning a chess tournament without years of experience or winning a race without having run any miles the past week are scenarios in which talent prevails in providing results. Hard work matters more for strength, both in character and progression. Physically and mentally, hard work inspires a work ethic that is the catalyst for improvement. Being rewarded for dedication allows a person to grow and to push farther in a specific field.

It’s more meaningful to work hard toward a goal. Sure, it’s not a glorious path at times, and results along the way are often subpar, but that’s the beauty of it. It’s beautiful to fail and then to succeed, rather than to succeed without knowing pain. It’s beautiful to force your mind to specialize, and to undergo an evolution in perspective as you gain experience. Every setback represents a step in the journey, and every success is a result that takes the face of dedication. Everyone may see you perform with perfection, but not everyone will understand the prior dedication that culminates in such poise and prowess.

To work hard is to practice resilience and composure in the face of comfort and complacency. And to be honest, consciously favoring those qualities requires quite the talent.

Luca Richman
social media & digital content editor

Graphic: Sofia Lee

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