Let's Debate: Is talent natural or nurtured?
Updated: Jul 23
Hey guys, it's BB here! For those of you who don't know who I am, I am the Director here at Musta.
When it comes to defining talent, there's this really big debate about whether it is a natural thing, or more something that is nurtured out of you.
We first need to define what we all mean by 'natural'. Does it mean that a child is born with the talent of graphic design? Or does it mean that that a skill or ability was acquired with relative ease, and so therefore can be considered to have come about 'naturally'?
It's a tough one, and there are merits on both sides of the argument for and against. Most people can't seem to decide between the two and so often like to sit on the fence regarding this issue.
To be talented at something, you need to work hard. To imply that one is naturally talented would technically mean that they wouldn't have to do anything in order for the talent to manifest- that is indeed what the ordinary meaning of 'natural' would suggest. However, from a different perspective, natural talent can be considered to mean having a natural flair or disposition for certain skills and abilities- this would explain 5-year old star I just saw on Youtube.
Well, here's how BB sees it.
Nothing is natural. Everything that we experience in our lives is as a direct result of cause and effect. Predispositions remain just predispositions, if they are not stimulated and cultivated. It only becomes talent after this process of polishing and refining has been done. There's nothing natural about it, if anything its artificial stimulation. I was having a chat with a dear friend of mine recently about this, and we just couldn't seem to come to an agreement, because it all depends on your translation of the word 'natural'.
However, the one thing that we did agree on is that talent is a beautiful thing, and so whether it is natural or nurtured- it should all be celebrated.
My last attempt to convince you comes in the form of a quote.
“Talent—when I use the word, I mean it as the rate at which you get better with effort. The rate at which you get better at soccer is your soccer talent. The rate at which you get better at math is your math talent. You know, given that you are putting forth a certain amount of effort. And I absolutely believe—and not everyone does, but I think most people do—that there are differences in talent among us: that we are not all equally talented” (Duckworth, 2016).
Either way, be sure to take a look at this talented 5-year old and decide for yourself.
Till next time, BB🔆