Talent is a Terrible Thing to Waste

close up shot of a salt shaker

“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” – Stephen King

Human beings are blessed with one sort of talent or another. Some are great at public speaking. Others are great at composing music. Still others are very good at writing essays; some even write entire novels.

Yet many individuals have their talents consistently go to waste. Why is this? Stephen King once said the difference between a talented individual and successful individual is lots of hard work. You can be exceptionally talented at one or more things. But, if you do not put the prerequisite work into growing your skill alongside your talents, you will not be able to succeed without a hell of a lot of luck.

You may have seen individuals who seem to lack great natural talent yet sometimes succeed at very high levels. Granted, their finished product is often polished by the works of other talented individuals, but the source shouldn’t be ever ignored. You don’t always know who’s working behind the scenes, directing almost every step. But, these individuals who lack the preternatural talent yet are willing to put the work in to build their skills up enough to compensate. Their successes aren’t always sustainable, but they do happen more than you would think they would.

Individuals without natural born talent can indeed succeed if they’re willing to put in an incredible amount of work into what it is that they love. Anyone can build skills; it’s just harder for some to take to certain skill-sets than others. You also need passion for your craft, and lots of it, in order to succeed. Yes, some people seem born to be lucky and have their talent lead to immediate success. But, that’s extremely rare.

Regardless of one’s talent, reaching success involves a lot of failure first. Having natural talent can make some tasks easier, but even then the most talented people still need to refine their skills to produce their best work. Yet, many talented individuals don’t seem to understand what effort is needed to translate their talent into the skills that will bring them success. Also, while spending great effort on building your skill-sets, you may discover another talent you didn’t even know you had.

Regardless, without the effort, your talent is basically worth table salt, as King said. People might smile at the sprinkles of talent you put on occasional display. Still, you’re not going to live your dreams without truly living and breathing your passions while building your skills along the way. Let your talents complement your skills, and let the effort show in your work; don’t just rely on “getting lucky,” because more often than not, you won’t.

Amelia Desertsong is a former content marketing specialist turned essayist and creative nonfiction author. She writes articles on many niche hobbies and obscure curiosities, pretty much whatever tickles her fancy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top