The Super Bowl this past weekend has rocked much of New York and New Jersey. Since this is home turf for me, it inspired me to think about (and blog about) talent and passion.
People often refer to talent as a gift when talking about athletes, writers, artists, musicians, and others with a skill or area of expertise. Sometimes I wonder whether talent is a gift or whether it is something earned. Dictionary.com defines talent as “a special natural ability or aptitude.” Okay, but is this a little too simple? Most often where there is an ability or aptitude, there are also countless hours of hard work and dedication—blood, sweat, and tears--that go into nurturing, training, and honing that ability or aptitude. Yes, there are child prodigies such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who was composing at six years of age, but history tells us that he worked long and hard before he reached a level of extraordinariness. So, I question the ratio between the “special natural ability or aptitude” and the passion, dedication, hard work, and perseverance it takes to create something amazing or perform at a high level. Could it be thatwhen someone is labeled as having a gift or talent, what that person really has is a great and mighty passion and dedication to do whatever is necessary to create or perform well? To, say, win a Super Bowl? Or write an award-winning novel? Maybe the passion is the gift.
What do you think? Are some people born with a natural ability and aptitude? Or, are they born with a burning desire and drive to create and/or perform to an extra ordinary level? Or is this all crazy talk that comes from too many nachos and chicken wings downed during a very exciting football game?