I have a BFA in 3D animation. I'm also very interested in cinematography, editing, and web design.
What Does It Mean to Be Talented?
Upon reading that title, you may be wondering how there could be a difference between "being talented" and "having talent". There may not be too literal of a difference between the two, but there is a huge difference in what makes or breaks the talent that a person has.
For me, "having talent" means that you have the skills and could potentially pursue whatever passion of your choosing that you wish, while "being talented" means that you already possess all the skills you need in order to be successful in your chosen passion.
In simpler terms, I'm talking about the difference between those people who are "super-amazingly-talented-without-effort" and those who "have-talent-but-spend-years-working-for-it."
People Who Are Prodigies
We hear these amazing stories every day of our lives—an eleven-year-old who sings better than an opera singer who has trained their entire life, a man with a photographic memory who can recreate the entire skyline of Japan after one helicopter ride, or a fourteen-year-old who invents a new way to screen for cancer.
Our initial reaction is to either say:
- "Wow, that's amazing!"
- *asdfghjkl,* "Even a child can do better than me."
It's discouraging as well as inspiring. Keep in mind that no one is created the same as any other person and whatever skills one person possesses are theirs alone.
There's simply no comparison between people who were born with these amazing skills to people who have to spend years to reach that level. This article instead will be geared toward how to accept other talented people and how to stay motivated and inspired to keep pursuing your end goal.
How to Live With Super Talented People
This one can be a little tricky as inside each person is that little tiny voice that likes to whisper, "You're not good enough and you never will be." Hearing stories of people who have a knack for something without even trying is a sure way to both astound and crush a person.
However, the trick is to learn that some people were just born that way, and there's nothing you can do to change that fact. So don't blame yourself for not being able to get something perfect the first time that you try it.
It's a learning experience. The two things that will separate people are motivation and persistence. One of the hardest aspects of entering your field is learning how to compare yourself to other people.
When I attended Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design, the hardest part was encountering people who were so much better than I was. I did end up being in the same class with the kind of people whose work was on a different level. They may or may not have worked hard for that talent, but the way that I learned not to compare myself to them was to realize that everyone is on their own separate journey.
Everyone starts life at a different point. Everyone learns different things at different points in their lives. Just because you are at the beginning of your journey (whether it is an art career, your fitness level, or your love life), everyone has to learn what they need to in their own way. So, it makes no sense to compare yourself to someone that is further ahead or behind where you are.
Besides, being talented is also hard though! Imagine feeling resented for something that you're naturally gifted at.
Hard Work and Persistence
I've always considered this part of myself a double-edged sword. In some aspects, it's the best gift, but in others, it's a sure-shot way to drive me into the ground. I'm of course talking about putting in 110% effort into everything that you do and spitting in the face of anyone who tells you that you can't/will never be able to do what you want.
It may take you thirty more tries than "Bob" to accomplish the same thing, but that hard work won't be overlooked. And who really cares in the end how many times it takes you? Admit mistakes, say you're sorry, ask for help, and keep trying. If it doesn't work one way, try another.
I've never considered myself talented—I actually rather hate the term as I don't think there is such a thing as talent. Everything that I am good at, I had to work at. I put in a lot of hours to get my writing to the level that it is currently. I spent years editing music videos until I felt like I got the hang of it. Everyone has the same potential; it's just a matter of how much are you willing to take to get where you want to go.
Callum on January 26, 2019:
Thanks for the info
RTalloni on August 10, 2015:
Interesting to think through this topic!
Kevin W from Texas on November 26, 2013:
Very interesting hub Noelle. Some people who are talented are also arrogant & don't work as hard as some potentials. Thumbs up on your hub.