By Deborah Yi
“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” Tim Notke, a high school basketball coach, said this in a motivational speech to his players.
Does this statement ring true in our 21st century? Contrary to what many may believe, talent seems to tip the scale when weighing the two subjects individually. Of course, possessing both qualities is the best-case scenario. However, when evaluating them separately, talent seems to hold more advantages that hard work does.
From the beginning, talent sets apart those who can naturally achieve their goals from those who need years and years of practice. A student with a flair for a subject, say English, will usually progress at a faster pace than a student who lacks linguistic talent. Yes, the latter can improve his or her skills in English, but that effort will only catch him or her up to a level that the other has already started off with.
One reason why our modern society prizes talent over hard work is because of its rarity. There are many who are dedicated to improvement, but there are fewer who can easily produce the desired results. Those who possess a gift in a certain area have the capability to go beyond what has already been achieved by others. There are many dedicated individuals who can achieve the high level of success that has already been established before. But the ones who are naturally gifted in their subject are more likely to surpass the established standard and bring along unprecedented progress.
Talent is a quality one is born with. On the other hand, hard work is an attitude that can be achieved or learned throughout one’s life. Because of this, talent is more valuable--hard work can be achieved by anybody who wishes to put in the effort.
When people talk about “success,” some common names will pop up: Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs. Most of the people who are mentioned in conjunction with the word “success” are those who possess the gift in their occupation and combine that with dedication. Most successful cases require both assets because a goal is infrequently achieved with only one or the other. But talent still holds the greater weight because it is a quality that people cannot build up through experience while an efficient work ethic can be. That’s why there are certain people who “outshine” the others who give the same amount of effort and dedication.
This issue becomes more relatable when considering colleges and life after graduation. Those who are hard working, have many extra-curricular activities, and have a high GPA usually get accepted into esteemed colleges. So, in this case, hard work would prove more valuable. However, moving on past college and into the workforce, a person’s talent takes precedence over their work ethics because there are already so many who are “hardworking.” As harsh as that sounds, that is the competition that workers have always faced.
For a functional society to operate, both hard work and talent are necessary. But for the results to transcend the expectations, talent is crucial. Most people have a gift in one thing or another, it’s just a matter of exploring the different possibilities and figuring out what one is talented in. When hard work and talent are combined, people can function at maximum potential, creating the best-possible community.
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