Natural talent vs. Practice

Discussion in 'Soap Box' started by empty101, Apr 2, 2010.


Do you think talent is something you are born with or something you get from practice

  1. If you practice enough and practice efficiently you can do almost anything

    16 vote(s)
  2. It's mostly natural talent. Some people are just born to be good, others aren't.

    17 vote(s)
  3. I have no idea what makes someone good.

    3 vote(s)
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  1. empty101

    empty101 Well-Known Member

    So this debate has come up recently quite a few times in my life. Once or twice in the chat on this forum and in my real life as well.

    It's specifically with regards to people good at music, games, hobbies, math, writing etc.

    Do you think these people were born with some talent or ability or do you think their desire and practice got them to where they are?

    For me personally, I think it's all practice. The more time I spend studying and thinking the smarter I get, the more time I spend practicing guitar the better I get. I don't think I'll ever hit a peak because of my genetics. Two people may have practiced something for 2 years and be at two different skill levels, but I think the actual hours spent and how efficiently those hours were spent really determine how good someone gets. Musicians have children who are musically talented because those children are exposed and taught music starting from a really young age.

    On the other hand, I see people giving up all the time because they believe they just don't have the talent for something. It kills me to see these people give up, because I know that it's their giving up that makes them fail.

    What is you opinion?
  2. xan

    xan Chat Buddy

    I think that natural talent can just make you learn something a bit quicker and that if you reach the peak of what you can physical do sometimes then genetics etc. could play a part, e.g having longer fingers for playing guitar or piano or a better eye for detail when drawing... but yeah i think people can do pretty much anything with enough drive and practice
  3. KittyGirl

    KittyGirl Well-Known Member

    Natural talent is the starting point.
    If you don't have any talent for something- even with hours and hours of practice- you may not get good at something.

    ...I'm horrible at videogames and sports. I play videogames all the time- but I'm still no good. lol
    I think I lack talent.
    or co-ordination. XD
  4. Sapphire

    Sapphire Well-Known Member

    I dunno I remember Michael Crichton saying that his daughter was very good at writing stories at a very young age. There has to be a connection there. So I think some people are indeed born with a certain ability. For other people this may not be the case but I believe that if they really want to get good at something they can through putting a lot of practice into it. I mean if you put your mind to something and are determined... That goes a long way.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 2, 2010
  5. Krem

    Krem Well-Known Member

    It's talent. And I'll damn well prove it with a fake example.

    This is John. He is just your average John, but he wants to be the best in his sport, and has wanted that since he was 5. Every day, he would use all his free time to practise. His sport is the #1 thing in his life. Eventually, he becomes the best/has an accident and can never do said sport again.

    This is Bob. He is just your average Bob, but he wants to be the best in his sport, and has wanted that since he was 5. He spends some time training, but he has other things in life. Eventually, he become mediocre/has an accident and can never do said sport again.

    No, I didn't think you'd get it. The point is this-- To have such motivation, such passion, such WILL, that is required to be good at something without having a natural talent is a talent in itself, no be able to will yourself forward, when you see those 'gifted' ones doing it with little or no effort.

    Also, most child prodigies aren't better than others at what they do-- They just skip the "becoming good" part, become good, but don't continue to develop at that speed. Some even get old before their time.
  6. Prinnctopher's Belt

    Prinnctopher's Belt Antiquities Friend SF Supporter

    It's all a matter of exposure and practice. Some people are exposed to and learn things from an earlier age so they have an advantage at becoming experts at it, as opposed to being 'born to do it'.
  7. jnine

    jnine Well-Known Member

    interesting listening to all of you, i don't have any opinions about how/why, i'm still struggling with what is good or not good, recognizing talent or mediocrety. Qualitative judgments confuse me more than i can explain.
  8. TWF

    TWF Well-Known Member

    Practice. "natural" talent comes about mostly through circumstance, rather than genetics.
  9. Xaos

    Xaos Well-Known Member

    Some people are better than other people at certain things, thats just the way it is, all men aren't created equally.
  10. cloud9

    cloud9 Well-Known Member

    You need talent to really be world-class. Without talent and just practice, you'll definitely get better, but really there isn't a chance to be number one. Of course those with talent and practice are the best.
  11. cookiemonster

    cookiemonster Banned Member

    i row. i know someone who has natural talent for it and most certainly do not. though we do row in different categories, over 2 years, and hours of pain, i have progressed further and improved more than she did. this is my proof of practice being better. we are now a formidable crew and we do not have a single person who hasn't worked to get there! we all are so happy with what we have achieved in two years and even rowed elite (terribly!), which is GB standard, a couple of weeks ago. we lost but by less than a minute and everyone was so proud of us for it. thats something natural talent doesn't give you!
  12. Tobes

    Tobes Well-Known Member

    I think it's a mixture of both. Some are born with more talent than others, but they still need practice to hone their skills. And then there are those who may not have natural talent, but still end up being the best at what they do. Take Tiger Woods for example. He probably wasn't born with a natural golfing talent, he simply practiced from the age of 2.

    Also, talent is not an all or nothing scenario. People are good at some things and crap at others. I'm good at learning an instrument quickly, but I'm not very good at playing the instrument, because I have goofy fingers and make mistakes a lot. I could practice for years, but at the end of the day I would still be crap at playing an instrument. I know this because I have been typing for over 10 years now and I still make mistakes frequently (although the amount of mistakes has increased over the past year, for some reason).

    People aren't created equally, like Xaos said, and some are naturally more talented than others. Hell, it's one of the most important facets of evolution, and the proof of natural talent is in our DNA, even if it's not guaranteed.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 3, 2010
  13. pinkpetals33

    pinkpetals33 Well-Known Member

    Talent. You can practice all you want but you cannot override those that naturally can tackle something with the right caliber of skill, precision and expression.

    I use to spend 7 hours a day practicing the violin....I was good.....but when I played witht the symphony, those "talented" individuals had something that surpasses those that practice practice's not just the skill of it but they master the art of it as well.
  14. Hurted

    Hurted Well-Known Member

    The poll is bad, because there isn't enough options.
    You are definitely born with a talent, but without a lot of practice and hard work, your talent will be useful, since it has to be developed.

    no talent + hard work = average results
    talent + no hard work = average results
  15. Aurora Gory Alice

    Aurora Gory Alice Well-Known Member

    Personally I hope it's "If you practice enough and practice efficiently you can do almost anything", because I am not good at anything, but I hope I can be... someday.
  16. pit

    pit Well-Known Member

    Stephen King said if you lift weights every day, you build up muscle, and if you write every day, you build up your writing.

    Or something to that effect.

  17. Xaos

    Xaos Well-Known Member

    Nicely put.
  18. empty101

    empty101 Well-Known Member

    It was very intentional that I didn't put any middle ground.
  19. plates

    plates Well-Known Member

    you can be technically "good" at playing your guitar and be seen as " a good player" but someone, who lets say, was more interested in texture, sound, rhythm or other things a guitar can do, would say differently.

    you can be technically "good" at "writing" god knows i've met many people who think being a "writer" means doing ABC and have very little to say and have no creative scope, no curiosity, and no sight... and it's all about the image of coming across as an artist of some sort. then again, you have people who will go nuts, push themselves to the brink, and do everything to show they are 'cutting edge' and are great bores, because again, they aren't saying very much (to me personally)

    you can be technically "good" at "drawing" but it's how you put that into practice.
    you can be technically "good at singing", but if someone wanted to scream/shout and use their lungs and vision, then pretty singing would not be the thing to do.
    sorry for all the " ", but there are so many ways to draw, write and play use instruments. realising the many ways you can draw, write, play and having fun with that is better than worrying about how good you are. also by keeping your eyes open and your feet on the ground and being receptive to your environment and having a keen insight into where you're going rather than comparing yourself with others all the time. because trust me, i go into WH smith and the things i read there just baffle me as how they can be passed as books.
  20. wastedmylife

    wastedmylife Well-Known Member

    I have or I had a whole theory on this but I am to stupid and weak to remember it

    I was right in my theory but I don't even remember it and don't have the brain power to spell it out

    but I don't think people are born to be a good baseball player or a good writer, as I said I have a whole theory but I don't feel like arguing but based on my observations and my brain I think I am right

    alot of it has to do with heart and desire and parents influences over kids

    there is a reason for everything a reason why we do things, to please our parents or to please us, or to try and get girls or the opposite sex

    but people are not born talented it has to do with desire or the need to please our parents who might be an influence

    I miss my brain and all my theories
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