Is There Such A Thing As Natural Talent?
When it comes to innate talent, we often hold conflicting ideas. On one hand, we’re told that we can be anything we want to be if we work hard enough. On the other, some people seem to be destined for their chosen field, or even a “born talent.” The truth, as usual, is somewhere in between.
According to Dianna Richardson, graduate of the Juilliard School and youth instructor at Baldwin-Wallace College, there is such a thing as raw, innate, untrained talent. It manifests in young students who show the natural ability to keep rhythm and differentiate pitch, but it is absolutely encouraged by formal training. All the raw talent in the world can go unrefined without developing a person’s skills and the drive to work toward their goals.
Dedication and motivation play a huge part in talent. It’s been shown that the average time needed to become an expert at any one thing is about 10 years. Talent can be more accurately thought of not as an inclination toward a particular skill but as a group of personality traits that make a person more likely to excel in a particular field. Our personalities and outlook are always changing, and that’s one reason why some people don’t “discover” their hidden talents until they’re older. It may be only then that external factors—outside encouragement, the time to practice, finding a coach or mentor—allow for goals to be set and paths to be discovered.