Talent or Skills: Which One Will Take You Farther?

Talent or Skills: Which One Will Take You Farther?

Do you possess talent or skills that are helping you succeed in life? It seems that those who are born with talent have the advantage but is that the end of the story for the rest of us? Sometimes there is confusion about whether the aptitude we are talking about requires talent or skills.

When I was doing calligraphy, I often heard people say; “You’re so talented!” But I’m not talented in calligraphy. I’m skilled in it and there’s a difference. I have no artistic talent. I can’t draw anything more than a stick person with a smiley face. Fortunately, calligraphy can be done by someone who has no artistic talent. This is because doing calligraphy is a skill that anyone can master if they have the drive and willingness to learn and practice – a lot.

It makes me wonder about other things in life. For instance, is marketing a talent or a skill? What about surfing, meditating -or cat-napping! Maybe there is a talent aspect to these things, but if there also is a skill component anyone can learn to do them!  We all have the capability to become masters of our crafts. Remember Malcom Gladwell’s 10,000 hours theory? Even the Beatles, talented as they were, spent many hours practising which further honed their skills.

We talk about passion all the time, but is passion enough? Is taking action enough? Maybe; if it’s the right action. One of the most important actions we need to take, I believe, is the one that will hone our skills.

Do you have talent or skills in what you do or both? Have you ever honed a skill until you were a master of it? What skills do you still want to master in life?

photo credit: Mike Baird

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About The Author


I am passionate about writing and community building. I’ve written a book about healing and happiness, The Happy Place, as well as a Community Building book, Sounding the Drum: Community Building in the Digital Age, now available at any Amazon store. I’ve been through life changes that I thought were the end of my world, but I’m still here. I never know what will happen next. Isn’t that what makes life interesting?