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Thread: Can Hard Work beat talent?

  1. #41
    Senior Member Array
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    Aug 2011


    Quote Originally Posted by GZA View Post
    There is no such thing as talent without hard work. Talent is something that is created throw dedication and effort and hard work. I wasn't talented at anything until I worked hard at it. When I worked hard at the things I'm talented at, I ended up going further than most of my peers. My natural inclination for these things would be meaningless without my hard work, and my hard work has been fueled by my love for what I'm doing and the connection I have with it that I suppose is the "talent" aspect. If someone with no talent works at something, they will become good at it, but without the connection/understanding and love that talented people have with their talents, they just won't achieve the same things and probably won't be able to work as hard without burning out or whatever.
    You're confusing skill, which is indeed built up through hard work, with raw talent, which is inborn aptitude. Some people are better at learning and developing certain skills than other people; it doesn't mean that they are automatically going to be more skilled than someone with average talent who has been working at something for years.

  2. #42
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Array Mole's Avatar
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    Mar 2008

    Hard work poisons talent.

    Can hard work beat talent?

    Well, all we have to ask is, can Antonio Salieri beat Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart?

    And yes, Salieri resented Mozart's talent and finally poisoned him.

  3. #43
    Meat Tornado Array DiscoBiscuit's Avatar
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    Apr 2009


    Can Hard Work beat talent?
    Depends, but I would generally say no.
    Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.
    - Edmund Burke

    8w9 sx/so

  4. #44
    Senior Member Array wildcat's Avatar
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    Jun 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Can hard work beat talent?

    Well, all we have to ask is, can Antonio Salieri beat Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart?

    And yes, Salieri resented Mozart's talent and finally poisoned him.
    Pinochet asked Milton in Santiago:
    Is there a free lunch?
    Milton said there is no such thing.
    Salieri killed only one Mozart.
    Pinochet was not so modest.

  5. #45


    Since the title only asks can hard work beat talent. I say yes.

    But not just hard work, but the right hard work, for the right person is needed.

    The whole "talent" thing is a complicated story, in my mind. I believe the use of the word "talent" oversimplifies what is otherwise an important set of complexities that deserves more study.

    No baby is born with innate ability to do anything that requires "talent." The brain may have the capacity, the genes may have a predisposition. But without the proper nurturing, this doesn't become skill.

    Every genius of note has been "manufactured" in some way. Perhaps, again, there were some predispositions. But I am not willing to call those predispositions "talent." They are too minute, and too fleeting. Unless there is well timed training that comes along to develop them into skills, these predispositions amount to nothing.

    Mozart had his father, as did the Polgar sisters, the Williams' sisters, and Tiger Woods (speaking of Woods, did his "talent" just disappear, or did he just loose the champion golfer's mindset?). Neither Albert Einstein, nor Michael Jordan were recognized for being talented initially. But some would rank them as the greatest in their fields for all time.

    To me greatness at anything is a combination of having nurtured the right predispositions at the right times.

    There are techniques out there to (supposedly accessible to anyone with the dedication to make them stick):
    1) Have amazing memory
    2) Have amazing calculation speed
    3) Read at incredible paces
    4) Improve lateral and creative thinking

    If these things are taught to a young person, early enough in age, they could all be Von Neumanns.

    Also, ultimately, everything that is done, is done in some way. If one can replicate the way, then one can achieve the same results.

    Then, of course, we come back to the question of whether individuals have the capacities to replicate the way that achieves results. Capacities can be developed with practice and hard work. But here early development and nurturing becomes key.

    Like I said, it is a complex story, that I believe should be kept complex. The word "talent" cheapens it.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  6. #46


    farrrrking hell why didn't my parents teach me a skill instead of just cheating on each other and shit.

    Younger people adapt and learn quicker, too late for me now.

  7. #47
    Senior Member Array alcea rosea's Avatar
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    Nov 2007


    Without reading the whole tread, I think that hard work can beat talent until certain point, after that a person without natural ability towards that thing cannot be learned by studying/hard work. Example: singing. Most people can learn to sing but only few are excellent in it/acquire the perfect "musical ear", another expample a world class athlete, or a genious kind of mathematician. My point is that not everybody can be anything they wish to be in every area: some talent/abilities are needed to be excellent in some area.

    So, in my opinion: hard work cannot beat "certain" level of talent.

  8. #48


    I don't think you're "born" with a talent. You're just built to be more apt at learning that specific thing faster/easier.

  9. #49
    Mr. Blue Array entropie's Avatar
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    Apr 2008
    3w2 so


    The real question is: can talent beat hard work !

    If I imagine a society composed to 90% of intellectuals doing head work, who feeds the cat then ?
    Johari / Nohari

    "How dreadful!" cried Lord Henry. "I can stand brute force, but brute reason is quite unbearable. There is something unfair about its use. It is hitting below the intellect."
    ~ Oscar Wilde - The picture of Dorian Gray

  10. #50
    The Eighth Colour Array Octarine's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    10w so


    Quote Originally Posted by entropie View Post
    If I imagine a society composed to 90% of intellectuals doing head work, who feeds the cat then ?
    Uh, the automatic cat feeding device?

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