Talents vs. Achievements, Who Will Win?


There has kind of people to be called successful people in our world. The reason why this kind of people is called successful is that they made some achievements in their respective careers. Some of them are talented, they are geniuses. However, a great proportion of these successful people are working diligently to achieve these achievements. In my opinion, in the battle of talent and achievement, achievement will be the Victor. Parents, teachers, and employers should reward achievements rather than talents.

To begin with, if we reward achievements rather than talents, it will encourage talented people to be more successful. For talented people, their talents provide them some advantages to achieve success, but it won’t automatically help them to be successful. If we reward achievements rather than talents, it will encourage talented people to work hard in order to accomplish achievements. With their talent, they can gain greater achievements than others. If we only reward talents, it will make talented people complacent and conservative. There’s an old saying from Thomas Alva Edison. “Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety nine percent perspiration.” (Feldhusen, J. F. 2005) Therefore, the effort plays a more important role than talent when people pursuing success.

Secondly, for people who didn’t have such talents, reward achievement will encourage them to work diligently to achieve success. According to Angela Duckworth point view, she lays out two equations that show how you get from talent to success: talent * effort = skill; skill * effort = achievement. Duckworth is quick to note that external opportunities, like having a great coach or teacher, matter too. But when it comes to the psychology of success and achievement, effort is huge. (Shana Lebowitz. 2016) From the two equations, we can clearly see that effort is a key point to be successful. A distinct feature between effort and talent is that the effort is controllable. People cannot control their talent in a certain area, but can decide the extent of the effort. For instance, Joe Girard, the world’s greatest salesman, he was seemed as a loser before his 30- year- old. He had changed forty jobs but still not succeed, and even was a thief and opened a casino. However, when he was 35-year-old, he walked into a Detroit car dealership and begged a skeptical manager for a job as a salesman. He sold a car on his first day and, by the second month, was so good some of the other salesmen complained and got him fired. His next job was at Merollis Chevrolet in Esstpointe, Michigan. There, he set consecutive sales records 15 year period. Our potential is one thing. What we do with it is quite another. Therefore, reward achievement and then let people make the effort should be the social environment.



Feldhusen, J. F. (2005). Giftedness, talent, expertise, and creative achievement. Conceptions of giftedness, 2, 64–79.

Shana Lebowitz. (2016).A UPenn psychologist says there’s one trait more important to success than IQ or talent. Business Insider. http://www.businessinsider.com/angela-duckworth-grit-more-important-than-iq-or-talent-2016-5

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