Talent is a Hoax (At Least for Me and the People Around Me aka the Ordinary).
I studied English on my own without studying abroad. I speak fluently. I have no problem writing and thinking in English. I am even able to read the English text faster than average natives. I read that the Americans on average read at a rate of 200–250 words per minute. I tested myself, and I read 300–500 words per minute.(I go through slower with the subject I don’t have any previous background knowledge. Duh.) Lastly, My English is good enough that the native people think I must’ve lived in an English-speaking country for a long time. To get to this level, it took me about 2–3 years, starting out at the age of 19.(now 24)
Because of this amazing “feat” of mine, friends of mine ask me questions about learning the language. I try to give the answers, the best tips, the mechanisms behind my theory, and everything I know. On top of that, I promise to spare my time and tell them the next step they can take again if they do what I told them to do for a week or so. And sometimes I follow up with the ones who eagerly wanted to beg for the secret recipes. Pretty much everybody has the excuse of not being able to follow through on my advice. What a wast of time in the first place for me. I don’t really waste my time explaining how to study English anymore for this reason.
One of the common themes of the excuses I’ve gotten is this: I don’t have the talent. It wouldn’t work for me, you are a language genius, that’s why you could pull this thing off, but I am not gifted like you. It makes me want to scream at them my heart out, which I don’t. But I do speak some bad languages, I must admit, though.
It’s fun to discuss about this talent thing with some theories. Everyone has an opinion about everything. Taxi drivers, immature teenaged boys, people on the Internet who like to sound like the experts. So here’s my two cents on the notion of ‘talent’.
I am sure Tiger Woods, Conor Mcgregor, Kobe Bryant, Lionel Messi grew up with a motherfucking amount of talents.
Their talent doesn’t psych me out. It doesn’t even matter to me if the talent exists or not.
Being the number one in the god-damn world is totally different from being pretty good at something, or even being in the top 10% or something. What I and the people around me at least want to achieve is pretty much the same. Lose weight, be healthy, learn languages, skills, get a good job and etc. What we talk and discuss in our everyday lives is not about being the one and only legend in the world. We just want to be good enough at something to live and enjoy with no worries. If someone is like me and my friends, not a Donal Trump-ambitious type, it’s not about the talents. It’s about the attitude, commitment, consistency, and the open mind to learn form the others who have already achieved the things that you want to achieve.
And plus, how the fuck can I know if I have the talent for something, if I don’t try and stick to my commitment for some time? I will maybe feel that I have finally found my true talent in the process of learning. But if I don’t feel like I found one during the process, who cares? I will become good and even better than most at it at the end of the day, if I just stick it out. That’s what matters to me.
Get the talent out of the discussion. And do the work. The worst case scenario of just doing the work is getting better than the most of the people, who don’t take actions with the cold feet due to the talent bullcrap in their heads.