Relationship between talent and dedication must be complementary, say experts

If you search the various online dictionaries available on the internet, the word talent, from the Latin “talentum”, will be described as the ability or natural inclination that the subject has to exercise a certain occupation or perform a certain activity. Talent is related to skill, dexterity and creativity, but recurrently we see debates and analyzes that add an important word to this equation: dedication.

Basketball player Kevin Durant, NBA star, tournament he won in 2017 and 2018, and three-time Olympic champion with the US national team, once said: “Hard work trumps talent when talent doesn’t work hard”. Thomas Edison (1847-1931), creator of the incandescent light bulb, one of his many inventions, said that “talent is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration”.

According to the psychology course coordinator at Faculdade Pitágoras, Venda Nova unit, master in administration and specialist in people management, educational management and neuroscience in education. Andreia Bernardes, it is important to consider that all of us, without exception, have some kind of talent, we just need to discover and develop it. This is where another question comes in.

Often the vocation and potential are there, but it takes focus and self-knowledge to awaken them. “If there is talent, but the person does not make an effort, does not see himself as a talent, he needs to look at himself. I don’t see any other way to be recognized other than through psychotherapy, access to knowledge, reading and living with people who have similar skills”, comments the specialist.

Andreia Bernardes points out that everyone is born with skills and, in the course of life, they need to be developed. “To do this, we need a favorable environment in your daily life”, she adds. And what would be a comfortable and beneficial environment to improve talent? We are talking about social, economic, behavioral and psychological aspects.

“If there is no stimulus and incentive in the environment where the person is inserted, it is more difficult for this subject to continue the skills he has. Nobody is born knowing a foreign language, for example, but if you study and dedicate yourself, you will also have this talent”, adds the psychologist.

“Talent without dedication is a waste”, emphasizes the specialist in training and human development, Vivian Wolff. Vivian cites another athlete, former multi-champion swimmer Michael Phelps, owner of 28 Olympic medals, 23 of which are gold, as a perfect example that talent, practice and delivery must always go hand in hand. “He is a benchmark of talent with dedication. These characteristics must be complementary. If you align your effort with study and talent, you tend to feel even more motivated”, she observes.

With talent and dedication it is possible to have pleasure and excellence in what you do. Seeking continuous learning is another strategy for honing talent. One tip that the specialist always has on the tip of her tongue is for the person to focus on what she is really good at: “It will be much harder for you to become good at what you are not comfortable with. I really believe that it is possible to develop skills, improve, learn from mistakes, but have no doubt that a person will evolve much faster if they start dedicating time and effort to what they are really good at”.

Perseverance, practice, discipline and self-knowledge are essential words when, on the other side of the question, we have a talent to be discovered, developed and stimulated. Instead of talent versus dedication, the relationship should add up, never divide or present conflicts between one and the other. Being open to new possibilities for experiences and learning is a great path. “If you believe that you are already good enough, there is no room for improvement, and that is very bad”, points out Vivian Wolff.

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