February 21, 2021

My perspective on "talent" has changed in last two years.

I became skeptical about anyone having any kind of a "talent". Now I have a firm perspective on this topic. Read it to change your life.

My perspective on "talent" has changed in last two years.

Let me put it straight. In my opinion, talent is purely ability. You're not born with talent, nor would you magically wake up one day to have it. You gradually gain bits of ability, be it through learning via observation or practice and encouragement as a child.

I think, "Talent" is a proper mix of several things inside of you that work together to make you excel in something, you for some reason have feelings for. For some reason it's almost never just a single thing, like making money or just wanting to be an artist but an intricate cocktail of fascination, sentimentality, love, hate, curiosity, expression, be seen, get acknowledgement, etc.

No doubt that some people catch on better than others. That doesn't mean they have talent, they just simply understand, and are able to connect with some concepts better.

Chicken Kiev made by me

Then how to acquire talent if it is not something you're born with

Having an inner critic, a second voice which can find the faults, and you being able to keep your ego aside is extremely important. I've explored the cuisines from across the world and had developed an intricate palate, and when I started cooking in November of 2020, I would just invoke that inner critic to be objective about the taste of the dish, and it helped me trying to figure out what was the missing element, so that I could explore more about how to fix those faults. I didn't progress in cooking so fast because I had some innate talent but because I spent quite a few years exploring and trying new cusines and that too from many different places to get a better understanding of different takes of the same dish.

You also need to have the ability to calm that critic. You don't want it to be the overthinking voice which tries to push you to make everything perfect even though "perfect" doesn't exist. The critic needs to just point the faults, so that you go in the direction of fixing those faults. Let it develop the ability to analyze both the big picture and the small details of the thing you aspire to be able to do. Practice intelligently. Instead of just churning out a piece of work a day to magically get better, pinpoint one single thing that you have seen in some other work you love and the focus on that single thing in your next piece of work. All the pieces you will want to work on will be just like churning out other pieces anyway. Analyze a piece that strike you as awesome and try to figure out the big picture and the details of how it was made, Google can probably give you hints too. Try to notice something each time you adore it and see if it's something you can incorporate in your next piece

If you think something is magically/exceedingly hard you probably need other ways of approaching the subject. The most intelligent people I know always asks questions, not for the sake of making an intelligent question but because of curiosity and wanting to learn/get insight/genuine interest. Ask questions. And the break down hard problems in into smaller fundamental problems.

"You have talent" is sweetened poison - it tastes good, but drink too much and you'll kill yourself.

That's it for this blog post and if you feel that you've something to add to this or you have a different perspective then share it and discuss it on r/StoicHuman or go to the Reddit discussion post for this blog post linked down below.

Stay healthy, Stay safe!

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