Hard word beats talent.

That’s baloney. Well, if talent does nothing at all, hard work might outrun it. But the moment talent begins to try, hard work can be beaten – easily.

Sarah is a artist. She is naturally talented. She is also schooled, but no matter how much work or schooling I put into drawing, my stick figures aren’t even up to par. I am not an artist. I have other gifts.

I can, as my Facebook friends have been forced to see, color. I can color up a storm. I’m good at arranging a palette and putting the colors together. I need someone else to draw the picture for me, but then I can color. This is a good thing because we all need our places to shine.

I belong to a writing community. It is open to any who wish to join. People post their work and it is critiqued. Some people can learn from this process. Some people have been there for quite some time and their writing is still – as my mother used to say – NSG. (Not So Good)

I have talents in this or that area. And I can excel in those areas. Other people have talents in different areas and they excel in those arenas. If we were all the same, it would be rather boring and very difficult to find a decent job. But we are each different with a variety of strengths and weaknesses.

Hard work may help one improve. I work hard at a few things. My knitting is much better than when I began. But my unknitting still leaves something to be desired which makes completing projects more difficult that it should be.

But the myth that hard work can beat talent is absurd. No matter how much I practice singing, I do not have what anyone in their right mind would consider a mellifluous voice. In fact, when I sing it is possible to see people in the vicinity begin to have blood leak from their poor abused ears. Practice doesn’t always make perfect. You have to have something to work with before that can happen.

I work exceptionally hard at the gym, but I’m fighting a losing battle. I’m on the downhill slope of age and I’m getting older by the minute. I’m trying to overcome years of inertia. And I have never been particularly coordinated. So no matter how hard I work, I can’t beat the naturally athletic adult who is forty years younger than me.

There is a problem here and it lies inside my head. My brain is full of ways the world “should” work. Hard work is supposed to pay off with spectacular and astounding results. I have no idea why my brain thinks like this. I have seen it not work for over sixty years.

Being naturally smart means you get better grades than people who aren’t, even when they study like crazy. Being good with words and having a language type brain means I can string sentences together in a way that makes them readable. I’ve won enough contests to know that this isn’t a personal opinion, but actually an outside judgment of my writing capabilities.

I cannot sing for the masses, but I love singing for myself. I cannot draw, but I can color. I have a variety of things I cannot do and a number of things that I can. This is what makes us each an individual.

I would never expect myself to begin trigonometry work. I can’t even do calculus. The function of f of g was more than my brain can handle. I can only do math when there are limited number of letters involved. Once the whole damn alphabet gets in on it, it is beyond me.

But I know people who are math inclined. And I am amazed. But I’m not going to be hurt if I can’t keep up with them. I’m a word person, not a number person.

So, why do I punish myself for being not in my twenties, not genetically athletic, unbalanced, and weak? I don’t punish myself for not understanding higher math concepts. But I castigate myself on a regular basis for what I cannot do at the gym. I work hard. I wish I was naturally talented, but I’m going to have to talk myself into accepting that my hard work is not going to catapult me past talented, younger, stronger individuals.

I am the best I have ever been. Today I was tossing around weight I couldn’t even move off the mat when I started. Today I didn’t quit when I wanted to. Today I was a freaking rock star. I wish I felt like one.

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