What is talent? Most people perceive talent to be the innate ability to perform a specific task, while others see talent as simply a well-mastered skill. As for me, I feel that talent is a bit of both; it is a give and take between skills and the desire to succeed at a task. I suppose talent is that ability to capitalise on an acquisition that you excel in.
Now for curiosity – what a curious concept! I suppose one could say that curiosity involves the perpetual desire to learn new pieces of information, or the unceasing dissatisfaction of only knowing as much as you do right now. Curiosity is the burning fire within you, which keeps you learning and mastering skills forever. Without curiosity, we would be doomed by the curse of boredom: we would be stuck in a phase of constant procrastination.
Therefore, one may conclude that curiosity must play an important role in developing a so-called talent. I do agree with this concept. Curiosity often drives you to pick up a skill or a hobby, constantly making you brush up your skills in that particular field, resulting in becoming an ostensible expert; this is inevitably sometimes confused with having an innate gift.
Just because someone can play the ‘Flight of the Bumble-bee’ at lightning speed, does not mean that they are naturally talented; nay, it could mean the exact opposite. Perhaps that pianist finds playing the piano challenging, but has managed to master this piece, purely due to hours, or even years, of practice.
Now this leads us to question: what do we mean by talent? Is it due to innate ability or is talent the result of relentless hard-work and unwavering curiosity?
Albert Einstein, a genius whom we can all look up to, said: ‘I have no special talent. I am only passionately curios’. Now, this is where I can say without a doubt that Albert Einstein, indeed, had one of the greatest minds that has ever thought in our world!
These two short sentences are both a true inspiration and great explanation. Imagine what our world would have looked like if Thomas Edison had given into his teachers and felt talentless. You probably could not, because you are more than likely to be reading this with the aid of a light bulb and without one, you may not have been able to read this statement! Thomas Edison’s name would not necessarily be in our Physics textbooks, had he not possessed the level of curiosity that led to eventually creating the light bulb.
Now, just by using these two great men to prove my point, that curiosity is indeed the root of most forms of talent, I may have rendered my argument to be seemingly inaccessible for the average person, but this is simply not the case.
Take me, your average (perhaps a little short for my age, but nevertheless, average) seventeen-year-old; I strongly believe that whatever people refer to as a talent of mine is simply due to my intense curiosity for the subject. I just choose to cultivate that which intrigues me. Having said that, I am not fully disputing the fact that some people are born with talents that they need not pursue to be perfect: for example, having perfect pitch recognition or possessing the ability to contort his or her fingers into new positions.
I believe that Albert Einstein’s humble, yet inspiring, words have great weight. Most perceive talent to be just a result of pure curiosity, a feat I am sure that we can all accomplish. We are all talented in our own way; I refuse to believe that anyone is untalented; those talents are mainly a product of passion and curiosity.
Some of us are naturally talented, yes, but the vast majority of us are just curious!
So, I challenge you, go out and kindle a fire of curiosity within yourself; you never know… It might be your new talent!