Talent is something that some of us crave for and it is sometimes given to us as a gift by providence. But talent is not something which is only given to us as a gift. It can be cultivated in us by continuous effort. Of course, this second course is no child’s play and will often fail the seeker after talent.
I was thinking, this morning, about what talent actually is and a few thoughts came to my mind. Talent consists of two levels and stages. The first includes what we are born with. Even from early childhood certain traits are visible in us. Someone is drawn towards sports, someone towards music, art, writing or public speaking and so on. There are those children that either get involved with these pastimes that they are driven toward naturally and there are those that take on a more passive nature, quietly observing and allowing others to do things that are to take them into the limelight. Some who are born with great talent get drawn towards other activities and lose out much because without a continuous involvement there will be little or no growth of talent. Fortunate are those who take ahead, with effort, what nature has reserved for them. The talent that is developed in the second stage, with effort, can go very far.
There is another category of people who show little talent initially. But they keep developing their basic personal growth in the right direction and when they get the chance to learn some art they come forward and learn it well enough to be called talented. These are those who have suffered initially, feeling like second rate citizens in the company of seemingly superior others. Sometimes these get so serious in the activities they have got involved with, in later life, that they become quite as impressive as those who began their lives as talented children.
What must be remembered is that talent is about 20% inspiration and about 80% perspiration. And this is truer of talent in sports and games. But it is quite as true of the other kinds of talent too. Talent requires a total mental absorption in the activity that one likes and is interested in pursuing. Talent comes from exposure to the talent of others and then a discovery and heightening of personal merit in whatever one has been in love with or whatever gives relief in its pursuance.
Something that I have noted from observation is that those that are naturally gifted in the arts will have the possibility of developing another talent just as well as the one that came to them initially. A singer can be an actor as well. A painter can be a musician as well. One kind of talent can get transformed into another. The performing arts seem to spring out of a root that can send out more than one kind of fruit. When talent is to grow to the greatest heights it often needs to be accompanied by great suffering. Suffering or a physical handicap is often responsible for an inward journey, into the soul, which will ultimately lead to a growth of talent.