Hardworking or just plain talented?

The American Dream promises hard work, but often talent is necessary for success.


C.C. Lucas

The message of hard work is often told to us, but talent is always in the back of our minds.

Conor McDonough , Staff Writer

In America, the difference between talent and hard work has continued to be debated throughout history. The basis of the American dream is that if someone works hard they can become extremely successful. Especially at Blake, students are conditioned to believe that if they give maximum effort they will achieve maximum results. This idea is rippled throughout Blake students in every facet, including athletics. Nick Crosby ‘18 added, “Hard work trumps talent every time. I have had multiple coaches and teachers tell me that hard work is better than talent and I truly believe them.” Although it is often easier to believe that hard working people will continue to beat out simply talented people, in reality, there are many situations where straightforward talent is necessary.

At a high level of any profession, whether it’s medicine, law, athletics, business and so on, the highest achievers are talented and have worked very hard to cultivate their natural talent. Lucy Burton ‘17 says, “I believe that hard work is more valuable because you can become more talented through hard work.” Therefore, to be extraordinarily talented, one must work hard on that talent, in order to improve. Talent should not be the only thing that someone relies on, work is essential to the success of a person. One area where talent and hard work come together is in athletics. The kids who are the stars of their youth sports teams have potential to be great athletes later in life, but the ones who work hard to acquire new skills are the ones who see real success in high school and into college. This same idea can be applied to any discipline. At a certain level, hard work is expected and crucial.

However, there are always exceptions, there are people who have no natural talent but put in incredible work to become good at whatever they chose to pursue. On the other side, there are people who have to put in much less time to achieve success in their profession solely because they are gifted. Generally though, people who achieve success are naturally talented to some degree and also have worked very hard to get to where they are. Many people who have become successful in their profession are called “naturals” but most of these people cringe at this label because that discounts the hours they have put in to cultivate their talent. The saying that “hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard” is especially prevalent when it comes to the debate between talent and hard work. The undercurrent to this statement is that if sole talent does not work hard it will ultimately fall behind. So, if you find an area you enjoy and have some natural talent, work hard!