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  09 September 2012
Originally Posted by Njen: I absolutely disagree with this. (As stated above) no one is born with abilities or talents. "Talents" are acquired as someone practices something over and over again, that is how the brain forms those neural connections. So what this boils down to again is that: more time spent = better skills.

Whenever someone says to me something along the lines of "you are talented at xxx", I reply back saying there is no such thing as talent, and they could be do what I can if they had spent the time as well.

Talent is an initial capacitive predisposition.
Talent has nothing to do with learned experience. Talent, as Raffaele mentioned, is based on aptitude. It is usually the expression of a constellation of capacities that together manifest in a higher than normal performance in a given novel task. It levels off quickly and the skill requires the hard work that anyone has to do to develop, whether the particular skill takes 10 minutes to master or a lifetime. I’m not a subscriber to the 10k hrs to mastery thing—outside of playing the violin.
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  09 September 2012
Originally Posted by Njen: Your post is a little confusing in that parts of it seem to agree with me exactly, and parts of it disagree.

That is the case, and it's easily sorted.

Quote: All I am saying is that it is a scientific fact that neural pathways build when someone increases the amount of something, which roughly correlates to more time spent = better skills.

True, and agreed with, but you're omitting that the rate at which individuals build these pathways is profundly different between them and between skill-sets.
So, this we agree on, but I feel it needs that note, badly. See below.

Quote: I am sure we all have anecdotal references of "some person" that did a small amount of learning and is now amazing at it, but that's the point, they are anomalies.

Leave the extremes out, even within the middle third of the bell curve some individuals at one end of the third register activities several times more intense than people at the other (selectively).
You're not talking a 1% of people at the top end being 50% more effective than the average. You're talking about a billion people being 300% more effective than another billion in some particular ways. Those aren't anomalies.
The anomalies are four years old that can compose an original orchestral piece, or people that in medivil ages could figure out nature's chief mathematical pattern through thought alone.
Someone learning to play an instrument and compose in literally a fraction of the time of the next person is the average.

Quote: I am saying there is no such thing as "natural abilities" and "gifts". What you don't know about those people who sing on XFactor that apparently have "raw talent" is that they probably have been practicing night and day for many years to get that good.

And this is the part where we fully disagree.

It might be semantics, but the ability to configure large amounts of your neurons and form billions more couplings in a day than the person beside you can, in a particular context, within the middle third of any large sample, indicates we DO have natural abilities and they DO play a significant part in learning. A huge part.

Acknowledging it and working to exploit your strengths at their best, and to cope with the frustration of when you bump into your weaknesses, is important to learning and establishing method, which is important for the rate of progress.

Burying one's head in the sand by saying there is no such thing as natural abilities, talents, or whatever you want to call something that, again, has a name (aptitude), only does damage.
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Last edited by ThE_JacO : 09 September 2012 at 04:10 AM.
 
  09 September 2012
Originally Posted by ThE_JacO: Burying one's head in the sand by saying there is no such thing as natural abilities, talents, or whatever you want to call something that, again, has a name (aptitude), only does damage.


I guess we will have to stay disagreed on this point then, as I see it in the opposite light, is in putting ones head in the sand and believing there is such a thing as natural ability only does you damage. I do highly suggest reading that book I mentioned earlier that helps dispel the myth of the "natural creative" though.
 
  09 September 2012
Quote: I am saying there is no such thing as "natural abilities" and "gifts". What you don't know about those people who sing on XFactor that apparently have "raw talent" is that they probably have been practicing night and day for many years to get that good.


But then there are those people who practice night and day and still are very, very bad.

Mariah Carrey for example, her voice is a natural ability. Plain and simple. I could practice 10,000 hours and still never have sung better than her first hour of singing. Now as she grew she practiced and got better and better. Again because of her talent that was built into her dna and vocal cord structure which she inherited from her parents she is able to sing like she does. 1 month of her practicing and 10,000 years of my practicing would never, ever allow me to sing nearly as good as her.

Olympians for example are 1/2 raw talent and 1/2 practicing and harnessing that talent. They have a physical aptitude that comes naturally.
I can practice and learn how to run properly but I'm still going to be beat by a naturally fast runner like Michelle Jenneke. I can practice all I want and train and she would still beat me without practicing. She is a naturally fast runner who practiced and simply got faster.
I am an above average speed runner and if I trained could get faster but only within my own natural and genetic ability.

No amount of practice would allow me to be able to dunk or Jordan, Shaq or Lebron James.
 
  09 September 2012
Originally Posted by AangtheAvatar:
No amount of practice would allow me to be able to dunk or Jordan, Shaq or Lebron James.


Funny that you mention Jordan...
Quote:
"The following is conversation between Coach Roy Williams, then an assistant at the University of North Carolina and a young freshman named Michael Jordan:

When Michael Jordan first got to UNC, we were sitting at the track one day after conditioning. It was just the two of us. “Coach,” he said. “I want to be the best player to every play here.”

“You’ll have to work much harder than you did in high school,” Williams said.

“But, Coach. I worked as hard as everybody else.”

“Oh, excuse me. I thought you just said you wanted to be the best player to ever play here. Working as hard as everybody else is not even going to come close, son.”

That was the end of the conversation.

Two days later, after the next conditioning session, Michael comes up to me and we were sitting there alone again. He said, “Coach, I’ve been thinking about what you said. I’m going to show you. There will never be anyone who will outwork me.”

He did that. From that day on, Michael tried to kick everybody’s rear end in every drill.

From "Hard Work: A Life On and Off the Court" by Roy Williams "


Tim Grover (He was Michael's personal trainer) talking about Michael Jordan's work ethic. (Short video)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peibLmDfOeE
The man hard a work ethic FROM HELL. He practiced all the time.
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  09 September 2012
Saying all that, I still want to reiterate the tortoise beating the hare every single day. Most of the jobs I've seen go to students who were not usually the most talented or gifted individuals but the hardest working, motivated, and often overlooked and possible the most important, intelligent. Intelligence keeps your from the Dunning Kruger effect in thinking your work is better than it actually is. It also helps with problem solving and being able to tackle qualities in work. It's not the end all, but intelligence is sooooo overlooked in this field. After 12 years of teaching in this field, Im still waiting for a total rumdum figure this out to a professional level. Just this year, we've had two students turn down CG art jobs to go to medical school, I'm not kidding. Neither were very accomplished artists when they started the program. So in all, unless you have some learning hurdles, it's more than likely that rolling up your sleeves and getting down to business, in the smartest ways possible, will garner success. So to answer the original OP's question, I'd say both.
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Last edited by MrPositive : 09 September 2012 at 08:58 PM.
 
  09 September 2012
Originally Posted by AangtheAvatar: Mariah Carrey for example, her voice is a natural ability. Plain and simple. I could practice 10,000 hours and still never have sung better than her first hour of singing.


You do realise that she begun singing at the age of four right? That is why she is such a good singer, years and years of practice.

Originally Posted by AangtheAvatar: Olympians for example are 1/2 raw talent and 1/2 practicing and harnessing that talent.


I challenge you to find an successful Olympian and tell them this. Then wait for them to reply that it is all practice, practice, practice, as Roberto has illustrated in his response.
 
  09 September 2012
Yeah, Jordan worked hard as hell, and his stories about how he was not a tall kid and was fighting what he thought was his predisposition and all are all very touching.

Fact remains that there are people who trained just as hard, or harder, that didn't amount to a fraction of what he was.
He also had inhuman coordination, reflexes, spatial awareness, an ability to think on his feet on the field, and packed horsepower per muscle that genetically only a fraction of the population ever reaches, even between those conditioning for JKD to mastery level.

He worked just as hard at baseball, and he sucked many large hairy balls at it. Ops...

Getting into physical realms though won't do the commitment argument any favors, because if there is one field where the norm is exceptional individuals succeeding, and very few succeeding without starting off as genetically gifted, that's most sports.

Quote: I challenge you to find an successful Olympian and tell them this. Then wait for them to reply that it is all practice, practice, practice, as Roberto has illustrated in his response.

Oh yeah, and I challenge you to find a successful enterpreneur that came from a rich family to begin with that like admitting he started from a vantage position. They are dime a dozen, just like atheletes that score in the 99th percentile on natural reflexes that had no advantage whatsoever when the rest of the team going through the same routines scores below the 97th admitting there is some magic to it

Lets not go into music or sports and still pretend genetics have nothing to do with it, seriously, because that's where the whole argument becomes ridiculous, because both have been hard proven to be hugely bottlenecked by how you're born before you even thought of training.
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Last edited by ThE_JacO : 09 September 2012 at 05:28 AM.
 
  09 September 2012
To the OP - Do you enjoy drawing at all? Do you enjoy any creative art? Because it doesn't sound like you do, and it rather sounds like you are doing this for the wrong reasons, trying to find a shortcut.

There is no shortcut.
There is only work, hard work.

If you enjoy it then it's no problem working on it because it's entertaining. And the more you enjoy something the more you want to do it and thus the better you get at it. This is what talent is. The ability to find joy in something not to be an expert at it. A happier person is a more productive person.

You need to have it in you to really want it otherwise there is no point forcing it as it is a waste of your life.

Stop wondering about it and just do it. You're already wasting time.
 
  09 September 2012
Originally Posted by pap87: Stop wondering about it and just do it. You're already wasting time.


I think we can all agree on that.
 
  09 September 2012
Originally Posted by BojanStankovski: Is drawing is a born talent? Or it's from hard working?


I think the most important talents to become great at anything, including drawing or sculpting, would be determination, focus and curiosity. But having fun at what you do is maybe the most important "talent".
Without those, the raw talent for drawing ( if there is such a thing ) won't do you any good.
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  09 September 2012
If look at a group of 20 kids, there will be 1, 2 who are much better at drawing than the other kids, regardless of their practice before. There will also be a few who are better at sports. There will be others who have higher social skills, etc.
If you think all people are born with equal skill set, you're delusional. We don't have the same bodies and looks everybody, why should the brains be similar.
It's all about finding out what you're good at, what you want to do and then keeping working on it.
Actually I think the most important "talent" for becoming successful in something is the ability to stay ambitious and focused.

edit: toonafish beat me to it

Last edited by plastic : 09 September 2012 at 08:54 AM.
 
  09 September 2012
Originally Posted by ThE_JacO:
Fact remains that there are people who trained just as hard, or harder, that didn't amount to a fraction of what he was.
He also had inhuman coordination, reflexes, spatial awareness, an ability to think on his feet on the field, and packed horsepower per muscle that genetically only a fraction of the population ever reaches, even between those conditioning for JKD to mastery level.


Ha! This is me in tennis. I have loved and lived the sport since almost birth. I worked harder than everyone in the midwest and got as much out of my physical talent possible, even getting my college completely paid for on scholarship. I even remember my hands and feet bleeding from playing so long and running lines late into the evenings. However, when we went up against top college/pro players, and ridiculous talents, I remember usually getting beaten soundly. 'For some reason' (they definitely didn't train harder than me, so fill in your word of choice) these guys could just hit every shot in the book with far more power than me. My brother is a great example. He barely practiced, partied in college almost non stop, then could usually go out and rock me like a hurricane in tennis and pretty much every other sport no matter how much more I practiced. lol At some point, I had to come to the realization that my dream of playing professional tennis was never going to happen, no matter what I did. Depressing? Perhaps. But I would have never found my other loves and maybe even greater talents or competencies in teaching, 3D art, and video gaming late into the evening. Anybody that denies talent/gift/skill/capacity or whatever you want to call it for certain things are being a bit too optimistic. hehe Bless you for being so positive, but it also misleads some people as well into following some dreams that bankrupt them and put them behind things they may have better aptitudes for in life.
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Last edited by MrPositive : 09 September 2012 at 04:57 AM.
 
  09 September 2012
Was I born with a natural talent for procrastination - or did it come with practice??
 
  09 September 2012
Originally Posted by MrPositive: Ha! This is me in tennis. I have loved and lived the sport since almost birth. I worked harder than everyone in the midwest and got as much out of my physical talent possible, even getting my college completely paid for on scholarship. I even remember my hands and feet bleeding from playing so long and running lines late into the evenings. However, when we went up against top college/pro players, and ridiculous talents, I remember usually getting beaten soundly. 'For some reason' (they definitely didn't train harder than me) these guys could just hit every shot in the book with far more power than me. My brother is a great example. He barely practiced, partied in college almost non stop, then could usually go out and rock me like a hurricane in tennis and pretty much every other sport no matter how much more I practiced. lol At some point, I had to come to the realization that my dream of playing professional tennis was never going to happen, no matter what I did. Depressing? Maybe. But I would have never found my other loves and maybe even greater talents in teaching, 3D art, and video gaming late into the evening. Anybody that denies talent/gift or genetics for certain things are being a bit too optimistic. hehe Bless you for being so positive, but it also misleads some people as well.

I think this is a great thought. Whenever I have to explain pro tennis to new people I say that probably top 20 (male) players on the WTA tour are so evenly matched physically and technically that they can beat one other on any given day. What sets the top 5 apart is not the work ethic or physique but what goes on inside their head under stress and pressure. Some people just have their head wired by nature (and nurture) in a way that allows them to think on their feet, absorb information quicker, and see the big picture where others don't.
 
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