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Talent or Hard Work?

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Old December 28th, 2012 (5:49 AM).
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I'm sure we've all heard the phrase, 'Hard work is the key to success,' or something of the sort, but do you find that to be true in its entirety? Do you think that success is attributed by time and effort, or do you think that the people with the most 'raw, natural talent' are the ones who succeed with ease? If so, what would you define as 'natural talent?'
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Old December 28th, 2012 (6:09 AM).
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Success is a mixture of luck and hard work. You can work hard for your entire life and only just manage to scrape through. You need to fall into the right set of circumstances and know what to do and be prepared to do it.
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Old December 28th, 2012 (6:20 AM).
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I think success is a combination of a plethora of things. Hard work, time, dedication, persistence, skill/talent, luck all play a rather large role in determining the success of an individual. (imo)
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Old December 28th, 2012 (10:18 AM).
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Luck is the key to success. The luck of getting discovered, the luck of being recognized, the luck of being appreciated, and the luck of getting known. You can have all the talent in the world, or be the hardest worker in the field, but if you don't have the luck that someone even cares, then you aren't going to succeed.
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Old December 28th, 2012 (12:34 PM). Edited December 28th, 2012 by Patrick.
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Seriously. It's mostly about who you know. I know that when you try to get a part time job, sometimes they make you take (bogus) tests to find out what kind of worker you are. I've seen a few with some questions that look just like this one, but also ask if luck or "who you know" has something to do with it. Obviously, you never want to answer anything that makes it seem like you have no control, because you're trying to get the job. But I think realistically, everyone is aware of the fact that you need to have a minimum amount of contacts and connections to do anything more than meager work.

Like everyone else said, you can be a very hard worker, or extremely talented, but the person who ends up the hot shot superstar at the end of the day is the person who was probably the most personable and/or charismatic, and unfortunately, bias and subjectivity plays a role in this. I was interviewed for a part time job just because the supervisor liked that I worked on a music video. I had no experience doing anything related to the job whatsoever, but I still had a repport with him. And subjectivity doesn't always play nice, either. I've interviewed with other artists and we still couldn't connect, just because our personal tastes didn't gel. But it's one thing to be interviewed, and another to scope out professionals and collegues on your own time. That's why I'm milking the heck out of the concept of networking while I'm at this entertainment media school. If I come out of this without a job, that's honestly my own fault for not talking to people, work and talent be darned.

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Old December 28th, 2012 (6:01 PM).
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I think it just depends on both, and a lot of other things mixed in.
There is no way you could really strive with just talent. I mean, if you're a jerk or if you're stupid, you're bound to be fired eventually, so you might as well have people skills and smarts, too. You have to be street and people smart, and you have to know what you're doing and have a fair amount of patience, too.
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Old December 28th, 2012 (6:35 PM).
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I think it really depends on what you're trying to be successful at, but most of the time luck is the greatest factor in success.

You don't need to put much work into a book for it to be successful, it just needs to be discovered by the mainstream (e.g. Twilight), meanwhile the best books of our time go fairly unnoticed by the public for unknown reasons (e.g. House of Leaves). A lot of the most successful musicians have little talent, and put in little work (I don't mean the actual people in most cases, I mean the music their label allows to be released). It's all luck and $.

But if you stop defining something as 'successful' for the amount of money it has made, the whole meaning changes and a lot more things become successful. That person who has lived an amazing life they loved but isn't famous and doesn't have the most money; that book, movie or band whose fan count doesn't go past a few too many but are loved dearly by each and every one are successful because they accomplished what they set out to do.

If you really think success is determined by profits and fame, you better hope you have a lot of luck lest you suffer the same fate Van Gogh did.
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Old December 28th, 2012 (7:31 PM).
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Honestly, I don't think luck affects success. I think if someone has talent and hardwork, he or she will achieve whatever he or she wants.

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Old December 28th, 2012 (8:37 PM).
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Hard work and the right place at the right time is certainly helpful to increase the chances of success, but nothing is certain in life with anything in my opinion. Sometimes another's misfortune can be a door to success. Sometimes having knowing the right person can land a great job. The question is super broad, but not everyone can excel at everything. That's what makes everyone different, right? We all have our own strengths and weaknesses.
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Old December 29th, 2012 (6:11 PM).
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Hard work is what gets you where you need to be. Talent alone is nothing. It's an advantage. It means you might have to work a little bit less hard. But a lazy talented person is not going to go anywhere near as far as a hardworking person who doesn't have the talent naturally.

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Old January 2nd, 2013 (12:20 PM).
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Originally Posted by Squidchan View Post
Success is a mixture of luck and hard work. You can work hard for your entire life and only just manage to scrape through. You need to fall into the right set of circumstances and know what to do and be prepared to do it.
Ding ding ding! We have a winner.

If someone is the most naturally gifted person in... whatever (let's say playing the saxophone), but doesn't have the right background or enough resources or a good support system behind them, they're probably not going to go many places. Conversely, someone who is just born into a saxophonist family might have a hidden 'in' with the right people, but if they're genuinely crap, they won't go that far in that career path. It's a real mixture of hard work and talent/luck/whatever you call it. Different things require different ratios of the two, but both are necessary to succeed in pretty much anything in life, unfortunately.
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Old January 2nd, 2013 (12:47 PM).
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Agreeing with squidchan and Catdog here, but I've seen more success from those who are hardworking than from those with talent alone.
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Old January 2nd, 2013 (3:15 PM).
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I think that with enough hard work comes talent, just another word for experience, I think natural talent just means the person picked up on it quickly so they get more experience and therefore more talent.
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Old January 2nd, 2013 (4:03 PM).
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Originally Posted by Kura View Post
Agreeing with squidchan and Catdog here, but I've seen more success from those who are hardworking than from those with talent alone.

While luck is a *factor*, it's not the most important aspect. People who work hard and are passionate about what they do can increase their chances of "luck" in being discovered or knowing the right people, because they will work hard to get out there and meet people related in the field, or actively talk about what they do with others. Basically, hard work takes into account of "luck" in a sense that you can increase your "luck" that way.

As for talent, it's certainly there but don't take it that a person isn't "meant" for anything... Some people pick up things a lot easier than others, but imho with enough hard work, you can overcome a lot of challenges. I admit that there are times when there's limitations by birth... but most people blame their own lack of success on this way too soon (especially say, high school math >_>)
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Old January 5th, 2013 (6:23 PM).
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I look at it this way:

Talent is how far you can run in the first place, where maybe it's a mile or so.

Hard work is learning to run a marathon.

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