Pernani

If talent "doesnt exist" then what the hell are strengths?

12 posts in this topic

It is stated in the course that talent doesn't exist, and that any seeming talent can be explained away by attributing it to practice. Does that mean that Strengths are also based on previous practice?

It'd be great if @Leo Gura can answer this

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Ofc talent exist explain to me how someone whose born 6'8 that decides to play basketball wont be more "talented" than a normal guy, don't gaslight yourself.

Your strengths are things you either have an unfair advantage in or you just gravitate towards, you will need to practice if you want to fully utilize your talents.

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I think strengths exist, and in that talent exists, but if they aren't utilized or developed, they won't flourish into anything real.  Just like how many people frame genetics: genetics aren't everything, they are simply potentials which are activated by the environment (to put it probably simplistically).  

Maybe it's like talents or strengths are like seeds in the soil which has seen no rain yet.  But then you start practicing and "watering" the seeds such that they sprout into actual skills that people see.  

And ya, sure, certain people will pick certain things up more easily and maybe have a "knack" for some things and not for others, and that it's probably super hard to really know how much was due to the environment or practice and how much was due to genetics or predispositions.  Like for me, ever since I was young, I never did well or liked things like math, logic, languages, etc., but did really quite well in sports and athletics.  Now, did I do well in sports cuz I grew up in an athletic household?  Or did I find math, logic, and language type stuff difficult because I didn't like them, or did I not like them because I had a genetic predisposition which didn't make my mind find those types of subjects easy?  Dunno.


"Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down"   --   Marry Poppins

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2 hours ago, Pernani said:

Does that mean that Strengths are also based on previous practice?

Yes.

When you were a baby you had no strenghs other than crying and whining all day. As time passed your parents did stuff with you which developed your abilities. You might have done a lot of one thing and thought "I'm very good at that, that's one of my strength" but it only became one of your strength because you did it a lot.

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5 hours ago, Pernani said:

It is stated in the course that talent doesn't exist, and that any seeming talent can be explained away by attributing it to practice. Does that mean that Strengths are also based on previous practice?

It'd be great if @Leo Gura can answer this

Actually, in one of the books that Leo Gura mentions in the course (The Science of Success by W. Wattles) it's explained that talents do exist, however that a person can develop new talents through deliberate practice and through having a mindset that accepts the possibility of new talents being developed. The book says that you will have the easiest life if you find a way to rely on the talents that you already have, but if that's not possible you can develop new talents as well. Personally I think this is true due to neuroplasticity. In order to develop a new talent however, it is very important that you don't simply practice repetitive things that you already know how to do but to constantly push yourself to do things that you feel the least confident about in the context of that talent that you are trying to develop. So for example if you're learning the guitar don't just practice the basics but also push yourself to try and reproduce music by ear. Go into that zone where you feel slightly overwhelmed (but not too much). This is the true fitness for your brain, not staying with the same weights you've been for the last year.

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Talent exists, but it won't get you all the way.


"I would rather be wrong, than live in the shadow of your song. Now my mind is open wide, and now I'm ready to Star(t)!" - Arcade Fire "Ready to Start"

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For me.... Talent x time spent mastering = strengths

If you're naturally talented at something, you understand it at an intuitive level easier or better than most people. Some people just have a better ear for music than others. Others have genetics that make them better at sports.

Anyone can master stuff, but if you're not talented, then it will take longer. In fact you can be "un-talented" and at a disadvantage that causes you to learn slower than other people. Maybe you really love math even though you suck at it. It can still become one of your strengths, but it will take more practice to get there.

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I think a talent can be a couple of factors, one is that you have a natural body type that is perfectly suited to whatever the pursuit is, for example height is gonna help you with basketball, Usain Bolt is almost the perfect shape to give him an advantage in 100m, maybe you could have longer fingers to play piano etc. 

Second is belief, passion and love for the activity, I think this is what sets people apart. Michael Jordan and Michael Jackson loved what they did so much that they practiced from a very young age and become experts in their field. They were willing to practice and learn more than anyone else which is what made them better than anyone else. Without the passion they wouldn't have become what they became and no would've said they were 'talented'.

 

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I've read all of your replies. Contradictory and complementary perspectives. I agree that even if talents did exist, they wouldn't matter to shit without practice, and that the existence of talents is most obvious in physical traits (body stuff). But whether or not it exists with regards to less material attributes is still confusing for me.

Leaving the "passion" and "love" factors out of the equation, I think the value of this question is that if it turns out that all strengths are based on previous practice, then that robs them of their otherwise fateful characteristic ; as in, "I was born to do this thing, because of my innate talent for it that is independent from anything else, it is my destiny". And that may also alleviate the anxiety and indecisiveness that may come from trying to locate these talents and trying to figure out how to locate them in the first place.

This seems to me like it's a question of nature vs nurture, idk if anyone has ever came to a conclusion regarding this question. I don't even know how it's possible to figure it out. It'd be nice to see thoughts or resources regarding this.

Anyhow, I found this interesting article:

 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/236884283_Deliberate_practice_Is_that_all_it_takes_to_become_an_expert

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Some excerpts from the article:

On chess mastery: "There were large differences in mean amount of deliberate practice across the skill groups: master M = 10,530 h (SD = 7414), expert M = 5673 h (SD = 4654), and intermediate M = 3179 h (SD = 4615). However, as the SDs suggest, there were very large ranges of deliberate practice within skill groups. For example, the range for the masters was 832 to 24,284 h—a difference of nearly three orders of magnitude. Furthermore, there was overlap in distributions between skill groups. For example, of the 16 masters, 31.3% (n = 5) had less deliberate practice than the mean of the expert group..."

"But the data indicate that there is an enormous amount of variability in deliberate practice—even in elite performers. One player in Gobet and Campitelli's (2007) chess sample took 26 years of serious involvement in chess to reach a master level, while another player took less than 2 years to reach this level."

"In Gobet and Campitelli's (2007) chess sample, four participants estimated more than 10,000 h of deliberate practice, and yet remained intermediatelevel players. This conclusion runs counter to the egalitarian view that anyone can achieve most anything he or she wishes, with enough hard work. The silver lining, we believe, is that when people are given an accurate assessment of their abilities and of the likelihood of achieving certain goals given those abilities, they may gravitate towards domains in which they have a realistic chance of becoming an expert through deliberate practice"

 

Though Anders Ericsson (very influential writer in the science of expertise, the main subject of criticism by the article) states that the researchers in that article didn't take into consideration the real definition and conditions of "deliberate practice", which according to him is the sole agent responsible for becoming a master at any given domain (except domains that require certain physiological traits).

 

Edited by Pernani

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On 5/22/2021 at 1:52 AM, blankisomeone said:

Omg, these “exist” vs. “doesn’t exist” threads??

hehehehe so funnyy.. thanks for contributing nothing

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