This is an age-old question that has puzzled people around the world. Generally, people tend to be divided on this question with some claiming that innate talent determines a person’s success in this world, and the rest arguing that with hard work a person can overcome all challenges to success. Perhaps, they are both right to an extent. Perhaps, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.
Talent is an innate quality of an individual. It is a special gift to perform a task or skill better than others with seemingly less effort. Children are praised for being talented at writing, singing, painting, sport, and so on. But is talent alone sufficient to get ahead in life and become successful? Do all talented people go on to become successful, famous, wealthy, happy people? If so, then how do we explain unrecognized or wasted talent? Many a talented poet or actor have led lives of anonymity with no recognition of their talent.
On the other hand are people who argue that hard work, grit and determination are more effective routes to success. To these people, hard work is the only way a fair world can be justified—a world where people are rewarded according to their effort, not due to the chance presence of a special gift or talent at birth. Hard work should enable people to identify the challenges in their environment—poverty, lack of guidance, poor resources, low education, tough competition, etc.—and find ways to overcome those obstacles to achieve their goal. Of course, there have been numerous stories of strong individuals who have emerged from despairing circumstances to become leaders, entrepreneurs, artists and scores of ordinary people who have created a good life for their family. Certainly, hard work is the reason for their success.
In reality, the situation is not one that can be viewed in binary terms. Every person has some innate talent and an inborn capacity for hard work, both of which combine to determine his or her success. A person who rests entirely on talent without putting in hard work will end up wasting opportunities and relying exclusively on luck. People prefer working with dependable and reliable people instead of eccentric geniuses. Similarly, a person who works hard at something he or she is not cut out for may only be able to get ahead so far, but unable to transcend mediocre accomplishments. Therefore, it is a combination of talent and hard work that is the key to success.