Worldview: Random thoughts from a wandering mind: The scale of talent to skill

Most of us find ourselves in awe of those videos of a little kid, maybe just five years old, who can sit down at a piano and pound out a Mozart sonata like he was born with the instrument in his hands. We marvel at such raw talent, and some of us might even feel a little jealous we don’t have it.

And sure, while most of us weren’t playing Mozart when we were five, the fact remains that most of us, given enough desire, determination, and practice, could learn to play that sonata at some point. While we may not have the talent, we do have the capacity to learn the skill.

I pick the musical example on purpose because it represents a category of endeavor where so many of us marvel at the notion of natural talent while ignoring the possibility of finely crafted skill. We tend to see undertakings like music and art and many skilled crafts as the purview of talented artisans even when we are otherwise interested in them.

While talent can give someone a head start in such endeavors, I posit that it is the development of skill that gives anyone, talented or otherwise, the tools to succeed. To me, talent is a starting point on a line defined by skill. Talented people start with natural skill.

Why is that important? Because, I believe, anything can be learned by anyone, as I mentioned earlier, given enough desire, determination, and practice. Yes, those three things may be lacking, and as a result, a skill may not be successfully honed, but that does not mean it cannot be.

So, the next time you marvel and someone else’s talent and wonder if you could ever do that, try. Find out. If you really want to, you might surprise yourself.

DLH

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Readiness: Be ready now: 3 things you can start doing this week to be ready for whatever comes next: Minimum skills

Be ready now is a weekly post about things you can do right now to get ready for whatever might come next courtesy of Dennis L Hitzeman’s Readiness Weblog. You can find other posts in this series in the “Be ready now” category.

This week’s theme: Minimum skills

  • Immediate: At a minimum, everyone involved in your readiness plan should be trained in basic first aid, CPR, and rescue breathing. Other useful minimum skills can be fire-starting, use of basic clearing tools such as saws, chainsaws, and breaker bars, and orienteering.
  • Intermediate: At least one person involved in your plan should have some level of training in the following areas: medical care, knife sharpening, sewing, shelter-building, skinning and butchering game animals, small engine repair, large engine repair, and weapon repair.
  • Long-term: Long-term readiness skills include raising food and livestock, construction of weatherproof shelters, finding sources of fresh water, negotiation, and self-defense.

 

Do you find this information informative and helpful? Feel free to contact me and let me know. You can also contact meabout ways you can support this effort.

DLH

 

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