The Development of Any Talent: Q&A Session
by Vaughn Edward
February 15, 2019
You were born with talent, right? Is talent something I can develop?
There are those in the world, who, at very young ages, display talent as bold as a seasoned veteran. These are the people who represent less than 1% of the population in the world. They are the ones who are known to be born with talent. Thankfully, for everyone else, anything can be learned and mastered, with determination, right way of practice and hard work.
Throughout the years, I had many people tell me I was born with talent, and that they themselves could never sing or dance or play an instrument, simply because they were not born with that gift. While they may have meant well, they were misinformed.
I was not born with any talent, not in music, not in writing or movement. However, through my own determination and strong will to learn a few skills, I developed my own talent in these fields. It was common for me to practice (music) 5-10 hours a day, for many years, practicing with a metronome and playing scales, arpeggios, patterns, riffs and licks in every key. While I was away from my instruments, I thought of music and visualized my fingers running over the keys, while listening to the silent sounds inside of my mind.
None of it was easy, and nothing of what I have in my bags today was given to me. Again, I was not born with any talent. I developed talent through striving, learning, memorizing and repetition. Through my own experiences in learning how to sing, play music, write, eye landscapes and stills for photography, I am 100% convinced that any person can learn, develop and master any talent. This includeds music, art, dance, building and creating, cooking, writing and speaking.
One example of mine is in writing. There was a time when I could not write a poem, an article, an essay. I did not even know where to begin, and I was always blocked. However, everything changed one day, when I fell into a silent stillness. I was working the front desk at a performing arts center in Chicago. All was quiet, and I zoned out. In that moment that I zoned out, my mind went blank, and the most beautiful poem was dropped into my mind. It wrote itself. From that moment on, writing became easier and easier. I simply stepped out of the way and allowed creativity to come forth. It is the same with any art form. Creativity and talent will come out, if we take ourselves (thinking and judging) out of the equation.
Think about those athletes who change their diets, work out, run, shoot free throws, or practice martial arts combinations for hours a day. To say they were born with that talent would be ludicrous. The hours of sweat and pain they subjected themselves to, is enough to support this idea. It is the same with all of the Arts, and with any craft. Blood, sweat and tears, and sheer determination, is what conquers and gains.
It all comes from practicing, and trial and error. Repetition. Dreaming, and above all, never giving up. There is nothing which the human being cannot accomplish. The entire notion that we must be born with a gift or talent is a limited belief, stemming from ignorance.
Simply put, if there is something in life which you wish to pursue, then work on it. Practice. Own it. Be it. There really is nothing that cannot be attained, and nothing that cannot be had.