Work vs. Talent

 A very famous inventor named Thomas Edison once defined genius as “1% inspiration and 99% perspiration”, putting forth the notion that hard work is much more important than any amount of talent. Earlier today, me and my family had a discussion on whether or not hard work is more important than talent. My entire family, including myself, agreed that hard work is far more important than any amount of talent in achieving “genius”, or more importantly success. 

As Jewish emigrants from the Soviet Union, success is one of the common goals that our family pushed for and still push for today through their lives. They emigrated so they could have above average amounts of wealth, freedom, health, and happiness in our lives. In each of our experiences, we quickly came to understand that any amount of superior or above average intelligence did not matter at all in achieving success when no work is put in to refine and apply such intelligence and/or natural skill. 

My family says that I am intelligent, but fully unwilling to work hard. I think that at this time of my life, I possess neither an unnerving amount of intelligence nor a work ethic in any form. But I think it is important that at the very least, once I claim that passion to succeed and be happy as an adult that is encoded in my Jewish DNA, I will focus on what to me is the most important piece in the puzzle that is success: perspiration. 

One thought on “Work vs. Talent”

  1. Desire to succeed is truly part of the Jewish identity. As a result, we don’t even question in. What I like about your post is that it is an invitation to pause and reflect on it. In parallel, what I like about this seemingly dormant period in your life is that it may be a metaphorical pause for yourself for reflecting and aligning your values before you charge ahead and create meaningful actions leading to your success. I am glad you are taking time to think, write, and share your thoughts with your family and friends, and exchange opinions. I am sure the trajectory of your life will be a shining upward arch of a shooting star beautiful to behold. And, your family is always-always here to root and support you!

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