The truth behind the debate over hard work vs. talent

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Main characters from season one of “Grey’s Anatomy” pose for the cover image of the show.

Megan Landon, Staff Writer

Everyone has probably heard the saying, “Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard,” but is that really the case? This is generally associated with sports and athletes, but it can be applied to all walks of life, such as work and school. There are many times when this saying is true, but on several occasions talent simply beats out hard work. It gives off the impression that as long as people work hard, they will win. That is not necessarily true.

For example, in track, anyone can work hard during the workouts and try to improve their times, but when it comes to the actual race, the naturally talented runner is going to beat out the hard worker. It’s as simple as that.

Some people are naturally gifted, and no matter how hard someone else tries to beat them, they cannot seem to do it.”

— Megan Landon

Another example of hard work vs. talent is in “Grey’s Anatomy”. Dr. Cristina Yang was no doubt the most intelligent doctor at Seattle Grace Hospital, and then there was Dr. Isobel Stevens who came from a trailer park and had to try and work her way out of it. The two seemed to argue often, many times about who was the better doctor. Yang always got the best surgeries and Stevens was left with the boring ones, just because Yang was smart and went to Stanford. It paid off for Yang to be naturally smart and come up from a more favorable background, even though it didn’t seem fair.

On the other hand, though, there are many times where hard work can beat talent. In a skill that can be acquired, such as playing soccer, hundreds of hours of practice are needed to be the best, and probably more. There are good athletes who are blessed with a strong shot and quick footwork, but if they don’t work hard and apply themselves, the person that shows up every day for practice and grinds it out will probably win favor with coaches, and get more playing time. In school, the person that studies for a test for hours every night will most likely get a higher score than the other student who banks on their natural intelligence for the test and chooses not to study.

Hard work definitely can beat talent when talent doesn’t work hard, but the truth is, many times talent outdoes hard work. Life isn’t fair, and some people are blessed naturally with abilities that others are not. All people can do is try their hardest and know that they can’t win at everything, no matter how fair it seems.