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  • Writer's pictureHelen English Artist

Finding genius

This week I found myself discussing where talent comes from in a café chat with a lady who I know. It centred around the topic of art, of course, but my take on it can be used to talk about any topic of choice.

Some people just seem to be good, or even gifted at particular things. You know who I mean. That artist whose work captivates you or that computer genius who can write perfect code or fix anything. The amazing mathematician in your class or at your workplace who always knows how to approach a problem and gives you an accurate estimate or answer in a couple of seconds. They are amazing and it can seem like we can never be that good. However, I have an alternative explanation and I really want to share it with you.

When you look at the masters of our classrooms and workplaces, I think that motivation is the key to what you see. Motivation creates a playground for learning. Those people who seem to pick maths concepts up quickly have gone home and gone through the process that they learned that day. They listen carefully for clues as the concept is taught and often they can be the person who asks the questions. Making a habit of doing all of those things, due to being excited about a topic, means that they have already done it before and the new idea adds to what they have already learned. The artist who creates work which you love has learned to look at the world through artist’s eyes, looked for ideas and opportunities as they have gone about other business. They have practised ideas and honed their unique style.

Of course trying something new with a relaxed mindset can also create faster learning but I really believe that the sum of the parts is what creates talent. Self-efficacy, which I have touched on before, also plays a part and believing that you can often means that you absolutely will. You know that saying? Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you will be right. Something to definitely bear in mind when starting a new skill.

As to my coffee shop converser, her final words were, “You need to write an article about this!” In turn, I want to be clear. This article is just my opinion. However, if sharing it creates discussion then I am always willing to listen to what you think. Apart from that, I think that you should find and follow your motivation and become the master of your own world.

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