Passion beats talent

Dividing focus onto weaknesses and strengths brings joy


Photo by Molly Kyles


Story by Molly Kyles, staff writer

Ever since we are born, we let ourselves be limited by fear. We don’t walk till we’re sure we won’t fall. We identify our talents early and stick to them. We don’t try anything unless we know we will succeed. However, this mentality is detrimental to our joy and the chance to find new passions. Instead of asking “Why?” when we have the option to try something new, it’s important that we ask “Why not?”

Taking the leap off the ledge and doing something new — whether it be art, a new skill or anything else under the sun — out of curiosity and without fearing failure is the key to finding a new passion that may hold happiness rather than talent.

In every choice we make, we have the option to take the road less travelled and step out of our comfort zones, but we seldom choose that path. Perhaps it’s because we’re lazy, or scared or just too logical. It makes no sense, from an objective standpoint, to try something that we are unlikely to succeed at. We are told to “stick to our strengths,” but sometimes our passions lie in our weaknesses.

Meryl Streep knits. Bill Gates plays bridge. George W. Bush paints. Even the most successful people, or rather, especially the most successful people, realize that their biggest talent may not be what they want to spend all their time doing. It’s okay to have other interests; it doesn’t mean you’re not using your “gift” or wasting your talent. Whatever it may be, pursue new things, and let yourself, not society, decide how you spend your time. Art is a prime example of a hobby that is deemed pointless or too difficult by many, but its benefits affect anyone who tries it.

But art is simply feeling, and every person is good at feeling, despite what they might think.”

— Molly Kyles

The title ‘artist’ is intimidating, but it shouldn’t be. An artist is anyone who creates art, and there’s no limit or rules that say the art has to be objectively good. Paint for the sake of painting. Draw a pretty tree you pass by. Write a poem, even if it doesn’t rhyme. Art’s purpose is expression, and it’s beautiful to just put your feelings on something material, never mind if it looks nice. Too often do people refrain from trying something as subjective as art because they feel they wouldn’t be any good at it. But art is simply feeling, and every person is good at feeling, despite what they might think.

Not everything in life needs to be perfect. If that was the case, life would be impossible. The key is to be able to accept not being talented at a skill, but not letting that dull your passion of doing it anyway.

Art isn’t the only passion worth pursuing. Often, education and research are seen as something boring, however, when you actually care about what you’re learning about, you can gain a lot. Finding a new passion creates new opportunities and makes you appreciative of many aspects of life instead of just one. Curiosity is human nature, so the next time you have a question about something, follow up on it. If you find something you think is cool, there’s a million sources online for you to find more on it. You don’t need to be an expert.

Straying from your strengths makes you stronger. You will learn your weaknesses and what you need to improve on, and may even find unexpected happiness. Too often we stick to our talents and never try something we might end up loving. And in the end, passion beats talent.