What Is Talent?

According to Daniel Coyle’s book, “The Talent Code”, the brain consists of neurons, or simply put, nerve endings that send messages through the brain. In a way, your brain has muscle memory. The more you practice doing something the easier it gets. We have these skills stored  in our brain, but aren’t always aware they are there. By introducing something new to our experience, we build on old skills and advance them further.

This is the most exciting thing I’ve read in a long time. To think at my age I still have untapped possibilities. I embrace this premise now with scientific fact. It’s not just wishful thinking, it’s real. If I put the time in to develop skills and work hard at it, I can still advance myself. My talent will grow.

When I taught art in the public school system, there was a big difference in the skill level of the five-year-old kindergarten students and the twelve-year-old seventh graders. This is no surprise, of course. The development of art skills grows from the earliest scribbling of crayons to the more detailed drawings of the adolescent. This is as good an example as any on how skill advances, one experience at a time. It’s pretty much predictable.

So, I ask myself, if children learn year after year because they are always being challenged, then why can’t the same be true for adults? I take this seriously. If talent is the development of new skills and ideas, then my conclusion is to keep exposing myself to new ways of seeing things. It’s passion for something, that gives it energy. This is where talent is nurtured, and I find that very encouraging.