Skill Or Talent and Why Should It Matter?

The other week, when I talked about my recently rediscovered drawing skill, I didn't realise that I was opening a can of worms. As well as the several lovely comments about some of the drawings that I had shared, (thank you!) I also received a few emails, direct messages and comments telling me that I had got it wrong. That my drawing wasn't a skill but a talent.

So I thought I'd address that here, because I'm pretty certain I didn't get it wrong!

A Family full of natural born (W)rights!

I mean, my surname is (W)right!

The definition for talent is natural aptitude or skill.

I do not have a natural aptitude for drawing. Honestly, I couldn't draw for toffee before I took my art GCSE. I couldn't suddenly draw because I found some amazing inherent ability. It was a learned skill and one which if I don't keep practising at I shall no doubt lose because I'll get all rusty!

I do have a natural aptitude for music. It wasn't until I was taking GCSE Music (again that was a mistake, but one I enjoyed making) that I developed that talent, but I did have a natural ability that was able to be developed further. Even now, I can sing even if I don't do anything more than sing during the day at home to songs on the radio, or sing along with the hymns at Church on Sunday.

The definition for skill is the ability to do something well.

I have the ability to do something well, (compared to some) because I have practised and honed my skill. I think that this probably applies to my skill for driving (which I hate doing), cooking and even writing this here blog (although I think saying I do it "well" is a bit much!). I am forever refining my skills with regular practice and as I keep practising I can improve little by little.

I'm not saying that I'm ever going to be the worlds best at something, but if I keep going then I might be better than I was today at something!

Why does it matter?

Well, to be perfectly honest I don't think it matters that much at all, if we can develop our talents brilliant. If we can create skills that give us the same ability as those with talents even better. It pays to try new things and to practice at them right?

At the Church I attend, one of the things that we are encouraged to do is to develop our talents.

The Milton Keynes Chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

We believe that we are given certain talents and that we need to learn to identify them, to hone them and then to use them to benefit both our families, friends and mankind. We believe that we have a responsibility to God to find these talents and to use them.

We have specific groups, which are kind of set up to do just that. The children's group is called Faith In God or an Activity Day and in this group 8-11 year olds (they leave just as they turn 12) work on learning skills and developing their talents. In the group that I'm a part of (as an adult) there is a young lad who is brilliant at sports and I know that when we come to the section about Fitness and learning to play a sport or game he is going to excel. The other children who aren't so brilliant at Sports will still learn a skill and whilst they may never master the sport like the natural sportsman they will have this skill in their arsenal for the future.

We carry this on in the Young Women's and Young Men programmes (12-18 years) and to a certain extent in Relief Society (Women 18 years +) which is why you will find a lot of Mormons that tend to be brilliant at what seems like everything!

We also think that talents are many things. Yes, it could be the singing and the art that I've already mentioned, but it could also be sewing, or cooking, or writing, or working with technology, or building, or designing, or talking, or sports, or gardening, or looking after children, or teaching, or telling jokes, or helping others, or motivating people, or speaking different languages, or a million different things that I've not named here.

Top Ender and Dan Jon Jr practising their Maths Skills. Is it a talent or a skill?!

When you are encouraged to educate yourself, to try new hobbies or skills and to later build upon these it does wonders for your confidence, your sense of self and even for your family. We are taught that these skills will bring blessings, such as being able to help those around us, but I don't think that we ever stop and think about how they will bless us physically.

I mean, the art that I've been creating at home has been brilliant for helping me to relax. The cooking that I've been doing has been creating wonderful meals for my family and helping me and Flyfour to lose weight. The gardening I've been trying out has been creating pleasant outdoor spaces for me and my family to enjoy, has been giving me some exercise and has allowed me time to think and enjoy the fresh air.

What skills or talents do you want to work on?