Be it cooking, public speaking, singing, and painting or writing; there is something you are naturally awesome at. And this is not in comparison to any other person. My scale of comparison is how much work you have to put in to be as awesome as you are. Despite it’s rewards, natural ability has it curses.
The Curse of Limited Technique
When I was much younger, I owned the 100 and 200-meter races. I didn’t get any formal training or coaching; I could run. For an untrained, ‘natural-ability-runner’, I think I did well, but my natural ability placed some curses on me. During my stint, I mistook great results for great processes. Over time, without the right process/techniques, my results dwindled. Any country/school/institution that churns out talent in any field equally boasts of great academies and training centers. In these facilities and structures, natural ability is built up with technique. I didn’t have the privilege to enjoy that. We cannot underestimate the value of correct technique. I didn’t learn the techniques. Why would I? I was winning races here, there and everywhere.
The Curse of Injury
No one taught me to warm up before races; I didn’t as much as stretch. My persistent inflamed Achilles pays the price for this daily. If time is not taken to learn correct technique, we leave ourselves vulnerably to all sorts of injuries and mishaps. Sing wrongly long enough and you loose your voice. Throw the shot put wrongly long enough and you might tear, rupture or dislocate something. This curse flows directly to the next.
The Curse of ‘The Flash In A Pan'
My career lasted approximately four years. Yes, I won medals, broke records and created some others, but four years was all my natural ability could offer. I tore my Achilles and my Olympic dream came to an end! I can think of the many child-actors who lit up my TV, but 10 years on are no more. What happened to them? Somehow natural ability didn’t translate to career longevity. We have a term for them: ‘Kid-Stars’. Flashes in a pan, I call them.
The Curse of Laziness
Truth be told, we never work hard at things we are already good at. At least most of us don’t. Therein lies the curse. Hard work is sacrificed on the altar of early progress and success. Without hard work, we can kiss any hope of making long-term impacts goodbye. Natural abilities have a way of lending to taking hard work for granted.
No matter how gifted you are, never underestimate the value of proper technique and hard work.
Do you know of any other curses of natural ability?