Sunday, April 26, 2009

KTWV 10 Issue 05: What is talent?

(Also posted on Seventh Heaven Blog and Jacob's Blog.)

I usually do not have much time for TV except to throw off my shoes, put my feet up, watch a comedy or detective play and sleep through half of it!

One programme, however, that I have come to like is GPS hosted by Fareed Zakaria on CNN International, late on a Sunday evening.

Zakaria has some fascinating guests. He runs his interviews which do not show his personal bias.

Today was a show in which he had a discussion with an author, Malcolm Gladwell.

Gladwell has written a book called "Outliers". Although I have not read the book and will probably never will, I was fascinated by the discussion and interview.

The main thrust of the view of Gladwell was that "Talent is the Desire to Practice".

I immediately sent this message to several young friends of mine. I wonder how many of them will see this message in all its significance and glory.

The key word is "Desire".

To succeed in anything one must have that "Desire".
To reach that "Desire" one must "Work Hard".
The Hard Work is what we call "Practice"
And Practice leads to "Talent".

Gladwell gave the example of the Beatles, who in 1959 worked 8 hour nights in a strip club in Hamburg playing music. This is enormously hard work. It was this hard work which resulted in the moulding of the most famous Pop Group in the world.

Gladwell made very significant points about the influence of culture on failure or success and also about the development of reading aboilities at a young age which results in the possibility of success.

This statement took me back to the days when Annikki was writing her thesis about the Montessori System of Education. What I heard today was the restatement of what Maria Montessori said 7 decades ago when she noted that a small child will continue to repeat a task till he / she masters it. The outcome is talent, in small steps.

I go back to my school days where I used to watch a dear friend, Elijah Elias, more commonly known to all of us as Ooky, come to school at some unearthly hour and keep on bowling at the nets to achieve pace and direction. That was the talent of Ooky in cricket! But it is this Talent born out of Desire and Hard Work achieved by Practice which has made him succeed in his career in later life.

I take the example of our grandson, Samuel, who at the age of 12 simply loves reading - a book a day.

If his reading is focused correctly, Samuel could be outstanding in his career.

I only hope that in his school in England they realise this. I hope at least one of his teachers has read the book, "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell or knows the principles of the Maria Montessori Education System!

Thank you Mr. Fareed Zakaria.

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