Talent vs. Skill

What Are You Good At?

Tiger Woods was born in Cypress, California, in 1975. As a child prodigy, Woods was introduced to the game of golf before his second birthday by his father. He was playing on a mini-green on The Mike Douglas Show by the age of two. He could out perform his father at age 11 and broke a score of 70 on a regulation golf course when he was 12 years old. At that time, he was the youngest person to be a U.S. Junior Amateur Champion. Woods was recruited to Stanford where he won the 1994 NCAA Division I Championships. He went professional by age 20 and was declared the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year. During his career he won over 100 U.S. and international tours, 14 Major Championships, and 18 World Golf Championships.

Was It Talent or Skill?

Tiger Woods accomplished many impressive feats to have an astounding career as a pro golfer. Was it talent or skill that elevated him to such greatness? Nature or nurture as it were? Let’s break them down to find out.


A talent is something that comes naturally to you. You’re born with that ability and the task or accomplishment comes to you easily when others struggle. My ability to write an abundance of content is a talent. Pablo Picasso painting masterpieces was a talent. Adele singing record breaking hits is a talent. We were born with these abilities and from a very young age those around us knew there was greatness in us.


A skill is something that you must learn. People are not born with skills even though our predisposed talents may allow us to learn different skills more quickly or have more interest in learning them in the first place. My ability to build this website is a learned skill. You driving a car is a learned skill. Throwing a ball at a running receiver is a skill; however, the talents of athleticism and hand-eye-coordination help predispose someone to being a quarterback on a football team more than others.


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Use Your Talents to Enhance Your Skills

Whether talents or skills are more important will be debated until the end of days. I argue that both are equally important. Skills are much harder to learn if they go against your talents i.e.: the skill of programming when your talents fall on the more artistic spectrum. Talents are not meant to stand alone either. You may be great at absorbing information and retaining it. If you do not have the communication skills to convey what you know, then things will be much harder in collaborating with team members.

Time to Discover Your Talents

Knowing your talents does not always come easily. For those of you struggling to know what your talents are, I have a couple of questions for you to ask yourself.

What comes easy to me?

What do I enjoy doing?

What was something I can do that no one taught me?

You can also ask others what they think your talents are. Always use your talents and skills so that they coordinate and build each other up. You are already fighting in a world that does not want you to be successful or brilliant. Use every advantage you have.


Thank you for reading this installment of Daily Download. Please like, share on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. You can follow me, Ryan A. Ross, on Twitter @ryanthebossross. Don’t forget to check out the Archives. There’s a lot of great stuff including Writer’s Workshop and Friday Fiction Breakdown. If you have a topic you would like to see appear on the Daily Download, please email me.

The question of the day: What talents and skills do you have? Please comment below or tweet me.

Until tomorrow.


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