Thursday, November 30, 2006

Natural Talent vs Work Ethic.

I've been meaning to write about this for a fair while but I really haven't been bothered enough until now. It was a few nights ago at Kyle's "chill out session" with Josh Anna and the usual resident of the house (Kyle) when a certain conversation between Anna and I re-sparked my interest about this. And when Anna greeted me with "update your blog Jin!" last night at the movies, I thought it might do me some good to flop out a blog while I wait for those EoX day photos from everyone.

So dear old Anna may or may not remember but the conversation was about VCE, ENTER and how the process isn't really a test of your intelligence, but rather a combination of intelligence and work rate. Whilst I couldn't figure out if she was whinging or just stating her observation, I thought "damn straight", because that's the way it should be. Being smart is fine, and I'm damn fine, but working hard is just as important.

So Natural Talent versus Work Ethics. It should be pretty obvious what they mean but just to make sure- Natural Talent being attributes that you have genetically inherited; like intelligence, physique, or big vocal range. Work Ethics being the ability to concentrate, work hard, and be persistent at what you do. Since I'm a visual kind of guy and I have a lot of time on my hands;

I don't really know why I chose cauldrons to describe this, but the point is, the cauldron of talent and the cauldron of work ethics mix together to create one big mix known as "performance". Performance is of course the results, the end product, how well you do at something. Talent would be different according to the activity; i.e intelligence would be the contributing talent in your performance in the VCE, Good muscly physique would be the relevant talent in bodybuilding etc. Broadly I'd say there are about 4~5 main types that people can be grouped into in this rather ambiguous and oversimplified "cauldron model" of mine:

Good amount of talent, not enough work ethic; mediocre results. These guys are the ones whose parents always say "he/she had so much potential, but..."

Not much talent, strong work ethic; still mediocre performance. One must respect the work rate, but working hard can only take you so far in the end.

The lethal low-low combination. I suppose it would be rather easy to fall into the trap of giving up trying when you don't have much talent. Better luck next reincarnation.


Good amount of each, pretty balanced-kind of person. Safe and steady.

So what type of student were you when you were at high school? Have you switched types since you started going to uni? So many questions, answers to which I don't really care about.

Personally I'd much rather see a hard working person with less natural talents succeed over someone with natural talents. There's just something so oddly honourable and satisfying about it. Like justice's been served or something. But then again, I've always been a fan of the underdogs.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

And who said procrastinating was a waste of time.

It is long-awaited exam season once again and I'm sure all of you have been studying very hard during Swot-vac (and those of you who do not attend Melbourne University or do not have exams, may Cam have mercy on your soul). By studying very hard, I mean procrastinating, and by procrastinating, I mean not studying and by studying, I mean... yeah you get the message.

It has dawned upon me very recently (literally like as I was writing that masterful intro) that most of us tend to mistakenly associate 'procrastination' with 'counter-productivity'. This is simply and utterly untrue and I believe the picture below pretty much proves my point:

[The Last Supper - Before We Fail All Our Exams] (click to enlarge)

Pure genius. Obviously I didn't create this masterpiece, and all credit goes to Cam, whose ego is apparently large enough to associate himself with Jesus, the son of God, our one and only Messiah, aka the history's greatest hoax.

Setting my extremely blasphemous comment aside, the point I'm making here is that procrastinating is not necessarily counter-productive, but is simply a habit in which heightens our creativity and concentration to its maximum potential on anything other than studying. Contrary to popular belief procrastination can infact make us quite productive; For example, and Josh will agree with me here in saying that my longing to play the guitar, sing, and write music increases dramatically during exams periods. And indeed, based on past experience and currently, I play a lot more guitar and sing a lot more per day than I usually would. I also came up with a few things of my own which you'll hopefully never hear. Anyway the point is, I was being productive via the ways of procrastination, just not on something that needs to be done at this point of time.

Good luck for your exams, all.


The real Last Supper (1495-97) by Leonardo Da Vinci.

Most of you won't get this, but there are a few 'interesting features' on Cam's version of the Last Supper that I've noticed. I want you to have a go at guessing what they are. I'll give you a hint for one of them; 'bum-chumness'.