Your Talent Can Only Go So Far: You Need To Learn How To Work

Your Talent Can Only Go So Far: You Need to Learn How to Work

If you're great at something, you may find that you can do it faster mentally. However, rules and processes like showing your work will help you with more difficult problems you'll encounter later. Prepare yourself by learning now, before you're unable to slide by on talent.

Picture: CollegeDegrees360/Flickr

Commentor austenallred explains at Hacker News what it it's like to take maths in university after coasting for years:

Of course, the maths got more complex, but I was good enough at doing it in my head that, at least for a long time, it never really mattered.

I thought it was because I just "got" maths, and the other kids were on a lower level. But as the maths grew in complexity, I fell behind. By the time we reached Calculus I was still doing most of it in my head, as I had never really learned to write it out on paper. And the complexity of the maths outgrew my capacity to visualise. I showed up to my AP calculus test without a calculator, partially because I was forgetful and partly for fun, and it wasn't until I got my score back (a failing 2 of 5) that it finally hit me: I was actually behind. In school. I was cocky enough that this was a slap in the face.

I had to start from scratch, and I'm still not sure if I've made up for a lot of that. I ended up in more creative fields, mostly because I felt inferior to those who had learned the rules and not been cocky douchebags like I had been in the beginning.

You may be able to coast on your talents for now, but your problems could get more challenging down the road. By then, you may not be able to learn the rules quickly enough to stay head — or even keep up — with the rest of your peers.

Curse of the Gifted [via Hacker News]


Comments

    "I ended up in more creative fields, mostly because I felt inferior to those who had learned the rules and not been cocky douchebags like I had been in the beginning."

    Is he/she implying something?

    The view that mathematics is a collection of recipes for mechanical calculations is outdated by a couple of millennia.

    When the famous mathematician David Hilbert (23 Jan 1862 – 14 Feb 1943) heard that one of his students had quit maths for poetry, he quipped, "Good, he did not have enough imagination to become a mathematician".

      There's nothing better than an academic who looks down upon his students...

    I did the same thing, then eventually, after a few years of creativity etc, I returned to mathematics/engineering as a Software Engineer, having to learn how to learn, rather than just to "logically figure it out" on the day.

    A physicist friend of mine spent some time years ago as a maths teacher in high school. He took his pupils right into the subject by talking about creating imaginary worlds using maths...maths is a conversation about the universe, but not limited by what is.

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