Genetics or any other predetermined factors are not the prerequisite for successful talent, though they may be an advantage. What really matters is the effort that it would take to develop proficiency in any topic. This was the point made by British table-tennis player Matthew Syed in his book Bounce, since he knows from personal experience and from studying historical figures like Mozart that talent is not inheritable. This should also not stifle anyone from endeavoring themselves to any subject.

He writes at one point how enraged he is about how people are stifled and stunted because they have been given the preconceived notion that only talented people have the right genes, that they succeed with their talents because they inherited them. The problem with that logic is that it leads to the slippery slope of racial determinism, that the reason why African-Americans are proficient at sports is because they are genetically predisposed to athleticism.

So, how does talent make the person? It has to do with time, effort, and discipline, since they are ultimately what determine how well an individual succeeds in whatever it is they do. Syed references Malcolm Gladwell by stating that it takes 10,000 hours to become proficient in any subject. Though Gladwell does go on throughout his book Outliers to discuss how those talented people were in the right place at the right time and were able to practice without interruption their skills. Of course, it should be noted that this type of skill training cannot be underestimated or broken if the people wish to develop their skills.

When Hungarian psychologist Laszlo Polgar trained his three daughters to play chess, he did not do so to prove that talent was genetic. He did this decades-long experiment in order to show that parental involvement is needed to train a child to become a genius. That was the point of his book about teaching his daughters how to play chess, since he wanted to show that while there is no clear, definite pedagogy to raise a child, it nevertheless is important to note that even the smallest habits can accumulate into a grander proficiency.

As such, pedagogy is what matters more than genetics—if they ever do. Of course, while talent would matter, then genetics would as well. While race might not play a role in athleticism, family history with height might. Former basketball player Shaquille O’Neal is 7-feet-tall and genetically came from a mother and father who were tall. So, it would make sense that he would have immediately succeeded at sports? Actually, he was very clumsy during his training and was nearly excluded from playing in his team. He would have needed to maintain practice and maintain a steady diet in order to succeed in his basketball career.

Of course, even Shaq knew that he could not make it basketball forever, since he would no longer be picked because of age, so he started pursuing other career options involving business. So, a supposed genetic advantage would not exclude someone from a career that is not sustainable. While it is still possible to excel in basketball, it does not guarantee a life-long sustainability, regardless of any supposed genetic advantages you have.

What does not need genetic advantage is time, for it is about as precious as money itself—hence the phrase “time is money.” All it takes is a myriohorotely in any subject and that would all be needed to excel at any subject. Mozart, and many other famous people like Serena Williams, had plenty of time in their childhoods to not be taken for granted, for their families made sure that they kept up with their subjects in order to excel later in life. And succeed they did, for we know them as household names.

So, parental involvement is incredibly important, since they are already in the position of guiding the child towards success and actualization. In which case, if they want their children to be famous—or at least thriving in an ever-changing world—then they would need to make sure that they know what they are getting themselves into, since 15-18 years is a lot of time to commit to this type of pedagogy. Polgar knew this, for he had planned this pedagogical approach before he met his wife. She agreed to do this before getting married. As soon as they started raising their daughters, they took advantage of as many tutors as they could find. They homeschooled their children, which in America does not sound unusual but in Hungary it most definitely was and the Polgars had to fight to make sure they educate their own children. So, it would require a lot of strife in order to provide that child with long-term success, because the public school educational system has many gaps—and this long-term success and the concept of myriohorotely are a few of them.

We expect the school system to do the job of parents, and we give them that responsibility via our tax money. So, would a child really succeed if the school system makes very little exceptions and expects the child to be as well-rounded as possible? There is a chance that the majority of what a child would learn would not be relevant to whatever career they get into. Polgar noted this and made the point that the subjects that are different to the subjects of myriohorotely would eventually come to the students, since all subjects are interdisciplinary in varying degrees.

As such, while it can only be possible to be talented in a few subjects, the point remains that there would be no change if the pedagogy of the child were to be changed from a “well-rounded” one to a myriohorotely, since students would not have to worry about any difficulty in any of the fields, so long as they apply the same pedagogical methods they were taught by to whatever field they have difficulty in. These subjects are not meant to be intimating, rather they are meant to be ascended. While it may require a lot of time and patience, they would eventually start paying for themselves if it resulted in success.

As such, there is nothing holding anyone back from pursuing a subject, so long as they take the time to do the studying. The human condition does not acclimate to supposed predetermined conditions, such as genetics.

Sources

  • Ynkawen, Robescot. “Bounce, by Matthew Syed | Literature Review.” Ynkawen. 2020.
  • Ynkawen, Robescot. “Myriohorotely | HDW Neologism.” House of the Dream-Writer. 2020.
  • Ynkawen, Robescot. “Outliers: The Story of Success, by Malcolm Gladwell | Literature Review.” Ynkawen. 2019.
  • Ynkawen, Robescot. “Raise A Genius, by Laszlo Polgar | Quintillion Ripenings.” Ynkawen. 2020.
  • Ynkawen, Robescot. Shaq Uncut, by Shaquille O’Neal | Quintillion Ripenings.” Ynkawen. 2020.

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