Is It True That You Either "Have It" or You Don't?

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seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
11,766
2,034
113
#1
Hey Everyone,

I've decided that 2019 is going to be The Year of the Bucket - the year that I'm going to try to get busy and hopefully start crossing some things off my own lifelong bucket list. And so, I recently took a painting class, only to find out... that I am not a painter. I loved the challenge of mixing the paint colors into the exact shades I wanted, but filling in all the little lines, spaces, and spaces-between-the-lines was driving me crazy.

While the instructor was very encouraging, she was also very honest in that, when it comes to some artistic venues (particularly drawing,) "you either have it, or you don't." I am confident that without a doubt, whatever that "it" is, I don't have have "it."

This got me thinking about how this well-known phrase has been used in other areas of life... and in some places where it just might NOT be true.

For example, how many of you have been told, or tell yourself things such as:

- "I can't understand math/reading/science. Being smart is either something you have or you don't, and I don't have it."

- "I'll never be able make friends or find a significant other. Attracting people/making friends is just something you have, or you don't."

- "I'll never be (insert negative, crushing comment here) good enough, successful enough, pretty enough, or have enough faith. Some people have those things, and I'm just one of the ones who doesn't have them."

While it's true that some God-given talents seem to be inborn, is this true in most other areas of life as well, or not? What things are more a matter of potential that has to be shaped and practiced, rather than a whole heap of, "Well Hey There, I Guess You've Got 'It'" - whatever "it" happens to be?

I'm always disheartened to hear about people who were told that they were "slow" or "stupid" throughout their childhoods when in fact, they actually may have had a learning disorder and just needed extra time or additional/alternative instruction.

* What experiences have you had with either "having it" or not having it in areas of your life? Do you believe that most abilities are a matter of either "having it", or not"

* What things were you told you were bad at, but eventually found out that were actually pretty good at when you tried?

* What things would you like to try but hold back because you don't think you have "it"?

* How much do you think success in certain areas of life relies on having a mysterious inborn talent, or is more a matter of hard work and practice?


I'm interesting in hearing people's perspectives on how much of our talents are "just something a person has," vs. how much someone can take what they do have and run with "it". :)
 
S

Stranger36147

Guest
#2
Either you have it or you don't.


That's exactly how I feel about being a writer. I always wanted to write stories. I even dreamed of writing scripts for movies.


Unfortunately, I don't think I have the talent for it. I don't think anyone can teach you how to be a good writer. It, for the most part, is something you have a natural talent for....or you lack it.


I do wish I had it though. Writing stories would have been fun for sure.
 

Didymous

Senior Member
Feb 22, 2018
4,417
1,633
113
#3
Talent is something you're born with, but that doesn't mean hard work and perseverance can't get you there, as well.
 

Lynx

Senior Member
Aug 13, 2014
14,967
2,759
113
#4
I know some people that the boss at w*rk has put with me, for me to train them on that job. Some got it, some don't. You can tell the first day. It takes a good week to get the job down pat, but the first day you know which ones will excel, which ones will be okay but never stellar and which ones should never, ever do that job.

Then there are some things that people dismiss as "I'll never be able to understand that" when I am convinced they really could if they tried... that is, if they tried without the "I'll never be able to understand that" mindset.

Installing and using Linux Mint can be done by a child of four.
I have heard the Gospel explained better by a child of six than I will ever be able to explain it. I wish I had recorded it.
Anybody can find true love, but only when they aren't looking for it (from what I have observed.)
It's easy to understand why people do some things, if you try. Lots of people just don't try, or maybe don't care. Or maybe they don't think they will be able to, so they try to not care.
 

Subhumanoidal

Well-known member
Sep 17, 2018
1,473
1,243
113
#5
I think it's true, but there is a catch, in most if not all cases.
Lets take you, Seoul, as an example. Do you have 'it' to become a famous, world renowned painter? It doesn't sound like it. Do you have the capacity to become a decent painter? Probably you do. Do you have the patience for that? It doesn't sound like it haha.

And unfortunately a love for something does not equate to excelling at it, either. As a teen i wanted to be a musician. That's all i wanted. I loved band practice. I loved the creative process of writing songs. Working with close friends towards a goal we all contributed to that we all were excited about. The downside? I am not naturally musically inclined. Singing? Nope, not me. In fact i was told i was quite bad (i never took that as mean, just honest). Drums? I played for two years and it felt like after a year i topped out and never got any better, and i wasn't that good to begin with. Music theory? No, that's illogical gibberish written in some alien language. Even now as i work towards my goal of 4000 albums (i'm around 3,600 now) i still know little about music. And i watch videos, singing teachers, etc... but it's just not for me. And, for me, not worth the effort to become a mediocre musician. I don't have 'it'. Ironically my dad learned guitar, banjo and mandolin in his younger years, and can carry a tune. More ironically my cousins are between the ages of 14-22 and all four are multi-instrumentalists/singers. Two of which have some CD's out and won countless competitions. No doubt their classically trained guitarist father had a hand in helping them. -.-
They're also all very good artists hahaha. And much much nicer than me =P

People who have 'it' are commonly the ones that succeed in whatever field they're in. Those who don't have 'it' are the people that worked hard to learn, but hit limits, and thus never excel in their chosen field. They have their own place, just not a very elevated place.
I think more important than having 'it' is how much enjoyment you can extract from learning and performing it, regardless of how far you ever get with it. I've known people that had 'it' in certain areas, and simply did not care. It was infuriating for me, as a practicing drummer, to see our churches drummer blow me out of the water, and he didn't even want to play drums. They stuck him on them as a kid, just to keep a beat. So for years he only practiced or played at church, didn't even own a set. Yet i played 2 hours a day, 5 days a week and wasn't half as good. Grrr....
 
Apr 8, 2019
46
75
18
#6
I think there's a bit of both.
As an example I don't play tennis, I'm terrible at it. If I told someone I was going to train to get into the top 20% of tennis players in the world that would not be a crazy statement. I could train and work hard and eventually I would make it. If I instead decided that I was going to win the US Open well that would require some amount of talent that I don't have. So at the very high end I think talent is needed but in general for day to day life hard work will get you to where you want to go.
 

christian74

Senior Member
Oct 1, 2013
508
183
43
#7
Either you have it or you don't.


That's exactly how I feel about being a writer. I always wanted to write stories. I even dreamed of writing scripts for movies.


Unfortunately, I don't think I have the talent for it. I don't think anyone can teach you how to be a good writer. It, for the most part, is something you have a natural talent for....or you lack it.


I do wish I had it though. Writing stories would have been fun for sure.

I know this one writer who tried to write good but was constantly was told he's no good - and now he is one of the best selling authors.

So if you still have that fire, don't let it go out but keep writing it - truth to be told, who cares what others say about your writing as long as you are doing what you like, right?
 

christian74

Senior Member
Oct 1, 2013
508
183
43
#8
I think what matters more, as some have stated, is not whether you have it or not but whether you enjoy it regardless.
 

cinder

Senior Member
Mar 26, 2014
3,111
1,133
113
#9
Hey Everyone,

I've decided that 2019 is going to be The Year of the Bucket - the year that I'm going to try to get busy and hopefully start crossing some things off my own lifelong bucket list. And so, I recently took a painting class, only to find out... that I am not a painter. I loved the challenge of mixing the paint colors into the exact shades I wanted, but filling in all the little lines, spaces, and spaces-between-the-lines was driving me crazy.

While the instructor was very encouraging, she was also very honest in that, when it comes to some artistic venues (particularly drawing,) "you either have it, or you don't." I am confident that without a doubt, whatever that "it" is, I don't have have "it."

This got me thinking about how this well-known phrase has been used in other areas of life... and in some places where it just might NOT be true.

For example, how many of you have been told, or tell yourself things such as:

- "I can't understand math/reading/science. Being smart is either something you have or you don't, and I don't have it."

- "I'll never be able make friends or find a significant other. Attracting people/making friends is just something you have, or you don't."

- "I'll never be (insert negative, crushing comment here) good enough, successful enough, pretty enough, or have enough faith. Some people have those things, and I'm just one of the ones who doesn't have them."

While it's true that some God-given talents seem to be inborn, is this true in most other areas of life as well, or not? What things are more a matter of potential that has to be shaped and practiced, rather than a whole heap of, "Well Hey There, I Guess You've Got 'It'" - whatever "it" happens to be?

I'm always disheartened to hear about people who were told that they were "slow" or "stupid" throughout their childhoods when in fact, they actually may have had a learning disorder and just needed extra time or additional/alternative instruction.

* What experiences have you had with either "having it" or not having it in areas of your life? Do you believe that most abilities are a matter of either "having it", or not"

* What things were you told you were bad at, but eventually found out that were actually pretty good at when you tried?

* What things would you like to try but hold back because you don't think you have "it"?

* How much do you think success in certain areas of life relies on having a mysterious inborn talent, or is more a matter of hard work and practice?


I'm interesting in hearing people's perspectives on how much of our talents are "just something a person has," vs. how much someone can take what they do have and run with "it". :)
I would say that having "it" is a real thing, but having it is like a natural affinity or inclination, not a deterministic thing in life. Some examples from my own life:

From the things people say and write, I think I have a much lower than normal awareness of the physical world. So I read interview advice that talks about body language and my first thought is something like " ummm, I'm never aware of my own body language, I literally never think about whether I"m smiling or not and couldn't tell you what facial expression I have at any given moment". I think through hard work and training I could become more aware of it, but I doubt it would ever be something that feels natural to me. As far as artistic anything, I've realized I see the world more as ideas than as the actual physical stuff that's there. That basically means I'm terrible at drawing anything (can't even draw a straight line to save my life) because I don't see every branch of the tree, I see bushy green on top with a brown straight trunk. And from art classes in school, even impressionist art seemed too detailed for me. I also have a challenging time writing stories because I see the outline, but have a hard time filling in the details.

Perhaps because I see the world as ideas though, I catch on to systems and how things work super quickly and easily. I remember when I was studying engineering and how many of my classmates would need to see example problems and would write out these complicated formulas with notes about how length had to be in feet and weight in pounds for the numbers to come out correctly. Me, after the theoretical part of the lecture I felt pretty good about tackling any problem and never felt the need to write down more than a super basic equation for it and then I could just factor label my way through the units. In my current job my understanding of systems is super helpful, but I'm constantly baffled by people who know what to do in a normal situation, but have little clue what anything they're doing means when it becomes a not normal situation or they messed something up and have to go back and fix it.

As for personal relationships, we have kind of ideal personality styles that we call normal. Women are supposed to be extroverted and emotionally attuned; I'm an introverted thinker. It's not that I don't care or don't have feelings, but I'm probably not going to express them the way someone thinks I should (yes totally guilty of trying to solve the problem instead of empathizing with someone who comes to me and starts talking about a problem). So there are going to be plenty of people who don't get me, and since I'm a minority personality type well they're probably just going to find someone else to interact with that fits their mold better. I don't see this changing, not because I think it's immutable, but because I don't think it's worth the effort to try to cram myself in a box I don't fit so well in. That doesn't mean that I shouldn't ever try to adapt to people (though usually that's by asking "do you want my advice or do you just want to vent" when they start complaining to me) but I'm always going to have to think about being sympathetic, it's never going to be my default mode.
 

Krumbeard

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2019
481
409
63
#10
I don't have it when it comes to painting either, or sports or drawing.

There are things I wish I did have "it" for and was close to going forward with some plans to pursue one of those things but realized that along with physical limitations I can see others that do have "it" and I see that I would not be well suited to it.

As Lynx said about training people you can see who has it. There was a guy at work that thought he had it because he had certifications and paperwork etc. He didn't have it. He didn't make it past his trial period. What's worse, he didn't get that he didn't get it.
 

Pipp

Majestic Llamacorn
Sep 17, 2013
4,639
1,491
113
#11
Cake decorating was my "I just don't have it" thing that turned into..." I might have a little of IT". I took a class at Michael's arts and crafts when I was 16 and was basically told I was unteachable cause I'm left handed and the instructor and the rest of the class were right handed. I took the class and did pretty crappy... but I kept trying .

I worked and practiced and made a ton of ugly cakes . From time to time I'd watch youtube tutorials and eventually hit my stride. Many years and many wedding, birthday, baby shower cakes later and who would have thought I've even taught cake decorating classes for a pretty large group of ladies and their daughters .

Sooooo if it's something you really want to do..don't give up. Remember practice makes progress. :)
 

17Bees

Senior Member
Oct 14, 2016
527
240
43
33
#12
I suppose if we're equating "it" to success, then I think things get pretty complicated. Is it IQ? I don't think so. IQ is something that doesn't change much. And while your actual cognitive abilities don't change, your abilities to adapt do. So while you might have a higher IQ, your ability to solve complicated issues might not be a strength which puts you on the same level as someone with a lower IQ. The opposite might be true for a person with average IQ who has a strength for successful pathway navigation so that complicated issues are solved by this type of person making them more valuable. So then, can we therefore equate success to value?

There are people in this world who have little cognitive ability. Matter of fact it's estimated that about 10% of people in USA have an IQ of less that 70. This means these people can't reasonably be expected to hold a job, joint the military, or even capable of acquiring the simplest skill base. But the question is this: does this affect their value. As a mother? As a friend?

I grew up in a rural area,. The Appalachian mountains. I knew a guy name D.A.V..I.D. David. He always spelled his name when someone asked and he beamed with pride doing it. David had a bad stutter and in another memory of mine I gave him a St. Christopher medallion and told him it would cure him of his speech. I swear, he held that dimestore medallion like it was a vase from the Ming dynasty and it made me regret what I told him.

We fell out of touch and I moved away, but of all the people come and gone since, the bosses, the professors, the preachers. who do you reckon I remember bringing value to my life? D.A.V.I.D. that's who.

I think success or value or "it" is what you give to others. Whether it's successful for you... or not.
 

Solemateleft

Honor, Courage, Commitment
Jun 25, 2017
1,255
1,081
113
#13
Talent is something you're born with, but that doesn't mean hard work and perseverance can't get you there, as well.
Agree... I've always told my kids the ol' saying that "Hard work beat talent, when Talent does not work hard."

They were all three born with 'it' - Talent in their respective sports/interests... But the root of their talent was their 'heart-of-champions', competitive spirit, self-confidence and 'never quit' determined mind-sets...
I like to think that they inherited or learned these characteristics from me...

I used to believe that my 'it' was my 'self-confidence', I call it my 'mojo' others call it 'swagger.'

The 'it' that I don't have: as a people-person I've learned that I have a difficult time communicating effectively (and patiently) with 'Judge Judy' types... The types who only want very direct yes/no responses to their inquiries without any explanation - as they are inclined to frame their own assumptions/conclusions without all those human/humane details...
 

blueluna5

Active member
Jul 30, 2018
155
88
28
#14
Hey Everyone,

I've decided that 2019 is going to be The Year of the Bucket - the year that I'm going to try to get busy and hopefully start crossing some things off my own lifelong bucket list. And so, I recently took a painting class, only to find out... that I am not a painter. I loved the challenge of mixing the paint colors into the exact shades I wanted, but filling in all the little lines, spaces, and spaces-between-the-lines was driving me crazy.

While the instructor was very encouraging, she was also very honest in that, when it comes to some artistic venues (particularly drawing,) "you either have it, or you don't." I am confident that without a doubt, whatever that "it" is, I don't have have "it."

This got me thinking about how this well-known phrase has been used in other areas of life... and in some places where it just might NOT be true.

For example, how many of you have been told, or tell yourself things such as:

- "I can't understand math/reading/science. Being smart is either something you have or you don't, and I don't have it."

- "I'll never be able make friends or find a significant other. Attracting people/making friends is just something you have, or you don't."

- "I'll never be (insert negative, crushing comment here) good enough, successful enough, pretty enough, or have enough faith. Some people have those things, and I'm just one of the ones who doesn't have them."

While it's true that some God-given talents seem to be inborn, is this true in most other areas of life as well, or not? What things are more a matter of potential that has to be shaped and practiced, rather than a whole heap of, "Well Hey There, I Guess You've Got 'It'" - whatever "it" happens to be?

I'm always disheartened to hear about people who were told that they were "slow" or "stupid" throughout their childhoods when in fact, they actually may have had a learning disorder and just needed extra time or additional/alternative instruction.

* What experiences have you had with either "having it" or not having it in areas of your life? Do you believe that most abilities are a matter of either "having it", or not"

* What things were you told you were bad at, but eventually found out that were actually pretty good at when you tried?

* What things would you like to try but hold back because you don't think you have "it"?

* How much do you think success in certain areas of life relies on having a mysterious inborn talent, or is more a matter of hard work and practice?


I'm interesting in hearing people's perspectives on how much of our talents are "just something a person has," vs. how much someone can take what they do have and run with "it". :)
It's a fixed verses growth mindset. Fixed mindset means we're born with certain "gifts" or we're not.

A child typically has a fixed mindset. They think the answers just appear to people without working for it. In reality discipline is the greatest attribute of success.

Growth mindset means you can achieve any level of success by practice. "practice makes perfect." During my childhood I got "Our family just has to work harder in school." which is a nice way of saying other people are smarter and don't work for it. By contrast I was constantly told I was very talented in music. It was "gift." I also practiced daily.

In reality our brains are a muscle and we literally create groves in it. I grew up in the vision board, achieve your dreams, etc generation. But the work ethic is not always there. It's hard explaining to my parent's generation that it's a growth mindset world.

The things that we struggle with the most is actually fear. So yes, I'm terrible at snowboarding. But really I'm scared of always falling. I prefer playing instruments at home. Really I'm afraid of messing up in front of others. I use to struggle with tests. I actually had test anxiety or fear of failing.
 

Mel85

Daughter of the True King
Mar 28, 2018
8,202
4,457
113
#15
Thanks Kim for bringing up this topic, I find it very interesting because most of what you’ve said is very true about me :)

When it comes to Maths or problem solving equations in numbers - I don’t “have it”. Truth be told. But if you show me and I learn how to do it, then it clicks for me, I know some people who are just naturally gifted with numbers, for example my dad, he loves solving maths equations and can belt out the answers from the top of his head - but for me, it takes a little patience for me to catch on and also, I’m a visual person, so you have to show me how to do it.

When it comes to music or creative things, I feel like I “have it”. When other youth leaders ask me to come up with a worship dance, song or music, I can easily do so. If you ask me to draw or match colours for art graffiti, I can do so as well.

There are many things that I “don’t have”, but many things that I “do have” which I feel gives a good balance for myself.

I also agree with what most people on here have said so far, that if you really are passionate about something, go for it! It really does take perseverance and determination to achieve the impossible, also just as important to pray and ask God to give you the wisdom and strength to do so :)
 

Kojikun

Well-known member
Oct 5, 2018
2,452
1,548
113
#16
Hey Everyone,

I've decided that 2019 is going to be The Year of the Bucket - the year that I'm going to try to get busy and hopefully start crossing some things off my own lifelong bucket list. And so, I recently took a painting class, only to find out... that I am not a painter. I loved the challenge of mixing the paint colors into the exact shades I wanted, but filling in all the little lines, spaces, and spaces-between-the-lines was driving me crazy.

While the instructor was very encouraging, she was also very honest in that, when it comes to some artistic venues (particularly drawing,) "you either have it, or you don't." I am confident that without a doubt, whatever that "it" is, I don't have have "it."

This got me thinking about how this well-known phrase has been used in other areas of life... and in some places where it just might NOT be true.

For example, how many of you have been told, or tell yourself things such as:

- "I can't understand math/reading/science. Being smart is either something you have or you don't, and I don't have it."

- "I'll never be able make friends or find a significant other. Attracting people/making friends is just something you have, or you don't."

- "I'll never be (insert negative, crushing comment here) good enough, successful enough, pretty enough, or have enough faith. Some people have those things, and I'm just one of the ones who doesn't have them."

While it's true that some God-given talents seem to be inborn, is this true in most other areas of life as well, or not? What things are more a matter of potential that has to be shaped and practiced, rather than a whole heap of, "Well Hey There, I Guess You've Got 'It'" - whatever "it" happens to be?

I'm always disheartened to hear about people who were told that they were "slow" or "stupid" throughout their childhoods when in fact, they actually may have had a learning disorder and just needed extra time or additional/alternative instruction.

* What experiences have you had with either "having it" or not having it in areas of your life? Do you believe that most abilities are a matter of either "having it", or not"

* What things were you told you were bad at, but eventually found out that were actually pretty good at when you tried?

* What things would you like to try but hold back because you don't think you have "it"?

* How much do you think success in certain areas of life relies on having a mysterious inborn talent, or is more a matter of hard work and practice?


I'm interesting in hearing people's perspectives on how much of our talents are "just something a person has," vs. how much someone can take what they do have and run with "it". :)
The worst part is going through life thinking you have it than realizing when your older your the only one who thought so
 

JustEli

Well-known member
Dec 23, 2018
874
636
93
45
#18
I was taught that anything is possible, nothing is beyond my reach.
Not being high minded and proud, but I was born with heaps of talent
in nearly every aspect of life. Which ironically produced a very cumbersome
streak of laziness within me.
 

Lynx

Senior Member
Aug 13, 2014
14,967
2,759
113
#19
I hear you. Many people have told me how talented I am in many areas, but I don't seem to want to do anything with it.

However...

 

melita916

Senior Member
Aug 12, 2011
9,822
1,897
113
#20
I can sing in tune. I can harmonize. I can play the violin. I know a few chords on the guitar.

But I wish I could draw. For the real.