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Does Hard Work Beat Talent, When Talent doesn't work Hard?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/5/2016 Category: Society
Updated: 6 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 479 times Debate No: 89214
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)




Hard work or talent? People have been debating on this almost everywhere. These words are creators of many things, such as buildings, art, culture, etc, they all came to be because of hard work. Research shows that hard work is more successful than talent. Hard work is essential in one's life and is more important than talent because it guarantees success and talent can"t exist without it.
Hard work is really important; it guarantees success and therefore is essential in life. As shown in the video "Ted Ed Lesson Worth Sharing", all successful people work hard to achieve their goals and dreams. Hard work is like a formula, without it there is no answer or in this case without it there is no result, no success. Talent can only get you so far. According to the same video, you don"t have to be the smartest or the best at something to become successful, as long as you put in the effort and time you will triumph. This shows that as long as you work hard, you will achieve your goals. No matter what obstacles are in your way and no matter what "mountain you have to move". This phrase was mentioned by a "lost boy" from Sudan named Gabriel. Gabriel is a speaker who motivates people and young teens to work hard, give there best, and not give up. Pushing yourself through hard times and moments doesn"t mean that you won"t succeed.
Talent can"t happen without the burning fuel of hard work. According to "Psychology Today", " Even if you weren't born with genius in your genes, you can outperform the smartest of individuals as long as you work hard". If you"re not willing to put in the hours and the work, than your talent is practically jejune. Thus, talent isn't as important as hard work; it"s only a part of what makes success. It's like an extra attachment some people have to give them advantage and luck. The whole world was made from hard work. All the art, music, architecture, formulas, science, came and developed from hard work. You can never doubt hard work. For example, according to an article called "Hard work beats Talent", a girl named Alex Lisbona who had never tried cheerleading in her life just joined a cheerleading team. Everyday she practiced and worked hard, and then one day, she was better than everybody on her team. The author goes on to write "It is said that hard work beats talent- People who are truly dedicated to what they do end up better than those who are naturally gifted but don"t use their abilities." This proves that those people who put in the hours, don't give up, and are truly dedicated, will achieve their goals. You may not succeed at first, but it doesn"t you won"t in the end.
Even though the evidence leans towards hard work, the opposition may argue against it, saying talent is more important than hard work because it can give a real world advantage. Talent can also get people far in their careers. According to a New York Times article called "Which is more important: Talent or Hard work?" some people"s intellectual ability will enable them to remember more than a normal person. The article gives an example of two pianists. If one remembers more than the other he or she is considered more successful. Even though this statement may be true, any person still has to practice to maintain that ability. Also according to the New York Times article, a thinly disguised intelligence test was given to more than 2000 young talented people. The finding of the study showed that 99.9% of 12 year olds, the truly talented ones, will be more successful in life. "Having an elevated intellectual ability hands you a colossal world advantage", states Shannon Doyne. Even if that person is talented he or she still has to work hard to manage their talents successfully. According to a famous scientist named Albert Einstein, "Genius is 1% talent and 99% hard work"". Talent may bring people easy success but hard work is the reason for that success.
It"s incontrovertible that hard work is essential in one"s life, it is the the building blocks of all success. To add on talent can"t exist without it, "Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn"t work hard". People who are truly dedicated, put in the hours, and work hard will at one point achieve their dreams. There will be many people with talent in their lifetimes, but those who work hard will truly succeed.


First, I’d like to thank fgandler for giving me the opportunity to discuss this resolution. It is something that I think many people may believe, but I’d like to prove why it is actually counterproductive to believe only in “hard work” leading to success.

Does Hard Work Beat Talent, When Talent doesn't work Hard?

Taking the Con side that hard work doesn’t beat talent when talent doesn’t work hard, requires defining the following terms, that Pro has failed to provide.

Work: activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result.

Hard work synonyms:Donkeywork,heavy labor, hard graft, difficult labor, backbreaking work, drudgery, hard way, long haul, tough grind, uphill battle

Beat: defeat (someone) in a game, competition, election, or commercial venture.

Talent:natural aptitude or skill. ttps://

Practice:verb 1. To perform (an activity) or exercise (a skill) repeatedly or regularly in order to improve or maintain one's proficiency.

Success: the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.

As the resolution stands, “hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard,” my burden of proof is that either talent beats hard work or that working hard doesn’t necessarily lead to success If I can prove either, I win this debate. .

Given the definitions that I provided, work, let alone hard work doesn’t beat anything (other than maybe your own body). Talent is a natural aptitude or skill, and can be applied to any task without having to work hard. If talent is applied to work at all, talent is enough at the obtaining of any personal goal one sets out to achieve. Goals are not only related to obtaining a successful career. Goals can be to use one’s talents to build or create and achieve comforts for one’s personal enjoyment.

In order to put talent to use - it doesn’t have to be applied to careers or even employment. Talent can be put to use without working hard, and working too hard can actually diminish the fruits of working efficiently at a pace that is productive but enjoyable. The quality of the product one is creating using talent will be of more value if it is created carefully rather than if rushed while working hard.

Working too hard can lead to stress.

Hard work that is stressful and can be attributed to many health problems.

Taking these articles into consideration, hard work is actually counterproductive and can lead to being less successful in the long run!

Next, I will rebutt my opponent’s ideas about Hard work and talent and how it leads or fails to lead to success.

Pro claims, “The whole world was made from hard work. [source please] All the art, music, architecture, formulas, science, came and developed from hard work. You can never doubt hard work.” He cites no direct source for this statement but continues in that paragraph, “according to an article called "Hard work beats Talent" a girl named Alex Lisbona who had never tried cheerleading in her life just joined a cheerleading team.” Pro then describes Alex at succeeding in cheerleading and attributes it only to practice and hard work.

Just because someone has never tried something, doesn’t refute the idea that they could have innate abilities, waiting to be discovered thru trial and, yes, practice. But practice is not necessarily hard work, and working hard at something that you don’t have a knack for doesn’t guarantee success.

Pro also attempts to refute a counterargument to the resolution that doesn’t exist: “Even though the evidence leans towards hard work, the opposition may argue against it, saying talent is more important than hard work because it can give a real world advantage.”

I don’t even know what is meant by a “real world” advantage. What other world is there other than the one we all exist in?

Pro then goes on to cite statistics that favor talent and “practice” when referring to an example of two pianists, but “hard work” isn’t mentioned as a contributing factor leading to success in this example. Next, pro quotes Shannon Doyne, "Having an elevated intellectual ability hands you a colossal world advantage,” but then pro states, “Even if that person is talented he or she still has to work hard to manage their talents successfully.” There goes pro with the “hard work” theme again, when the statement he quoted never suggested “hard work” was necessary to have an initial advantage. I am not arguing that practice isn’t necessary to improve or succeed at any skill whether one has natural talent or develops talent; I am arguing that “hard work” is counterproductive to practice, since hard work is stressful but practice is usually enjoyable.

It IS controvertible that hard work is essential in one's life, and it is NOT the the building blocks of all success. Hard work is stressful and can lead to health problems! Practice that is enjoyable is therapeutic and that is what leads to REAL success, whether one has natural talent or develops skills thru practice.

Pro fails to quote Kevin Durant > Quotes > Quotable Quote

“Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.” So I think judges should take that into consideration.

I’d also like to inform Pro that a “wall of text” is more difficult to read, than if pro were to insert spaces between paragraphs.

I look forward to reading pro’s response in our discussion of this resolution.

Debate Round No. 1


fgandler forfeited this round.


My opponent has forfeited so I am unable to refute any rebuttals of my arguments that he may have made.

I’m going to use this round to take the arguments that I made during my first round into greater depth. Working too hard can lead to stress and too much stress can lead to health problems and a loss of productivity are the arguments that I will be expanding on. I will also explain how practicing is a better method than working "hard"is, at improving skills that can lead to success.

Stress Causes Health Problems

First I will define stress as far as its effects on the body and then I will explain how those effects lead to many health problems.

"Stress is simply a reaction to a stimulus that disturbs our physical or mental equilibrium. A stressful event can trigger the “fight-or-flight” response, causing hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol to surge through the body."

Adrenaline and cortisol are hormones that cause physical reactions in our respiration, circulation and digestion. Becoming stressed out while working too hard can cause these horomones to be released into the body.

American Psychological Association explains in depth the changes that occur because of stress.

Respiratory Effects of Stress

Stress can lead to shallow and rapid breathing. This is why exercises that help you learn to control your breathing assist in relieving stress. An article by explains how stress effects respiration.

“Stress: Similar to breath holding, stress can lead to rapid, shallow breathing. Shallow breathing is described as breathing that uses only the intercostal muscles to draw air shallowly into the lungs as opposed to breathing with the diaphragm that pulls air deeply into the lungs. People are often unaware of shallow breathing and breath holding and may do it throughout the day. Shallow breathing leads to hypercapnia, and results in more feelings of fear and anxiety, thereby perpetuating the situation. This is perhaps why "deep breaths" are so often prescribed in fear and anxiety situations.”

Another article, correlates deep breathing (like when you are not stressed) with oxygen levels in the blood, which is healthy. .

“ The mechanics of breathing determine oxygen supply. Shallow chest breathing gives rise to oxygen deficiencies, as there are very few blood vessels surrounding the upper lobes of the lungs. Most of the blood vessels surround the lower lobes of the lung. Deep, abdominal breathing is the answer to optimum oxygen levels.”

Cardiovascular Effects of Stress

“As stated before, acute stress (short-term periods of stress, like work deadlines) cause an increase in stress hormones, known as adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol. During these moments, heart rate increases and blood vessels dilate, increasing blood pressure.”

Working under prolonged stress like one can experience when continuously working too “hard” can eventually lead to hypertension, heart palpitations, heart attack, or stroke.

Effects of Stress on Digestion

The information that I found about how stress affects digestion is so extensive and complicated that I, as a non medical professional, cannot do justice to explaining it. An article, “Does Stress Cause Digestive Problems,” explains in depth how it does in fact cause serious digestive problems. This is just a brief example of how stress is responsible for deteriorating the digestive lining:

“In the next few sections, we’ll review how chronic stress leads to gut issues by altering intestinal permeability, increasing inflammation and lowering immunity, changing the gut microbiota, and finally, actually increasing the amount of pain we feel. Stress Opens the Intestinal Gates.”

That sums up how stress (often times from working too hard or even worrying about working hard) can lead to serious health complications.

Stress Causes a Productivity Losses

Many people may believe that they will have less stress when they achieve success at whatever goal they have set for themselves. They believe that the “hard” work that they dedicate to achieving a goal will be reduced when they achieve their goal. An article, “When Success Causes Stress” from Business to Community explains how this can occur:

“You can love your company, but it will never love you back. (Cliché, sure, but true.),” writes Haden. “No one lying on their deathbed says, ‘I just wish I had spent more time at work …’ Business success, no matter how grand, is still fleeting. Fulfillment comes from achieving something and knowing it will carry on: Raising great kids, being a part of a supportive extended family, knowing you have helped others and changed their lives for the better.”


The sentiments of the quote that I have chosen show that in the overall sceme of thing, “hard” work is of lesser value than other aspects of living.

In an article, “Are You Too Stressed for Success?” in the Huffington Post, it is mentioned that working too “hard” can hurt productivity:

“The challenge is that after a point, this bargain stops working. Where stress can help us deal with problems, overstress just makes them worse. After a point, the harder we push, the worse our productivity gets, because stress makes us stupid.”

Another example from that same article, discusses how pushing employees too hard results in a loss of productivity:

“Results are equal to processes times productivity. In a crisis, most leaders respond with new strategies (process changes) and by pushing people to work harder (productivity changes). However, once a team has crossed the line from stress to overstress, any process improvements usually come with an equal or greater cost in terms of productivity, and trying to push an overstressed team harder only makes them perform worse.”

“Work smarter, not harder,” Is a phrase that is often quoted, but oftentimes not given serious consideration. This is what I mean when I say that practice which is enjoyable is more productive than "hard" work which is usually drudgery.

R13; Carl Barks

I have expanded on the theme of my what my rebuttal may had included, had Pro not forfeited. I hope he returns to this debate and we can continue to discuss this resolution.
Debate Round No. 2


fgandler forfeited this round.


Well since Pro has forfeited again, I will use this round to give a summary of why hard work doesn't beat talent even when talent doesn't work hard.

Hard Work is drudgery. Drudgery causes stress and stress leads to many health problems. Being ill certainly doesn't beat being healthy, even if the person who is ill has had a successful career which resulted in material wealth. Furthermore, talent is the innate ability to do something, a natural aptitude, and even if a talented individual is unsuccessful in a career or at achieving material success, a talented individual can use their talents wisely to make the best of things, even while being considered "less" than those who work themselves into ill health.

So, hard work in the long run doesn't beat anything, and is self defeating. One is better off making use of their talents, by practicing the skills that they are gifted in, and utilizing those skills whether one is considered successful for notable achievements, or whether one's use of talents just contributes to a better quality of life.

Thank you, to anyone who reads this debate and judges it.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Kilk1 6 months ago
Well, it looks like you win, Emmarie. Congratulations! It's interesting all the debate topics that exist.

I was wanting to let you know that I've replied to your post a while ago but got no response. I would message you, but you aren't accepting messages at this time. If you send me a PM, I will be able to reply without you having to enable messaging, and this might be better than comments.
Posted by ballpit 6 months ago
Hard work also does not guarantee successes. It may be necessary for achieving it but nothing really guarantees something like success.
Posted by ballpit 6 months ago
"Hard work is essential in one's life and is more important than talent because it guarantees success and talent can't exist without it" this statement is false. To be specific the end part where you state that talent cannot exist without hard work. People can have a talent for something such as a sport and not work hard to grow that talent further.
Posted by MagicAintReal 6 months ago
Hard work and talent are not a true dichotomy...
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by illegalcombat 6 months ago
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeits 2/3, Conduct to Con.