All skills require practice and time for their development. Or, as Malcolm Gladwell famously said, it takes 10,000 hours of practice to master a craft. Yet, we seem to be attributing success and great performance to talent.
We don’t say that someone has worked hard to achieve something. We say that the person is talented. We don’t say that someone created a perfect piece of art after hundreds (if not thousands) attempts and after years and years of practice. We say that the artist has incredible talent. And that is the problem. We celebrate talent, even though talent is never responsible for the success.
Talent might matter at the beginning. It may help you start, but without motivation to practice and develop your skills, without hard work, you’ll never achieve greatness.
The latest science suggests we are all capable of extraordinary performance in some domain of expertise; the key is finding the mode of expression that best allows your unique package of personal characteristics to shine.
The biggest difference between you and Picasso or Einstein, or the most creative minds of our time is that they embraced the long road to mastery.
Even people of considerable talent rarely produce incredible work before decades of practice.
If you’ve worked hard for it, it’s a skill. If it’s something that other people have that you believe you can’t possibly achieve, it’s a talent. The thing is, almost everything that matters is a skill.
Until Next Week
Remember, there is no such thing as talent. There are only hard work, deliberate practice and continuous improvement.