“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” — Stephen King
Here’s something the media and your culture would like you to believe; talent is rare, talent is precious, talent conquers all. You either have it or you don’t, right?
Apparently, you can’t really be the world’s best developer if you’re not some brainy prodigy who can do calculus in your head while drunk and hanging from a ceiling fan.
You can’t really be a multi-million dollar business magnate unless you came out of the womb flirting with the doctor ready to sell ice to a polar bear.
You can’t really go and start a restaurant and become the best in the nation unless you started cooking at 3.
And of course just as much as you need talent you also need luck right?
Fuck that, man.
Why People Succeed
People don’t succeed because they got lucky. People don’t succeed because their families set them up for life. People don’t succeed because they were born with a brain half a meter wider. People succeed because they worked for it.
It’s that simple.
I started working as a junior software developer in March, 2017 while simultaneously starting year 10 of high school. The first time I coded I was 12, and I began in earnest after turning 15. People in my grade like to chalk it up to being ‘smart’, or lucky that my parents had the connections, or some other bullshit that makes it easier to dismiss it (because calling yourself is a cop out, nothing else.)
And you hear stories like this throughout peoples lives. My father was a practical high school drop out. Yet, he got his foot through the door at a prestigious stock brokering firm at a young age up against someone with a full degree and previous experience. People will say that luck or insane intelligence enabled that. I’d like to say that it was simply a matter of his hard working manifesting itself in one of many possible ways.
Yesterday, I had someone say they were jealous of me. My response was;
But are you jealous of the hundreds of hours of hard work put in before this was possible? Of fumbling around on my computer not knowing what the fuck I was doing for days on end? Or are you just jealous of the fact that I can a little bit more cash then you?
Because here’s the secret.
People succeed because they worked for it and nothing else.
If you want to be a developer, write code every day.
If you want to be rich, invest 60% of your cash, start a side hustle and go to social events.
If you want to be a world class BMX rider, grab your fucking bike and go ride.
Three hours of focused, dedicated work a day is 1,095 hours a year.
Five hours? 1,825 hours a year.
An example of how this stacks up; you can write 12 words a minute easily (mind-blanks and retyping included). That’s 720 words an hour. Now tell me — how could you write 788,400 in a year and not becoming a world class author?
You see, people want to think ‘talent’ or ‘luck’ is the answer. It’s a cop out, plain and simple. Fuck your luck, fuck your talent. Just bloody work at it. People will tell you loud and often that you’re off, that you’re gambling your time, that you’re chasing the impossible. You’ll find they get real quite when it starts paying off.