Effort and Talent

I’m reading a book on grit and came across a section that was talking about greatness. It discusses talent and work ethic and which is more important to success. When we think of the greats (I’m sure you just thought of some upon reading that) we tend to treat them as if they were some sort of inhuman being. Someone who came to ya, fully formed and never having to work for anything.

That is the problem with talent.

When we see this excellence fully formed, we have the tendency to believe that they did not work to reach this heightened level. This can become discouraging to us, because we were not given these gifted abilities. In fact, I think for a lot of us, it takes us off the hook. There is not pressure to be great anymore because we lack that god given talent.

We use terms like GOAT and genius to describe people because it makes them seem divine. To call someone divine means that there is no need to compete. We relax, sink back into the status quo, and let the greats do their thing. If we allow ourselves to think of others as these ‘magical’ type of people, we don’t compare ourselves or find us lacking.

It’s a very self gratifying and vain way to look at things because rather than seeing that we don’t put in enough effort, we blame God, the universe, or whatever you believe, for not giving us that natural talent. The fact of the matter is, that with enough effort, we too can be great. I will agree that some are naturally more talented than others, but I don’t think success is predicated on talent. There is a lot of other factors at play here, effort being a main component.

When we embrace this idea that effort is the deciding factor, we can achieve so much more. We all have talent in various things. Some have to dig deeper than others, but when we find that talent and apply effort to it, we become an unstoppable force.