What If I Just Lack Talent?
From time to time we all experience this kind of frustration when we’re asking ourselves: do I simply lack talent to get to the next level? If you find yourself in such situation it’s no reason to throw in the towel. Of course, most of us aren’t born geniuses, neither are all people we see as successful. Actually, you don’t have to be ‘the chosen one’ to succeed.
If it’s not talent that makes a winner different, then what?
There are things that make a winner. But it is rather certain personality traits than sheer talent. Will Smith, one of the most famous American actors, once said, ‘I've always considered myself to be just average talent and what I have is a ridiculous insane obsessiveness for practice and preparation’. And what is awesome about the required personality traits is that they can be developed. There are thousands of books on personal development, so one just has to find the fitting approach..
Another core value for success is motivation. Everyone is aware of that, but let’s just take a look at it with the reference to attitude, talent and personal growth mentioned above. Motivation is something that will drive both your personal traits development and intensity of your work. Besides, you might not even know how talented you are until you have pushed hard enough. Do you know what sports coaches think about it? According to Lou Holtz, an American football coach known for motivational speaking to various companies and student athletes, ‘Your talent determines what you can do. Your motivation determines how much you are willing to do. Your attitude determines how well you do it.” As you can see, Lou considers talent to be only one of the three ingredients. And there surely are no people without talent at all.
Fraught with danger
Talent is traditionally perceived as a God-given gift. In reality, it often turns into the unbearable Devil’s curse. People aware of their talent tend to be self-confident because one day they inevitably face a road block, and then they are shocked, frustrated and helpless. ‘Some people possess talent, others are possessed by it. When that happens, a talent becomes a curse.’ (Rod Serling, American screenwriter, playwright, television producer, and narrator).
Finally, at some level they might get complacent. They reach the highest point they could using just the talent alone, and then the personal growth stops because they are not used to overcome difficulties. ‘If you don’t grow you die’, Theodore William Schultz ones said. Talented people are often tempted into this trap which puts them onto the road to ruin. John Wooden, another well-known sports coach gave the most useful advice here: “Talent is God given. Be humble. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” You’ve probably met them too, people who were talented to the certain extent and who decided not to work hard for the success. They are most average at best.
There's something more than sheer talent behind influential people. Luckily, this something can be developed.
Price of things
Children of rich parents haven’t done anything for all they’ve got on the start position, as well as poor parents children who aren’t responsible for having about nothing. Both kinds are just born like that. Same with talent which isn’t a thing to be proud of because it is something one’s just given with or not. “Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.”, Stephen King says. Sounds logical enough, doesn't it? On the other hand, amount of hard work put and goals achieved are surely worth being proud of.
To conclude let’s sum up most important things about talent and success:
- Talent is less important for success than personality traits.
- Talent is nothing without motivation.
- Talent can prevent success or even ruin you.
- Talent is cheap.
Of course, staying persistence is a challenge itself. Here are 8 tips that should help.
Do you still think it’s so important if you have a talent or not? Or maybe it’s time to pull up the sleeves and get down to it? If you’re still in doubt, here is what Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President of the United States said:
Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
Still not convinced? Listen to the speech by Harsha Bhogle, Indian cricket commentator and journalist: