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Talent Is A Myth

Talent Is A Myth

“Talent is a myth”


This is something truly amazing I learnt recently from reading “Bounce” by Matthew Syed. It’s an incredible read by the way. In this immensely popular book, Syed explores the idea of talent and goes to dispel the talent myth.


The crux of the book is that no one is ever born talented. It’s only through repeated, meaningful practise that anyone is able to master anything. He succinctly summarises the key to success and mastery is 10,000 hours of meaningful practise.


This is roughly 20 hours of practise per week, which equates to roughly 10 years of purposeful practise, and you can become a master of anything.


What I found most interesting about his book was the idea the believing that you are born talented or that there’s nothing you can do to become talented is one of the most damaging ideas instilled in us from our early days at school.


Notable examples he analyses in his book are Roger Federer, Mozart, and the Williams sisters, Venus and Serena. He explains that it was no accident, nor fate, that they become as successful as they are. It was simply because they had racked up the countless hours  of purposeful practise.


The Williams sisters were coached by their father who had no prior tennis knowledge. He learnt how to coach from watching videos. They would spend countless hours, returning thousands of balls even before their hit their teens.


He explains that with any success story, there is ALWAYS a journey of tireless work and determination that took place over the course of many, many years to get that point of success. However, that journey is almost always dismissed and misconstrued for “talent”.


Believing in the talent myth is detrimental. If you’ve grown up you’re whole life being told you were talented, chances are you’ll rest on your laurels and stop working hard. You’ll fall behind. You’ll avoid challenges that could threaten your ‘talented’ status and fall behind in the process.


If you’ve grown up believing you’re not talented, you’ll believe that there’s absolutely nothing that can be about it. You believe you were destined to not be good.


Understand one thing. That is the only way to succeed at ANYTHING is through countless, tireless hours of PURPOSEFUL practise. Or in other words, 10,000 hours of practise.


If you’re not good enough, guess what? You’re not doing enough. Plain and simple.


That’s all from me today,

Zain

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