Yesterday i met an old friend of mine. She is an amazing dancer. She has won lots of competitions and performed at many events. Watching her dance is actually a treat. The way her body moves to the rhythm, the way her face expresses the lyrics and the enegry she radiates.. it’s a beautiful experience.
She is so busy with her shoots these days, i couldn’t help but admire her.
“You are sooo talented! I love to watch you on stage, you just rule the stage girl!”
“Hehe.. thanks! And i am not really sure about the talent thing though”
“What do you mean?” I was surprised. I thought she was too humble to take the credit
“I have practiced a lot you know. I love dance. That’s true. But it didn’t happen overnight. There were times when i had to practice for 6-7 hours a day. I did that for months. That actually got me to where i am today”
Then she told me about her sleepless nights, her struggle to keep up with practice, the frustration and disappointment she experienced in her early days and how she kept going despite of all that.
How easy it is to label someone as talented or gifted and stop wondering how they did it. Instead of actually taking time to understand about their struggle and hardships and sacrifice.
We don’t want to hear about it now, do we?
We like to think of great people as somehow born with greatness and others as not.
Talent is a real thing, true. But many a times effort counts twice.
Angela Duckworth a psychologist, found a very important factor that high achievers have in common, grit.
“Grit is the perseverance and passion towards long term goals. It is about working on something you really care about so much that you’re willing to stay loyal to it. It’s doing what you love, but not just falling in love – staying in love”
– Angela Duckworth
Her studies found that our potential is one thing. What we do with it is another.
She states a very interesting theory which says –
Skill = Talent × effort
Achievement = skill × effort
Here, as we can see, effort literally counts twice.
When asked Will Smith, he put it this way –
“The only thing that I see that is distinctly different about me is: I am not afraid to die on a treadmill. I will not be outworked, period. You might have more talent than me, you might be smarter than me, you might even be sexier than me. You might be all of those things. You got me in nine categories. But if we get on the treadmill together, there’s two things: you’re getting off first or I’m going to die. It’s really that simple.”
– Will Smith
“The seperation of talent and skill is one of the greatest misunderstood concepts for people who are trying to excel, who have dreams, who want to do things. Talent you have naturally. Skill is only developed by hours and hours and hours of beating on your craft”.
– Will Smith
So maybe what success really needs is effort. Lots of effort.
How can we apply this in our life?
Here are a few suggestions –
1. Stop thinking you’re not talented enough to do a particular task. Maybe if you put in enough effort, you will end up mastering it.
2. Spend more time working on your craft, your skill. Something you want to excel at. Try to get better with each stroke.
3. Stay focused, period. Select one important career goal in your life and stay focused. No switching sides when it gets hard. No changing the lanes when you fail. Stay loyal to your end goal. You might want to find different ways to get there, but stay persistent to achieve your goals.
To be honest, I’m working on the same. Trying to stay focused and devote more time to my work. Let’s get together in this and make it happen.
Cheers to our success! 🙂