Is Talent Enough?

By September 2, 2019Mindset

You have talent. Why aren’t you winning?

There is a phrase that states, “hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” If you are in any environment where you are competing on some level, you can probably relate to this. We all know that person that can walk in the room and effortlessly talk or sell anything while the rest of us are struggling to utter a word. Perhaps we have children that are playing sports, and we can spot that one child that can cross the field like a gazelle with such great finesse. Our child, on the other hand, may have to work tirelessly to get better.

When I think of my three children, I recognize they all have their unique talents. My oldest is gifted in music. She can listen to a song on the radio and transfer that tune to a piano with ease. I remember hearing her play a Lincoln Park song for the first time on the piano. She is an amazing artist. My middle is a great runner and athlete. She played soccer for years as a defender and did very well. When she was fifteen, she decided to take up cross country running. She ran her first marathon on her 16th birthday and continues to run today in college. My youngest is exceptionally creative and industrious. He can take an idea and bring it to life. We have seen some interesting projects over the years including most recently a rainwater harvester.

We all have these amazing talents that make us unique, special, or gifted in an area. The problem is that having skills doesn’t always equate to a win. Just because we have exceptional talents, we are not always going to excel. It probably comes to no surprise, but talent without preparation, discipline, and hard work can only take you so far. There will always be someone better than you, more talented than you, or someone willing to work harder than you. If you think about some of the most successful people, you will probably find out their success came from discipline, persistence, and a whole lot of determination. They just worked persistently to create their success.

Grant Cardone, whether you like him or not, has written several books. In a podcast I was listening to today, he mentioned someone was critiquing one of his books because of grammatical issues, spelling to be exact. From the way he described it, it sounded as if the critic went on and on about it. With conviction, Grant reminded the critic that the book is a best seller. You can’t help but think, who cares. Grant’s talent probably isn’t writing grammatically correct papers, but he is clearly successful at writing books. It is a best-seller after all. In that same podcast, he later described himself as having tenacity.

Successful people have to have tenacity. They have to have grit to weather through when they hit mile 22 in a marathon, and they think they can run no further. They need to persist when they continue to talk to people about their vision, and people repeatedly shut them down, criticize them, or refuse to show support. They have to get up another day to plug in another hour, do the uncomfortable, and play another scene in their head of what victory will look like when they finish. Talent may get you inspired and be the motivation to start something, but its what you do going forward that will make the difference.

When we learn to pair our talents with determination, tenacity, and grit, we can create a successful machine. This combination is a perfect match. Think about the marathon runner. Perhaps he is six-minute miler on a short distance run, but if he puts in the work and practices, he may able to carry that six-minute pace for the 26.2 that is required to complete a marathon. Maybe you have a great big vision for your business. If you stay persistent on meeting people, eventually you will make the right connection. It takes one connection to make a difference. Your success relies on you staying the course.

Whatever your talent is and wherever your greatness lies, remember you have the ability to determine your success. Talent will never beat hard work in the long haul. You persisting, on the other hand, will make a difference. That middle child of mine that I referenced earlier earned a full scholarship to college in both academics and athletics. I was thinking yesterday about how incredibly blessed we are. She is attending college for free. She is not the most gifted child that was in my house when it came to schooling. She hates school and still does to this day. Just yesterday, she was telling me about how she despises school. I remember while she was a sophomore in high school, taking an American Sign Language class, she was taking tutoring. She was nowhere near failing, but she didn’t feel as though she was mastering the course. So during her lunch period, several days a week, she would go to tutoring. Before she left for college, she was worried because she hadn’t taken math her senior year in high school, and because she enrolled in calculus. Days before she left, she was reviewing algebra two and some of the notes in previous math classes. My point is that she put in the work. Her education didn’t come easy for her. She studied, did the uncomfortable, and in the end, it awarded her a scholarship. Her tenacity has continued to serve her well.

Always remember you are special. You possess many gifts and talents that are unique to you. If you can learn to partner that with an unshakeable and unwavering belief in your ability to conquer anything, you too can be a master of your craft. Stay persistent, have incredible tenacity, and never give up on the goal that is important to you. You can win and you deserve to win. Be the best version of you that you can be!

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