Not talented – dedicated
Watch this video and you will say – Wow! those kids are talented. No – they made a choice. A choice to excel. and that takes hours and hours of dedication (10,000 hours according to the research) and purposeful practice. But do these kids look like their are struggling and toiling. No, they are having a blast. But, here is the frightening thing. NONE of this is about talent. Why is that so frightening? Because it takes away the excuse from everyone who says “I would love to, but I’m not talented”.
Mindset – fixed or growth?
Achievement requires hard work, purposeful practice, the correct coaching and a “growth mindset”. The growth mindset says every mis-step is another chance to learn and make progress. Failure is seen through a different lens compared with the “fixed mindset” person who thinks that they are as good as they can get. They play it safe and avoid mistakes which will challenge their current position. My mantra when public speaking is “feedback not failure”. Which is why I seek out candid feedback and often try new things. Apologies if you were in the audience when it didn’t quite work out. But come and watch me again and you will see I have learned from the experience.
Doomed to failure
It is put well in a book called Bounce by Matthew Syed
The talent theory of expertise is not merely flawed in theory, it is insidious in practice, robbing individuals and institutions of the motivation to change themselves and society.
Think about it. Why would any parent spend time and energy seeking opportunities to improve if success is ultimately about talent rather than practice? Why would we make the sacrifices if the gains are, at best, uncertain? Why would we leave the comfort zone for the rigours of the learning zone if the benefits are bestowed on only the talented?
Combine a fixed mindset with a belief that you don’t have the talent and you are destined to live out a sad and unexplored life.