The Myth of Talent

Talent is a myth, I was told… Now I believe it.

In order to arrive at perfection in any area of pursuit, you need to put in 10,000 hours of practice. Let us put that time in perspective. If you put in about 3 hours of practice a day, which is hard, you will do approximately 1000 hours of practice a year. So 10,000 hours of practice is a decade of undying commitment to a cause!

Now the objection that often comes up against this argument is child prodigies. They tend to be able to master something truly complicated very early in life. The truth of the matter is most children who seem to show prodigious talent are just compressing a lot of practice in a very short period of time. They tend to get enamoured by something let us say playing the piano or chess; and end up spending 10’s of hours everyday practicing the same.

Mozart started playing the piano at the age of 3 and used to practice for hours on the piano. The Williams sisters used to practice tennis since the age of 6. They would spend their days at the tennis court trying to hit a traffic cone with their service from 8AM to 4PM. Tiger Woods would practice the same shot a 100 times at the golf course since the are of 8.

When children take to something and find it enjoyable, practice seems like play and they play what they wish to play for hours. This practice is what makes them prodigious not something that they are born with.

Talent is a myth, don’t fall prey to it. Nobody is born more capable or with more ability than you were. All of us acquired it in this world once we came here. You can as well! Let nobody tell you something is too hard to do and therefore not for you.

We all learn and have the inherent ability to. The only differentiator is how much quality time we spend learning it.

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