May 8, 2019 Nic Rothquel

The problem with natural talent

Natural ability is an interesting thing.

It makes us unique. It gives us our personality.

But too often natural ability, talent and genetics – the things we don’t have to work hard for – make us lazy when it comes to performing at our best.

We find a job or relationship or level of living that aligns with our natural state and then we stop trying hard.

‘Why try any harder?’ we ask ourselves. ‘I don’t need to step out of my comfort zone – I can just coast here and rest on my natural talents.’

But this is what differentiates high performers from everyone else.

They take their natural gifting and they combine it with the magic ingredient; hard work.

Hard work; Sweat. Hustle. Determination. Persistence. These are the keys that take a talented individual to an outstanding individual.

The reality is that natural talent is everywhere. There are other people in the world that can write, sing, sell, teach, code, play, run, kick, sweat or speak with the same level of talent as me. Where I can stand out is in my own level of hard work.

Nothing can beat hard work. A talented person that works hard at their craft will run circles around the individual that depends on their natural abilities.

Former American president Calvin Coolidge said it best:

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

It is so easy to cruise through life on natural ability. But for those willing to actually do the work – willing to invest time and effort into excelling – they are the ones that stand out from the crowd.