Archive for March, 2011

Talent is hard work alright, but train to deflect judgmental disdain

March 21, 2011

Jonah Lehrer talks about Talent

Woody Allen nails it as he says “80% of success is showing up”… It clearly sums up why Talent is not genetic… One certainly can’t bet on a Test Cricket gene or a Twenty-Twenty gene…It’s all about skill developed by intense, deliberate practice. Going by pure statistics, I guess one can safely say Talent = Hard Work. Period.

The basic trait that is required for hard work is often presumed as grit. But I would take a step back and think what leads you to be gritty. You look at a faculty and feel the excitement. You sense blood surging up your veins and your heart beating faster and beads of sweat bubble up on your leather. You want to do it now, not a second later. You make a few frantic phone calls and are not put off by the conditions they put forth. You say Yes, almost without a thought. You dive right in.

In the process, you’re sub-consciously ready to assume the risks that go with it. It could mean ejecting out of your own zones of comfort developed over the years of regular exposure. It may as well expose you to a new set of circumstances and people about whom you have no clue. They may be talking stuff that sounds near Greek to you. You don’t cower, you persist.

Then comes the big question… How long before you hit the right road to success…? It could take months or even years to be on the same page as those others you revered. The interlude could be cruel, your near and dear ones look down upon you as if asking “what made this guy go so very nuts..?”

That is one harrowing question you may find difficult to deal with because it is never asked. It is implied in their deignful stares and demeaning walk aways or even not so subtle whispers. Suddenly lights around you get turned off and you realize you are dithering in darkness of ignobility and contempt. You are looked at like a loser and it hits you hard even before you know you failed. Surviving this ignominy is so hard unless you have a balanced mind. The ethos to accept failure as well as success on an even keel may have been your asset, but you may not be so ready to accept early judgmental admonitions from all around, express or implied. This is one sphere where practice has to focus on, not just the attribute that you go after to master.