Bridging the talent gap
When people hear an accomplished musician playing the first comment made is almost always in reference to the “amazing natural talent.“ Praise and recognition of talent is always nice. But there’s an unintended cheapness that comes with this comment and it’s prompted by a belief that a really good musician or artist was born with some natural ability that can only be obtained through the luck of genetics. This often leads to the follow up thought, “I wish I could play like that” or, “I’d do anything to have that talent.”
It may be true that some people are more naturally suited to certain activities than others. But natural talent alone does not create mastery. The element that is sometimes missed is the almost endless amount of time spent practicing. Natural talent is a great springboard. But to truly master anything; music, art, or trading, takes dedication, time, and practice.
Many have written in depth about mastery and the potent combination of talent and practice.
Malcolm Gladwell popularized the “10,000 hours” theory in his book “Outliers”
James Clear writes about “Deliberate Practice.”
David Perrell suggests that we “Practice Analytically to Perform Intuitively.”
We know this. We do this. We teach our kids this.
But for some reason when we see others exhibiting greatness we think first of their natural talent and not the hours and hours spent working towards mastery. So the next time you see greatness, right after you praise the talent, remember that you too have greatness within you. You can be a master. It just takes practice.
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