Talent, Genius and Hard Work


'Talent hits a target no one else can hit; 
genius hits a target no one else can see.' 
Arthur Schopenhauer 

Inspiration rarely comes from reading chapters; it's more likely to come from the one line that you read chapters to discover. When found, beyond the exhilarating moment, it can open the aorta to deeper thoughts and reset the compass of your life.

And with that...

A boy said to his father: 'I want to quit baseball because I'm crap at it'. His straight talking dad replied: 'Yes you are crap at it, but here's the question, do you want to get good at it?'. With that the kid's face lit up. Being talented is not something we are, but rather the outcome of learning and concerted effort. Sure the capacity must be there, and it is in some form or another. Finding that in each individual,is the beginning of education. Research shows that kids who are told they are great because they endeavour, because they work hard, do consistently well. Others solely praised for being great, face more challenge as the challenge itself threatens their concept of being great. In the words of Don Zimmer: 'What you lack in talent can be made up with desire, hustle and giving 110 percent all the time'. Hitting your talent target requires unrelenting hard work and the humility to learn from each moment and each person. 

The genius moment is illustrated when faced with a challenge or problem a member of the team comes up with, something that no one else was anywhere near thinking of and it ticks all the boxes. With the rush of dopamine that follows, the rest exclaim with high-fives 'You're a genius mate'.
The problem in getting to such genius moments is that we go through life looking in the rear mirror. This means that our past is determining what we think and see. Our past is limiting our thinking anew. As Nietzsche expressed in one of those famous one-liners: 'Many a man fails as an original thinker simply because his memory is too good'. So the trick in all of this is to breach the past patterns or connections that our brain makes automatically. Even simpler and as universities are now doing---ask a child. Their creative capacity has not as yet been killed off by past experience and the educational system that lies ahead of them. A simple technique you can engage to get your creative juices flowing is called Random Input. Don't worry you don't have to read a whole book on it. Just follow this link for a good one page summary: 
http://www.sociology.org.uk/as4i3ri.pdf . 
Still the road to creativity requires effort. Either for talent or creativity there is no escaping the hard work and with that I will leave you with an Edison light bulb moment quote: 'Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration'. 




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