Success Advice

Why Talent Often Has Little To Do With Success – 6 Minute Ted Talk

Adriana Lee Ted Talk about talent

We tend to think that talent has a lot to do with success but that’s not the always the true. Talent alone has never made anyone successful. We talk a lot about the wonder and the beauty of talent all the time. Whether it’s music, business, leadership, writing, athletics, speaking, writing or leadership, there are individuals who seem to be born to do a certain thing. But were most successful people really talented or with high I.Q. or they had something way more important?

Talent or Grit? What does it take to be successful?

Transcript of the speech – click.

Leaving a high-flying job in consulting, Angela Lee Duckworth took a job teaching math to seventh graders in a New York public school. She quickly realized that IQ wasn’t the only thing separating the successful students from those who struggled. Here, she explains her theory of “grit” as a predictor of success.

So in the end it’s not about how smart we are and how talented we are. It all comes down to perseverance. Thomas Edison failed 10 000 times until he invented the light bulb. Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper because “he lacked imagination”. After Harrison Ford’s first small movie role, an executive took him into his office and told him he’d never succeed in the movie business. And as Steve Jobs said:

“I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”

That’s why he was saying that you have to love what you do, because when you love what you do it’s easier to persevere. In the end talent doesn’t really matter, so don’t be scared if you are not talented or don’t have I.Q., you are not doomed to be unsuccessful. In fact it’s even the opposite, because talented people often times stop improving. They think talent on it’s own is enough and when they face difficulties they quit.

So my question to you is: Do you know talented people, who were outstanding at what they did and quitted in the end? I was one of those… and this is why I don’t want to see more talented people waste their talents and I don’t want to see non-talented people giving up, because talent is not a factor.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Lynn

    April 8, 2014 at 6:14 am

    I’m currently involved in a statewide grant to increase the number of high school students in our state who Go On to postsecondary education. I posted the link to this talk in a recent statewide newsletter. We can look at grades, we can look at financial preparedness, we can look at socioeconomic status – I think in the end, the study of Grit and it’s implications is going to be crucial!

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