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Talent is Overrated

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In this book, author Geoff Colvin set out to solve the “mystery” of great performance. To answer the question of what greatness actually requires.

Sure, “hard work,” but what does that really mean? And what about that wondrous X factor of talent? Are some people just born with the wiring to win PGA tours or write beautiful symphonies or build mega-corporations, while most aren’t?

Well, Colvin’s theory is simple, and based on decades of research and the analysis of extraordinary performers across many fields, and is one I wholeheartedly subscribe to:

Talent is an incredibly poor predictor of success.

What is a much more reliable predictor–in fact, the most reliable? It’s very simple: hours spent in what is known as “deliberate practice.”

Time spent trying to find or “unlock” latent talents is a waste. Time spent in deliberate practice is, as Michael Phelps says, like putting credits in the bank. The longer you do it, the more compounding you see, until eventually your account is overflowing.

What I like most about the message in this book is it’s empowering and motivating. It shows us the time-proven, indisputable method of mastery, and lets us decide if we’re willing to walk it.

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