Are you born with it or can you fabricate talent to succeed?

does grit beat talent

When I meet someone really smart or they do something that impresses me, I naturally call out, ‘You’re a genius!’. This is like a reflex to say this, but are they born with the talent to wow people or did they fabricate it?

The reason why this topic interests me, growing up, I was academically challenged in most subjects I learned, poorly athletic or never performed well in sports and such a poor reader I think I was boarder line dyslexic (in the lowest English classes with foreign students better than me).

Where I am today just doesn’t seem to be where my beginnings were and I can definitely say I was not born with much talent but able to achieve anything I put my mind too.

Does determination and passion beat natural talent?can you fabricate talent

Somethings are easier for others but doesn’t mean that other can’t achieve the same or better. When it comes to determination, you can out work everyone and want it more than anyone else.

Determination alone will enable you to learn new skills, work through difficult circumstances and achieve a high standard. But natural talent still seems to take the spot light in most cases.

I think when it comes to success, passion is a driving force that can fuel your tank till the end. Passion is something that is difficult to fabricate if there is no desire, where talent, while not natural can be fabricated by improving skills.

Learning new skills and perfecting them will make you look talented no matter what beginnings you’ve had. So, I believe talent can be fabricated and you don’t have to be born with it.

What’s the limit on fabricating talent?

How long is a piece of string and how you are going to use that string will factor how you gauge levels of talent. Let’s make an example:

Say you want to be the best swimmer but never swam competitively in your life. The likely chance you’re going to take Michael Phelps spot in the pool at the next Olympics is pretty slim.

This doesn’t mean you can’t achieve being in the top 10% of the world. Now I think this would still be a serious achievement and you certainly be the best swimmer among almost everyone you know.

The next example I’ll give it is a bit closer to home. For over 10 years, I wanted to start a website with a blog. The problem was, I could hardly string two words together and was not even sure how to build a website.

Over the years I learned the skills to build websites and how to express myself in words by reading lots of books and writing in a journal. Considering I was border line dyslexic, today I can write an article like this in an hour truly amazes me. Some may even say I have a talent for this.

The bottom line is, don’t be feared by the naturally talented when it comes to your career, academics or hobbies. You can drive yourself to excel.

How can I succeed and fabricate talent?

I think that creating talent for success comes from a combination of things.

Be obsessed! You must be obsessed with what you are trying you achieve. This will drive your mind and actions in the right direction for success.

Forget what other tell you what you can’t do: The naySayers, the pessimistic and people that have little determination will always drive you the wrong way.Angela Duckworth Grit

Don’t listen to them especially if you are failing. Fail better and show them they are wrong. Surround yourself with positive people and likeminded optimists.

Fix your mind on the end result: Write down your goals and read them to yourself morning and night. Check out this post on Goal setting.

Learn by doing. You have to get balls deep into everything you need to learn to achieve the skills. If you want to write a book, then read and write every day. If you want to be the best basketballer in your team, you need to shoot hoops daily.

If you lack the skills to do what you need, find a teachers, trainers or tutorials and practice the action. With learning and no action, skill swill not be built. You need to do.

Grit and work ethic should be in full effect. Whilst I’ve bundles these two items together, grit and work ethic are different but both required.

Grit encompasses your hardness, courage and strength to get a task done. Using your grit will help walk over failures with resilience and keep moving. Check out Angela Duckworth’s book Grit for a great read that will explain how import it is.

If you’re willing to work your face off and out work anyone on your table, you will shine and become stronger. Now working harder still needs to be done effectively so keep this in mind in case procrastination has you captured when you’re staring at a computer screen and not doing anything useful.

I hope this article has built some confidence to excel in whatever you need to achieve. Remember your talented! If not just create it.

What talents have you fabricated? Love to hear your success stories below in the comments.

37 Comments on Are you born with it or can you fabricate talent to succeed?

  1. Amazing article. I do believe that passion, hard work, and being persistent with a drive to succeed can take you all the way to your goals. Talent helps but sometimes people do not take full advantage of their talent while others use their grit and passion to achieve even more.

    For me it also has been learning to write more effectively. I use my passion for making money online to articulate that in my blog.

  2. Hi Vince.. great article, thank you for sharing.

    I believe one can accomplish any goal with persistence. It is persistence and total focus on your goal that keeps you going to achieve your goal.

    BTW – I am currently reading a book called GRIT by Dr Paul. Stoltz (Ph.D), I think you will find it interesting.

    I have bookmarked your site and will be visiting again… keep up the good work!
    Best wishes

  3. One famous soccer manager once talked about talent and training influence in player success and he said that only 5-10% is talent and 90-95% is training. I can agree that if you want success you need to be obsessed with that what are you doing. Dozens of them with good talent quit and never become professional players because they did not train hard enough. I am living example. Once as kids we played soccer and I easily put ball though the legs of other player and make fun of him like I am so better and more talented, but for 5-10 years he become professional player. I was puzzled what the heck he was so bad how the hell he become player ? Answer was simple he was dedicated and obsessed and training hard and had written goals, while I was easy quitter. If I read this Angela Duckowrth’s book on time I could be at least professional player.

    • Thanks for your comment and great story Uros. It really shows the power of passion and dedication. I find that passion is what gets me out the bed early in the morning and drives my quests.

  4. Hi Vince,

    Well, this article was a good read. I’m very interested in this kind of topic. I haven’t read “Grit” yet, but I’ve heard good things about it.

    Reading this blog post reminded me of a quote I wrote down while listening to Tom Bilyeu (I think). He said:

    “Do not allow yourself to make them [successful people, gurus, stars etc] extraordinary at your expense.”

    Also, when you asked “how long is a piece of string?” and pointed out how you use it is what matters, it reminded me of a book I read last year on the recommendation of a friend: The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. Clearly, you have been putting “the compound effect” into practice here, whether or not you’ve read the book.

    All the best,

    David Hurley

    • Appreciate your comment and feedback David.
      I’m a massive fan of Impact Theory and love Tom Bilyeu’s message.
      The Compound Effect is now on my book list and it sounds like a fantastic read and what a brilliant quote. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I agree with you; passion is one of the greatest contributors to skill, whether it be natural or fabricated. Someone with a great passion for say, snowboarding, will undoubtedly be more proficient at it than someone who is naturally talented but has no drive to improve.

    If you really want to be successful at whatever it is you do, hard work and perseverance are key!

    Great read

  6. Hey! Great article! I like the steps that you outlined under “How can I succeed and fabricate talent?” heading – if you have a goal and truly WANT to achieve it and have it manifest in your life, you must work on this goal daily, making it a habit. Otherwise, this particular goal will always be a distant dream. Dreams do become a reality but only once the mind is completely set on it. You can’t listen to the external – media, negative friends/coworkers/family, because all those things will steer you on the wrong path. But then again, we’re humans and not perfect, so making a conscious effort, everyday will compound to a bigger picture of what one is desiring overtime. It will come, but it must be planted and watered consistently.

    • Thanks Kseniya for your great comment. It reminded me to think of the difference between goal and dream. I guess a dream is something that seem achievable but a goal is something you can reach. If you put a plan to your dreams, than you achieve them.

  7. This was a wonderful read. It is good to know that you cannot do well with just talent alone. It also requires determination. I used to wrestle and there were some very talented people, but, if they did not have the will, they would not succeed.

    Conversely, you would see untalented people with a lot of determination do really well. I think the talent/determination divide varies from activity to activity. If you combine determination with talent though, that is a recipe for greatness.

    Thank you for sharing and I hope you make it a great day!

    • Wrestling would take a tonne of determination like many other activities and I can see how it would take time to build the skills to become talented in that sport.
      Thanks for your comment Alex.

  8. Great post, this kind of reminds me of when I was growing up. That, it seem like every basketball or football team, whatever game I played on would usually win. I never pursued anything and would just stay away from it. I had a lot of drive at anything I did, but never wanted to do anything.

    • It seem thing which we have passion for is what we should be driving toward. Maybe you had more passion for something else at the time.
      Thanks for stopping by Fred.

  9. This was an excellent article to read, thank you for broaching this subject. In my opinion, I think passion and determination will always win out over talent. Look at Richard Branson, who also struggled with dyslexia, he dropped out of school at the age of 15 or 16 and through his strong will and determination created the Virgin Empire. This quote by Kevin Durant says it all “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”

    • Great quote Caz. I read losing my virginity by Branson and it certainly does show how determination can over come many downers.

  10. Hey Vince,

    Success doesn’t come overnight, but with determination, perseverance, hardwork and passion will leads you to success. Work smart rather than work hard another contributing factors.

    Great read of your post.

    • Thanks for the feedback. Working smarter is another topic I’m very interested in. Time is the currency which we all have the same of and we need to use it effectively to succeed.

  11. This article is great. It sounds like you’ve really come a long way. I think it’s important for people to know that hard work really is the biggest key to success, no matter what talent you’re born with.

  12. Hi Vince, this is a fantastic article and it was really nice for you to tell us about your background and how you overcame all those obstacles to become the person you wanted to be. I understand this only to well as I have done the same in my life. The biggest thing that helped me was getting my mind into the right place first by meditation and affirmations. Without this foundation I would have failed. I heard something very interesting recently from a motivational speaker and it makes sense. He said anybody can have passion or talent, but the secret to being successful with that passion and talent is discipline. Without that all the passion and talent in the world means nothing, but I guess when you have passion that usually goes hand in hand with discipline anyway.

    • Very interesting Stefanie. The idea of discipline sound like an important path to follow.
      Affirmation are powerful ways to overcome obstacles.

  13. This is a great read. I think passion and determination will get you anywhere. If we put our heat to do anything and be persistent about it. Many things can be achieved. I’ve always been told my my parents that you on’t want to just work hard, you also want to work smart and it an gt you very far in life. Thank you for the post.

  14. Interesting article I was intrigued by what you had to say because I hadn’t thought so much about it before.

    To me I think it’s just instinct and about first impressions. If you see someone do something great or positive then you are going to associate them with good emotions!

    • Instinct is a very important feeling that should be exercised regularly. The more you use it the better it becomes.
      Great add on Jeremy. Thanks.

  15. I found this idea of aiming for number one may be too much, but progressive gradual steps will get you up there. Great informative post.

  16. What a great read! My favorite phrase is: “You can succeed in anything you put your mind to.” I live up to that saying everyday and I am so amazed with the great results! I have accomplished so much in my life just by my dedication and willingness to succeed. Prior knowledge or experience was not necessary at all.

    It’s all about your mindset. With hard work and passion, you can get to where you want to be.

  17. Wow, just yesterday I was involved in a moment of self reflection. I was trying to figure out if indeed I have a talent that I haven’t yet discovered. Then I thought that maybe there are those people who are born with specific obvious talents and those that are not. Your post has made me realize that even those with those recognizable talents probably had to work to develop them. Thank you for leaving me inspired.

  18. It’s all about the hustle. Work hard and you can beat anyone, no matter how talented they may be! I’ll have to check out that book Grit.

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