4 Attributes That Always Beat Talent

Every now and then, we meet or hear about people who are extraordinarily talented.

They may be extra smart, ultra athletic, ridiculously good-looking or even worse, all three.

Life seems to come easily to them and it can be tempting to look at them and assume that they will get all of the good things in life and leave the scraps the rest of us little battlers.

Alternatively, you may be one of the talented few and life was going smoothly, until one day you looked around and noticed that less naturally capable people were passing you by.

But it doesn’t have to be like that.

When it comes to developing successful careers, talent doesn’t always win.  Here are four attributes that always beat talent:

Desire –  If someone wants something enough, they do anything to get it and a lack of talent won’t stop them.  Desire enables you to persist through challenges, look for innovative solutions and not take no for an answer.

Alternatively, if even the most talented individuals can’t find a burning reason to do something, it just won’t get done and they won’t make the progress that they’re looking for.

Continued learning – If you are willing to develop your skills and never stop learning, you can hone your craft and become brilliant at anything.

Alternatively, I’ve seen a lot of very talented people who peaked early in life, thinking that they could survive on their wits alone for their entire lives.  That never ends well.

Emotional intelligence – I’ve been privileged to work with, and for, some amazing individuals who weren’t necessarily the most talented people, but who had high levels of emotional intelligence, enabling them to build strong relationships, motivate others and gain buy-in for their ideas.

Sadly, I’ve seen the opposite as well.  People with brilliant minds and diabolical interpersonal skills, who wondered why the less talented were passing them by.

Hard work – NBA leading scorer Kevin Durant lives by the mantra, “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”  Durant’s relentless work ethic has seen him move into the upper echelon of sporting stars.  His high school friends say that he “was not that good” at a young age, but his diligence and focus has enabled him to defeat more naturally talented athletes.

So, if you don’t consider yourself to one of the talented few, don’t give up and think that you can’t be successful.  Find the desire, keep learning, build your emotional intelligence and work ferociously hard.

If you are someone who has natural abilities, let me encourage you not to rest on your laurels, but find ways to maximise your capabilities.

An important thing to note about each of these four attributes is that they can be developed.  You were not born with them, but you can work on them.

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