Do i have to be talented in order to succeed

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Is talent what you really need?

When i was a little kid i was told that there are talented people out there and ones who weren't fortunate enough to inherit a talent. Because everyone around me had that same belief i never questioned it or had doubts about its truth.

One of the talents i believed i lacked at that time was the social skills to communicate with people properly and make friends. Back then i was shy, socially withdrawn and unpopular at school until one day i decided that i have had enough of what was going on and i promised myself to change.

The first obstacle i faced when i thought about changing was that powerful negative belief that stated that some people were gifted while others were not.

I was 19 years old at that time and i almost had no social skills. During that year i bought a computer for the first time in my life and i was so passionate about it that i spent days at home in front of it without leaving (after all i had nothing else to do out there in the real world, see also social isolation causes).

After six month i became more of a computer expert and a brilliant programmer. One day a friend saw what i did with his computer and he got impressed.

"OMG you are so talented, i wish i was like you" said the friend and this was the moment when i started to realize that i was lied to throughout my life.

That was the moment when i discovered that talents can be learned. (see How to discover my talents)

Can talents be learned?

My friend only saw the last scene in the play. The first thing he saw was a young computer genius doing impossible things on the computer.

He never saw the times where i ruined the computer because i was trying to explore something new. He never saw the times where i was totally confused trying to solve a simple problem for days and he never saw the times when i was learning how to do everything from the scratch.

He never saw the errors, he never saw the mistakes and he never saw the failed attempts. He just saw the result of all this.

Watch the following video, before you continue reading:

As you saw in the video Bruce lee was doing something extraordinary by all standards. Now show this video to any friend who was fed with the false belief about talent and he will tell you that brace lee was very talented.

but was that Bruce lee's opinion?

Here are few quotes from Bruce Lee that explains how he developed his talent:

“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who had practiced one kick 10,000 times.”

“If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”

“The doubters said,
"Man can not fly,"
The doers said,
"Maybe, but we'll try,"
And finally soared
In the morning glow
While non-believers
Watched from below.”

Once you start putting limits on yourself you will only be able to make achievements that lie within those limits. Even if Bruce lee's mental abilities were really good then how he managed to do push ups with one finger?

Its because he believed that he can do it and once he got rid of the mental limitations and false beliefs he managed to do it.

Do i have to be talented in order to succeed

No you don't need to be born with a talent you just need to fix your brain so that you understand that you can learn whatever talent you can imagine. (see also How to protect your beliefs about success)

I got an email from a reader who told me that he wants to become rich by starting an internet business but unfortunately he knows nothing about computers and here was my reply:

"Hello Sam (pseudo name)
Why are you talking about skills and talents as if some people were born with them? Personally i became a millionaire because of my internet business and i can still remember a time when i called my best friend to ask him how can i change the wall paper on my computer.

You can learn whatever skill you want. just be persistent, have patience and understand that making mistakes is part of the normal learning process, End of reply"

Do you still believe you are not talented?

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