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Choosing the topic for this week’s article was a tough decision for me.
Originally, I thought “T” might be for talent. After all, it certainly plays a role in career success. Recognizing your own natural talents and finding work that allows you to leverage them are fundamental elements for creating a nourishing professional life.
But then it dawned on me that talent only goes so far, and in fact, tenacity trumps talent in many ways.
Sure, talent is useful, but it’s not everything. All too often, it can inspire laziness. After all, if something comes too easy, it’s tempting to take it for granted. When you’re naturally good at something, you’re less inclined to work hard to improve upon it. Why bother? You’re already good and you’re barely trying! Don’t you deserve success based on that alone?
In my opinion, dogged determination beats talent, especially when talent turns entitled.
Even if you’re not naturally “good” at something, with the right amount of tenacity, you can become good. Heck, you can become awesome.
Talent alone is not the great differentiator. I’ve seen too many people who rely on their talent to make things happen. But ya know what? A lot of people have talent. It’s not that unique.
Far more unique is tenacity—the drive to keep pushing and growing and getting better, no matter how good you already are.
My cousin, Troy Verges, an Oscar and Golden Globe nominated songwriter, talked about this very thing when he shared with me his story of moving to Nashville early on in his career. He told me that everyone there is talented. If you just show up and think your talent will make you a country music super star, you’re dead wrong. It’s all about tenacity.
Of course, talent and tenacity is the killer combo, as Troy knows.
Let’s all take a career lesson from him: Whether you have natural talent or not, you can never rest on your laurels. Hone your craft and keep on honing. Push for success no matter how brutal the competition. If you look around and see people with more talent than you, don’t let that discourage you; use it as motivation.
Don’t worry if you’re not a natural. If you’re willing to learn and be tenacious, you’ve got everything you need to succeed.
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