The fundamental truth is this: when we look at talented people and feel battered by the fact that we may never live a life like that, we fail to see the whole story –parenting, environments that were either rich in stimulation or deprived with poverty, the right teachers, predisposition and the actualization of talent early in life, the opportunities to nurture these predispositions, and some luck. When we zoom out and look at all these dots that debunk the mystery around talent, it’s actually empowering. What opportunities we have to cultivate our hidden talents and to bring them to life—to potentially change the trajectory of our lives. The veil is lifted. Nowadays, the opportunities to find out what’s inside of you abound, and this quest of whether you’re drawn to music, numbers, or words is exactly the kind of journey that shapes our character and our lives. The big red stop sign at the beginning of this journey is the hopeless, false belief that talent is a gift rather than the “obstinate, continuous cultivation of a disposition, leading to skill in performance.”
The question is, what are we obsessively practicing and continuously cultivating that will lead us to skill in performance?