• Talent thinking is more important than inherent talent.

Some people are blessed with more talent than others, but commitment, determination and consistent effort can more than compensate for any lack of natural talent.

  • Talent itself is worth nothing if you don’t apply it.

Matthew Syed argues that top performers in all walks of life succeed not through natural ability but through perseverance and ‘the growth mindset’:

In one study … the gap in performance was opened up by their respective mindsets. Those who held the belief that abilities are transformable through effort not only persevered but actually improved when confronted with difficulties; those labouring under the talent myth, on the other hand, regressed into a state of psychological enfeeblement.

Why such a striking difference? Consider for a moment what was going on in the minds of the two groups. Both groups understood that the test was measuring their intelligence or talent. So far, so good. But those in the fixed mindset had a further belief: that their intelligence is set in stone and there is little room for personal development… Is it any wonder, therefore, that they interpreted failure as calamitous; that it saps creativity and undermines performance; that they will do anything to avoid challenges, even when they might be useful? ~ Bounce: the Myth of Talent and the Power of Practice