Some Advice #1 – Being the Best

“Having a gift isn’t enough, you need to work hard”

This is a quote I struggled with for a while. I used to think that success was meant for those individuals who were born with a natural talent. But I didn’t want to believe it because in many ways this meant luck existed, you were either lucky with an amazing body or genius mind, or you were unlucky.

While this is true and there are people who are born with natural talents that allow them to swim better or sing better than others. Natural abilities are no way correlated to degree of success, if any.

I’ll give you an example: Michael Phelps. 

Michael Phelps is the best swimmer because he has a body resembling a dolphin. He’s mesmerizing in the water and he’s won over 20 gold medals. He’s the best. 

Is he?

Is he the best because we’ve haven’t seen any better? Because if so, then trees don’t make any sound when they fall in the forest and no one’s around to hear them.

The quote above begs the difference between gifts and hard work. What if there’s a young kid somewhere in Siberia who has the perfect body, better than Michael Phelps? In that case, Michael Phelps technically isn’t “the best”. The Siberian kid will always beat Michael in the water because of the better body, we just don’t know the kid.

This throws more variables into the equation. Variables like poverty, opportunity, laziness. Variables that unfortunately do exist. The Siberian kid may not have the same opportunity as Michael or he might not work as hard. The point is, for anyone that wants to be the best out there, you need to realize that unless you truly have a gift, there is probably someone better.

And that’s as far as being gifted will take you, being the best. But we’re talking success here. We’re talking gold medals and becoming a legend. Take the gift, I don’t want it. I want to work hard and become the best non-gifted man I was born to be. So while gifts will make you the best, success is a measurement of hard-work and consistency, only. 

It’s exciting actually. To know that there are hidden talents everywhere. Jewels that can’t shine because of poverty or opportunity or lack of hard-work. It excites me to know that the man that left me speechless at the Olympics with his 100m fly in under 50 seconds, can be beaten. 

But will he who beat him, become a greater legend? Let me know in the comments~

“There will always be someone better, more gifted. But success isn’t measured by your gifts, but by your hard work.”

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