Cultivating Excellence

It is a pity that our culture celebrates the prodigies. We hold up those with preternatural abilities as examples and role models. We marvel at their inborn talents and the ease in which they execute seemingly impossible feats.

It is unfortunate, because celebrating prodigies fosters an attitude that if we just keep trying new things, eventually we too will find that untapped, latent genius within. We maintain a fantasy that if we cannot find something we love to do, which also financially supports us, we can find our rare talent. Then we think, work will not be work at all, but as simple and straightforward as breathing. It turns us into eternal seekers and dilettantes.

The fact is, most of us with any competence have had to claw and chew their way to mastery. We have had to pour hours of study and practice into developing a talent or skill. It takes commitment, diligence, and most of all consistent practice – sometimes years, or even decades of consistent practice – to become accomplished.

Let us instead celebrate not the ones who roll out of bed an expert, but those who have dedicated themselves to become an adept of their craft. Let us raise up hard work, perseverance, and practice as the correct path to success.

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