Monday, June 18, 2012

Blank On The Map: Talent vs Hard Work or Nature vs Nurture

Listening to back episodes of the Four Thought series I highlighted last week, I found a talk given by Matthew Syed on the 9th of May this year which I thought was well worth listening to. Syed is a former international table tennis player and now a sports journalist at The Times. His thesis was that "talent" and "natural ability" are overrated and provide no guide to future success in most endeavours. Instead it is repeated and focussed practice of complex skills that actually enables people to master them, so everything is really down to hard work rather than some innate ability. According to him, even child geniuses will, on inspection, actually turn out to have simply compressed their hundreds or thousands of hours of practice into a relatively short period of time.

Read the rest at Blank On The Map