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How Success or Talent Is Really the Outcome of Hard Work

Greatness is not determined by an individual’s natural talent or inborn intelligence. According to Geoffrey Colvin, the author of “What It Takes to Be Great”, success is a product of two fundamental ingredients: demanding and painful practice and hard work. Through the article, Colvin tries to debunk the myth that greatness is a preserve for those with innate capabilities to perform exemplary in specific tasks. Instead, it is achieved through hard work, discipline, and consistency, which are key to the improvement of an individual’s performance and competence. The author suggests specific keys to greatness, which include but are not limited to deliberate practice and being goal-oriented. On a personal reflection, my success as a professional soccer player in Brazil’s under 15 teams resonates with Colvin’s theory that greatness is not given to anyone but gained through diligence and relentless exercise.

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Colvin recommends that, for people to be successful, they should devote more time to deliberate practice. According to him, this is an activity that is “explicitly intended to improve performance that reaches for objectives just beyond one’s level of competence and provides feedback on results” (Colvin 35). For instance, golfers do not improve by just hitting buckets of balls. Deliberate practice entails constant observation of results and executing necessary changes daily to enhance performance, which is consistent with Colvin’s concept that natural talent does not directly translate to greatness.

I applied the principle of “deliberate practice” while playing soccer in Brazil’s under 15 professional squads. Crucially, it enabled me to maintain a strict practicing routine that was instrumental in the improvement of my skills as a soccer player. My consistency in training corresponds to Colvin’s argument that elite players in numerous diverse disciplines practice “on average, roughly the same amount every day, including weekends” (Colvin 35). Through incorporating this idea in my earlier career, I gained numerous advantages, such as playing in higher levels, including the under 20 team, and getting a chance to train with my country’s national team.

Colvin suggests that greatness requires one to approach every critical activity with a clear goal of constant improvements. This step to success creates emphasis on the importance of aiming to get better at something as opposed to focusing on its completion, which is essential in an individual’s productivity. For instance, “report writing involves finding information, analyzing it, and presenting it – each an improvable skill,” implying that people should always be goal-oriented to facilitate their performance enhancement in every duty they undertake (Colvin 36). This example connects with Colvin’s model that success involves setting explicit goals in everything that someone does and working hard to achieve them.

I tried to approach my footballing career with the goal of rising to Brazil’s national team. However, this principle did not materialize as I quit along the way due to suffering from multiple and constant injuries. I believe that I lacked adequate knowledge of what makes a national player, reflecting Colvin’s example that “chairing a board meeting requires understanding the company’s strategy in the deepest way” (Colvin 36). Although professional soccer earned me a scholarship to study in the United States, failing to be committed to my initial goal stopped me from fighting for a chance to represent my country in international matches.

In summary, Colvin recommends specific steps to success, including “deliberate practice” and being goal-oriented. On an individual reflection, my achievements in Brazil’s under 15 professional soccer team correspond with Colvin’s theory that greatness is not an inborn quality but comes through persistent exercise and hard work. Through deliberate practice, I was able to rise to the under 20 squads as well as have an exclusive chance to train with the country’s national players. Although I was aspiring to join Brazil’s national team, I did not achieve the dream as I did not have a clear goal as suggested by the author. Overall, greatness is not determined by an individual’s natural talent or inborn intelligence.

Work Cited

Colvin, Geoffrey. “What It Takes to Be Great.” Fortune, 2006, pp. 32-36, Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, May 13). How Success or Talent Is Really the Outcome of Hard Work. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/how-success-or-talent-is-really-the-outcome-of-hard-work/

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