When I was young, my teachers, friends, and family always commented on my natural gifts. I had charm, intellect, athletic skills, and (what a surprise!) little or no modesty. Their words were reinforced by my good grades, awards, and trophies. So I decided that I was one of the “chosen few.” The sun was always going to shine on me.
As I finished high school and started college, I partied with my friends and studied less…. things I thought I could do since I was a gifted “chosen one.” Meanwhile, my contemporaries began to have more success than I was able to sustain. If I was really as smart and clever as I thought I was, I would have figured out immediately that talent and natural abilities are only two ingredients for success. Sadly, it took me several years.
The thing is, there’s no real difference between you and me and the guy on the bus. All of us have the chance to screw up big time – or make it big. Sure, someone else might have more natural talents than you. And someone with fewer talents might have more money or power. That’s because success isn’t a matter of who’s the most talented. It depends on how hard you work and how well you master the simple skills it takes to climb the ladder.
We all have to stretch ourselves and grow regardless of whatever natural talents and skills we possess. Hard work, the willingness to learn, and the ability to form relationships – those are the ingredients that really count.