Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance (Chapter 3 Review)
Everywhere, people highlight the word “talent” when someone has achieved something great. People imply that hard-workers will never catch up to someone talented.
There was a book about the study of swimmers made by a guy called Dan. When he tells people that an athlete is a hard-worker, they’re less interested in them than when he talks about the talented ones.
The book itself didn’t really catch people’s interests because of the same reason. He studied swimmers for six years. He explained how talent was always used to represent how successful the athletes were. And that the athletes have a special gift that built them for swimming.
If you see a biography of an athlete you’ll see how there is barely any talent involved, and most of it is hard work.
The German philosopher Nietzsche wrote that people pay more attention to the end result more than the process, and so we think that the great thing just appeared suddenly out of nowhere.
He said about how we like the thought of our own selves very much that when we see someone that is good at something we say they’re “gifted” so naturally, we can’t compare ourselves with them and find ourselves less hardworking.
The author made a theory that concluded as “Talent + effort = skill & skill + effort = achievement”.
The book talked about a potter named MacKenzie. When he was young he and his wife tried a bunch of things, like painting and jewelering. They ended up with pottery. The first few pots they made were bad, and they started to get better in time, and it got easier to make better pots. At the same time, he made more good pots than bad pots in a day.
Because of effort, he’s gotten better at making pots, and he has become more accomplished.
John Irving had dyslexia when he was young, had really bad grades at writing tests and had difficulty reading.
He kept rereading writings over and over again, and found out as he kept doing that, he did it faster. He used his rereading ability to his advantage as a writer to improve his drafts.
Will Smith said that he won’t be outworked. If you go on the treadmill together with him, either you will go off first or he’ll die on the treadmill.
Back in the 40s, researchers used the treadmill for highschoolers. Not only to measure their physical health, but to measure their mental strength. It was found to be an effective to measure that.
One of the founders of the treadmill test, named George, said he wasn’t very gritty in most subjects. But when it came to pull-ups, he could do more than anyone, not because he was very athletic, but because he did a lot of pull-ups and practiced lots.
The author wrote that if someone twice as talented but only half as hardworking as another guy, then they might have the same skill, but the hardworking one will produce more stuff in the long run.
Will Smith said people mistake talent as the main thing you need to have skill. But in fact, skill is made from hours and hours of training, when talent is just something to make the process a tiny bit less time-consuming.
Effort is important, because without effort, talent is just potential and without effort, skill is just something that you could’ve made something with but you didn’t.