Reddit Reddit reviews Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else

We found 40 Reddit comments about Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

Personal Transformation Self-Help
Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else
Talent Is Overrated What Really Separates World Class Performers from Everybody Else
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40 Reddit comments about Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else:

u/thorface · 23 pointsr/Art

I think I was thinking along the lines of becoming truly great at something and way way way above average. I was summarizing the findings in this particular book:

u/DrexFactor · 22 pointsr/poi

If you're really truly interested in mastering this hobby and applying yourself to learning it, here's what I would recommend:

  1. Define short-term goals. Do you want to learn A, B, and C tricks? Do you want to work on body movement and dance? If you're having a hard time defining this for yourself, look to the spinners you respect and try to figure out what it is about their style you admire and would like to make a part of your own.

  2. Schedule a regular practice. Make an appointment with yourself that you would keep just like an appointment at work. Remember: this is something you're doing for you? Who is more important to keep your promises to in your life than yourself? Doing this will also help keep you from the dreaded "I can't find time to practice" conundrum so many of us wind up in...make times for the things that are important to you.

  3. Create a regular 20-30 minute warmup ritual before you practice. This could be your meditation or a dance warmup, a series of stretches, etc. Pick a piece of music you'll listen to whenever you sit down to do this or have a particular scent of incense you put on. For the spiritual out there, this ritual will help prepare you for the work you're about to do and focus your mind on the task at hand. For the scientific folk out there, this is classical conditioning: you're setting triggers to put your mind into a state of focus and eliminating outside distractions.

  4. Structure your practice around your goals. Want to integrate gunslingers into your flow? Try for one week to get ten spirals and ten meteor weaves every single day, then next week up the ante and practice the transitions between a flower and these moves ten times. Want to work on your dance/flow? Set aside 10-20 minutes to just spin to music and explore the space around you. Some days you'll be on and make lots of progress and some days it'll feel like you're backsliding or hitting your head against the wall. Both are important to the learning process.

  5. Define your overarching goals. What is it you want to do with poi? Do you want to have a fun physical hobby, perform with it, get into the tech world, etc? Figuring out what attracts you to the art will help you focus your energies on practicing those skills that are most in line with what you enjoy. Also be prepared that you may discover something in the course of your practice and experience that changes this dramatically. Reevaluate it every 4-6 months or so.

  6. Learn to love the plateau. We love getting new tricks. We love the excitement of novelty--and it's really bad for us. It teaches us to value the temporary over building in the long-term. Mastery is a lifelong journey where the goal becomes subsumed more and more by the experience of getting there as time goes on. Plateaus are important because they allow you to refine the things you've just learned and polish them into a more beautiful form. It is inevitable that you will spend the majority of your time in the flow arts on a plateau of some sort or another, so the more you make your peace with it early, the easier that journey will become.

  7. Become comfortable with solo practice. All the research we have on mastering skills at this point indicates that it takes thousands of hours of deliberate solo practice to become a virtuoso at a given skill. Spinning with people is fun and you will learn new things, but the majority of the progress you'll make will be on your own. This is harder for some people to adapt to than others, but it is an essential part of the journey (unless, of course, your goal is to become a virtuoso at partner poi ;)

  8. If possible, find a good teacher/coach. A good teacher will push you when you need to be pushed, challenge you in ways you never thought possible, and guide you to becoming the best possible poi spinner that you can become. Sadly, this tends to be a luxury as good teachers in the flow arts world are extremely hard to find, but if you're able to find a good one make every use of their services.

    Good luck with your journey! It's been one of the greatest I've embarked on in my adult life :)

    Here are some books I would recommend on the topic:

    Mastery by George Leonard (talks a lot about mindset and learning to love the plateau)

    Talent is Overrated by Geoffrey Colvin (gives a lot of pointers when it comes to deliberate practice)

    So Good They Can't Ignore You by Cal Newport (lots of counterintuitive but useful info on developing skills)

    The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle (lots of great info about what to look for in a good coach/teacher)
u/AJM5K6 · 12 pointsr/suggestmeabook

Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else

It changed how I thought about my career, hobbies and my life. I heard its like the Malcolm Gladwell book Outliers but I have to take people's word on it as I have not read that one.

u/bigfatrichard · 6 pointsr/uwaterloo

I think your idea of seeking assistance is an excellent one. Most people don't realize the impact of mental health in tackling intellectually challenging tasks. An athlete knows that to perform well, they must take care of their physical health by working out, controlling diet, etc... Similarly, one with intellectual pursuits need to take care of their mental health, but often they are unfamiliar on how to do so. Sleeping well, eating properly, etc. are very important, and instead of a coach, as in the case of an athlete, counselling services, psychologists, psychiatrists, etc. can help in training for mental health.

Be honest when working with Counselling Services or psychotherapists. If CS hasn't been working well for you, explain to them why you think that is. They will provide you with a list of psychologists / therapists in the area. The University Health Insurance Policy (UHIP) covers 80% of the costs of a psychologist. CS will explain this to you in greater detail.

Other than that, I can recommend a few things to get in better (mental) shape.

  • Hit the Gym. Working out is the best all-around fix for every problem in life. Visit /r/fitness and read the starter's list. Before you know it, you'll be sleeping well, feeling energetic and more motivated than you've every been in your life.

  • Read books about things that you like. For example, if you're looking forward to a career in finance, read The Big Short. Also read some books that might help you get motivated. I recommend Talent is Overrated.

  • Continue working with CS or a psychotherapist and get (mentally) fit. Even the faculty and staff at the University also take advantage of these services, because they know its importance.

    And remember, this is exactly why you're here in University! This is part of your education, and as you tackle these challenges, you will grow as a person. Good luck!
u/slrqm · 5 pointsr/NoStupidQuestions

In the book Talent is Overrated Geoff Colvin argues that deliberate practice is far more important than any natural talent.

IMHO there is no such thing as being "naturally musically inclined". But for the sake or argument lets say there is.

Person A is musically inclined at birth. Person B is not. At 5 years old you hand them both a flute, lets assume you can tell the difference. But then you have them both take flute lessons and the both practice the same amount with the same intensity. By the time they've put in say 100 hours, it would be impossible to tell if one of them had natural talent or not. Now imagine they spend the 10,000 hours Geoff Colvin says it takes to become a professional.

u/candidate_master · 5 pointsr/chess

> I'll be writing about the Turk machine, Deep Blue, the more recent AIs like stockfish.

Ugh, this sounds like a tedious historical rehash.

> I was wondering if chess has become too dependent on technology

Nope. I'd say that every industry depends on computers: legal, medical, manufacturing, whatever.

> and less about talent.

Talent together with hard work are essential for success, in every industry.

Outliers: The Story of Success: the famous theory of 10,000 hours.

Talent is Overrated: those 10,000 hours must well-focused, and environmental factors are key.

Can a normal person become a titled player, even a GM?: Talent x Work = Ability.

u/LaughingJackass · 4 pointsr/india

Buddy, you definitely need to read this book by Colvin - Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else

u/Synthus · 3 pointsr/AskMen

Eh, in this case it's less of lolbertarian bootstrap capitalism and more of redefining conventional views of the path to success. I'd highly recommend Talent Is Overrated by Colvin (and Gladwell's Outliers, if you can stand his writing) if you want to learn more. Some of what I've been saying is colloquially known as the '10000 hour theory'.

Yeah, which is why I've been upvoting you all this while. You're looking at it from the negative view ('some people won't ever make it to the top'), whereas I'm doing the opposite ('people can get to the top or pretty close if they aren't retarded and they apply themselves').

In my experience, that 'knack' is generally developed by hours of unseen practice and study. Baseline ability differentiates beginners and might influence their inclination to continue, but the work you put in as you advance to the level of a novice or intermediate trumps that. People who make a living doing this stuff clock far more hours than you on a daily basis, invest more effort, and have accumulated loads more practice.

I've painted a fair few miniatures in my day, and from what I've seen there's a pretty clear correlation between time spent on quality practice and the resulting paintjobs. Drybrushing crap all day isn't going to teach you anything, but pushing your limits by trying to get better at new techniques definitely will.

u/timothymr · 3 pointsr/soccer

I don't know about books specifically for managers but: Talent Is Overrated, Open - Andre Agassi and The Numbers Game are all some of the best sports-y books I've ever read. I don't really give a shit about tennis but the Agassi book was fascinating. I'd recommend reading any biography of players who were at any point at the absolute top of their game so Agassi, Tiger Woods, Serena Williams has one I think? One of the things that Talent Is Overrated goes into is just how much work is required to be really good and then how much more work is required to be even better than that. Best of luck with it all!

u/faster_grenth · 3 pointsr/GetMotivated

I agree that we're not all equal, mentally and physically. I do think that "talent" is a misleading or at least misunderstood word, though. I've read a bit about talent, and I think it's most often used as a way to dismiss the efforts and the effect of time spent on deliberate practice, which are the main drivers of skill, though skill doesn't necessarily dictate success, which McGregor seems to be implying (imo incorrectly).

I think it's important to distinguish between three concepts: talent, skill, and success. In my opinion, skill seems to depend primarily on preparation/practice, which is not inborn and seems very closely tied to passion/motivation. People often describe skill, erroneously, as talent, which should be used to describe natural advantages like intellect or physical traits. The combination of skill plus talent (and opportunity) will then mostly detemine success. A 5'0" basketball player who is a better shooter/passer than every NBA player is still unlikely to succeed as a professional basketball player due to physical, natural limitations.

This book is an entertaining and interesting read on the subject. It takes a closer look at seemingly obvious cases of talent, incl. Tiger Woods, Mozart, and world-class musicians, and finds a fairly straightforward correlation between their skills and the quantity and quality of practice.

u/Syrupjuice · 3 pointsr/graphic_design

Read this book, "Talent is Overrated, by Geoff Colvin". It's cheap, 10 USD or so, but it address this exact question. Spoiler, it comes down to intentional time on task.

(a little more info on the book, it covers various case studies of great achieves in areas such as music, sports, and business and looks into what potential contributing factors enabled certain individuals to perform so well. Some parts of the book are more focused on generating great achievers within business environments, but a lot of the concepts can be applied to art/design and personal development.)

One good example is Noah Bradley. Though he's an artist, he had next to no 'talent' when it came to drawing/painting. Even when he was in school he was awful. But then he began actually working toward a goal to be great and now he's a premier artist in the sci-fi/fantasy realm.

u/[deleted] · 3 pointsr/starcraft
u/CivVISpouse · 3 pointsr/piano

Oh, I probably shouldn't have said that. I certainly understand the process of deliberative practice and have a copy of Colvin's Talent is Overrated. I should have been more clear. I am an advanced beginner and am still in what James Clear refers to as the "showing up and putting in your reps" phase. As such, I will be trying to deliberatively practice while 'showing up and putting in my reps.' But I will definitely be looking for opportunities for improvement along the way so I don't reinforce bad habits. All would be easier if I had a teacher who was interested in technical exercises and advise me on which exercises to do when certain issues in my playing are revealed. But as it is, I have to do my deliberative practice in a more organic way without any wise guides along the way. I feel like I should be having a 2nd teacher for 30 min/week piano lessons who only focuses on technique and directing me on technical exercises! Maybe some day when I am at the intermediate stage.

u/organizedfellow · 2 pointsr/Entrepreneur

Here are all the books with amazon links, Alphabetical order :)


u/PartlyWriter · 2 pointsr/Screenwriting

Your best post yet. Don't get frazzled if people don't buy it. I buy what you're selling here. I've experienced the same myself.

Ultimately good coaches:

  1. Encourage deliberate practice - Read "Talent is Overrated"

  2. Most importantly, harness the power of Candid Feedback.

    I really want to focus on that second part. Candid Feedback is a core part of Pixar's creative process. Their third co-founder, Ed Catmull, wrote a book about it last year called "Creativity Inc." where he outlines how to build a strong creative culture centered around Candid Feedback.

    Here's an excerpt:

    >In the very early days of Pixar, John, Andrew, Pete, Lee, and Joe made a promise to one another. No matter what happened, they would always tell each other the truth. They did this because they recognized how important and rare candid feedback is and how, without it, our films would suffer. Then and now, the term we use to describe this kind of constructive criticism is “good notes.” A good note says what is wrong, what is missing, what isn’t clear, what makes no sense. A good note is offered at a timely moment, not too late to fix the problem. A good note doesn’t make demands; it doesn’t even have to include a proposed fix. But if it does, that fix is offered only to illustrate a potential solution, not to prescribe an answer. Most of all, though, a good note is specific. “I’m writhing with boredom,” is not a good note. As Andrew Stanton says, “There’s a difference between criticism and constructive criticism. With the latter, you’re constructing at the same time that you’re criticizing. You’re building as you’re breaking down, making new pieces to work with out of the stuff you’ve just ripped apart. That’s an art form in itself."

    I want to focus on the bolded portion. I think it's important that Andrew Stanton finds a distinction. Sure, a lot of people can read your writing and give you some feedback, some criticism. That's generally easy to find. What separates a good coach/consultant/friend/whatever is that they are particularly skilled at provided the kind of constructive criticism defined above. I think that if someone is particularly skilled at that, then they aren't committing a sin by charging a reasonable fee for their notes. At worst, the writer loses a few bucks. At best, the writer finds things they may need to clarify, things they may want to emphasize, and things they may want to pull back on.

    Lastly, there's an dynamic between students and coaches (or teachers, whatever) that is fundamentally different from any other relationship an artist has in his life.

    To illuminate what I mean, I point to another excerpt from the book mentioned above:

    >It would be a mistake to think that merely gathering a bunch of people in a room for a candid discussion every couple of months will automatically cure your creative ills. First, it takes a while for any group to develop the level of trust necessary to be truly candid, to express reservations and criticisms without fear of reprisal, and to learn the language of good notes.

    I think the best consultants, ideally, wouldn't feel restrained by the social contracts we form between ourselves and people we have personal relationships with. Friends and family members don't want to hurt feelings and strain relationships. Managers, on the other hand, can be influenced - even unintentionally - by monetary motivations (ie "if this writer doesn't develop this into sellable work, it may never sell and they may never have a career.")

    Theoretically, however, a consultant has no such obligations. Their personal stake in both the script and the writer is limited. Ideally, that alone could free them up to provide perspectives you may not get from people who have different relationships with the writer.

    All that said, Mazin said something quite pointed earlier.

    >"...paid services are unnecessary for an inherently good writer and insufficient for an inherently bad one."

    Unnecessary? Perhaps. But any source that can give me an unbiased perspective that helps elevate even a SINGLE moment in the film is worth it to me.
u/howcjr · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

You have a misunderstanding of what talent is and what leads to success. You are observing the outcomes but not the process that it took to get there. There has been considerable research into what leads to success, and your view is not supported by the data. If you're interested in learning more, you can read this book among many others.

u/combinatorylogic · 2 pointsr/programming

> That is quite an assertion contrary to available evidence.

There is a lot of evidence debunking the talent myth. A bit of it is summarised in this book:

> The idea that anybody can do anything if they work hard enough is a romantic notion.

This is a notion that works.

> It runs up against the reality that nobody is going to want it hard enough

There are cases when nobody cares about all that "wants". E.g., in the army - if you're assigned to learn a skill, you'll learn a skill. Through pain and suffering, maybe, but you'll learn.

> Becoming an average programmer rather than a poor programmer is not the kind of thing that inspires people

It is definitely an ambitious goal, and given a boost in an income it may provide, it is quite a desired goal for many.

u/TurdFurgis0n · 2 pointsr/changemyview

If you want to be really good at something, hard work towards improving yourself is all that really matters. Starting with money can allow you to be able to work hard to become good at something without distractions (you won't be able to improve yourself if you spend all your energy just getting food). If you want to be really really rich, that comes more from what you choose to become good at and luck. But having money to start with does not make you successful, it just gives you the opportunity to work hard.

If you want to hear about it from someone more eloquent than myself (and who cites their sources), you should pick up a copy of Talent is Overrated. It used to be on Pirate Bay, so you can probably find a PDF somewhere.

u/1ron_giant · 2 pointsr/redpillbooks

I would like to participate.

Here are three books that might fit the theme.

CJ Chivers "The Gun" - Well written and details the development of the AK-47 which has impacted men's lives for three generations now.

Geoff Colvin "Talent Is Overrated" - We are all trying to change ourselves for the better. That takes focus and determination. This book is definitely echoing that view.

Dean Karnazes, "Ultramarathon Man" - Good biography about a man transforming himself. Lots of fuck yeah moments.

*All three of these have audiobook versions availible from Audible so that could be a boon for the dyslexic amoungst us who have issues reading.

Of the three I would say Talent Is Overrated would probably prompt more discussion. The Ultramarathon Man might be good for a working out themed choice. The Gun is just a damn good book that combines politics, engineering and war.

u/MiaVisatan · 2 pointsr/languagelearning

Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else

The Talent Code: Greatness Isn't Born. It's Grown. Here's How

Outliers: The Story of Success

u/misplaced_my_pants · 1 pointr/todayilearned

> Quite the opposite really. I never, at least not purposefully, said that people are born with a set level of intelligence. Instead that their potential and their ability and rate of learning is different.

These two sentences seem pretty contradictory.

I think you're misunderstanding the article and the 7% figure. (Incidentally, by definition 7 per cent means out of 100.)

The article claimed that 7% of high levels of skill is due to something innate that's theoretically related to the skill, but that the other 93% is derived from deliberate practice of the specific skill and that practice is enough to completely overwhelm any innate ability. Improving their working memory had a negligible effect on their sight reading abilities compared to working on their sight reading with deliberate practice. This principle (that deliberate practice is the factor responsible for high achievement) can and has been extrapolated to multiple fields as diverse as athletics, the arts, and academics and industry.

What I'm trying to get at is that this perceived spectrum of differences in non-handicapped individuals you speak of is due to differences in how individuals study rather than some supposed difference in ill-defined terms like "potential". These are differences in efficiency, diligence, etc. that can be taught to those who utilize suboptimal learning strategies.

This reddit comment from a while ago really fleshes out this concept. /u/esdraelon's reply in particular is pretty illuminating, though the comments sparked by the original comment all make for good reading.

u/thehonestowl · 1 pointr/acting

I'm new too and I found this two books, although they are not specifically on acting, too be ridiculously useful:


u/imnotthomas · 1 pointr/learnprogramming

Reading this book always helps me when I feel like I'm hitting a wall. The idea is basically that natural talent doesn't ensure success. Deliberate practice does. Deliberate practice means hitting a wall, struggling, getting frustrated, and NOT GIVING UP.

tl;dr: If you're hitting a wall you're doing it right.

u/DrRTFM · 1 pointr/uwaterloo

> The people in the BME program are exceptionally talented

u/pxld1 · 1 pointr/SecurityAnalysis

Yeah, I hate it when people play the, "Oh, I'm just a special snowflake, so lucky to have been blessed with such wonderful genes!" card. After reading books like Calvin's Talent is Overrated, these types of comments just rub me the wrong way.

I mean, seriously, how nice would it be for those who make such a claim? "Don't even bother trying because you're not me, and only I and a handful of others have this wonderful gift." I call BS six ways to Sunday. If we've got someone remembering numbers like Rainman? Sure, I'll give people that. But to elevate informed guesses to the level of a rare genius? C'mon, gimme a break, it's not rocket science (though that's not to imply it's easy).

Time and time again, we've seen investors be "right" but left unrewarded, and visa versa. Mauboussin and others drive this point home extensively. Further, it seems the entire concept of margin of safety is to acknowledge the inescapable role that fortune plays in market outcomes. Hell even Munger says it's not about being smarter, but simply being more rationale in holding perspectives.

/rant over

u/vandaalen · 1 pointr/Songwriters

> Hard work does NOT mean you become one of the best in anything

It absolutely does.

read this:

u/passa117 · 1 pointr/GetMotivated

Another good read, is "Talent is Overrated".

I've been through a similar existential crisis. Never had to work hard for grades, and never had to learn discipline. Still struggling with it now, but getting through with sheer willpower most of the time. I see others who are arguably not as "smart" but who work hard and are disciplined, succeeding, and my ego takes a hit.

Just a matter of gaining some humility, accepting that you're not great at everything, and working on them. It sucks, but it's the only way to grow.

Hope you can find a way through.

u/pby1000 · 1 pointr/todayilearned

I searched for that article so that people here do not think I am making it up. There is a scientific basis for my questions, and I am not being sexist.

I agree that there is still a lot of uncertainty in understanding the human brain. It seems like you are bringing up the nature vs. nurture issue, which is fine. So, could a female train enough to be able to hit a 100 mph fastball consistently?

I just did a quick search. It seems that the fastest a female can pitch is in the 65 mph to 75 mph range. Here is a girl throwing at a Dodgers game, but it is just a casual throw. I am sure if she wound up, the throw would be a lot faster.

Here is another article.

What about the testosterone levels? That makes a huge, huge difference.

"In conclusion. There is no empirical study that says Women are incapable of learning to parallel park or park in reverse. A cultural attitude that creates a binary expectation of value is what drives this absurd notion. Women are dis-incentivized to learn those skills. It might not be easy, it might not come naturally. But it can be learned." I agree, and I hope you agree that this is not what I was saying.

With painful practice and repetition, humans can master a wide variety of skills. After about 20 hours, one can become somewhat competent. After about 10,000 hours of painful practice, one should be a master.

Talent is Overrated.

u/fugularity · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

I urge you to read this book

I don't know how else to answer your question without sounding dismissive.

u/Dannyboi93 · 1 pointr/edmproduction

This this this!!! Anybody who disagrees with this proud feminist should go and read Talent is Overrated.

u/D2magazine · 1 pointr/DotA2

You should read the book "Talent is Overrated"

Which strangely reminds me of a saying that there is always someone out that there is better than you.

u/nybgrus · 1 pointr/medicalschool

No worries. Glad to be of help. Obviously YMMV and everyone has different styles. But I think there are at least a few good fundamental basics that everyone can benefit from and active thinking is the best one. As is rapid feedback. Seek it out - ask your superiors how you did. If you struggle with some aspect of it ask how they would suggest doing it better. Obviously there are exceptions, but almost universally that sort of thing is respected and held in high esteem. It shows you care and actually want to learn instead of just get by.

And if you don't know about it I would highly suggest reading a book called Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin. It is a short read and really worth it, IMO. It goes hand in hand with the idea of deliberate practice. Basically you can get better at something if you do it many times thoughtlessly, but you'll plateau at some point. By deliberately practicing (which is defined in Colvin's book) you can get better faster and reach a higher level.

u/Blobthe15 · 1 pointr/DotA2

Required reading for people looking to legitimately get better at Dota (especially when you've played for a long time with little improvement):

Talent is Overrated : What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else


The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance

While these books clearly do not focus on Dota, the ideas contained in these books are probably the most helpful ideas in making you a better player, in terms of what your practice and mentality needs in order to get better.

u/-Fighters · 1 pointr/woahdude

There is a really good book called Talent is Overrated which basically talks about this. It says even in the case of prodigies, they still needed the practice. The difference was their ceiling may be higher if they are 'naturally gifted' which is only a select few. However, the main factor to success came down to a brute amount of time spent practicing. I would recommend the read!

u/NinjaThor · -2 pointsr/GetMotivated

Sorry but your hate is not based in reality. Talent does not really exist. The good news is you can do pretty much anything you want if you put in the work. Hours upon hours of deliberate practice is what it takes to become "talented". Like this guy did. Hell just look at where he started at.

I recommend this book if you are looking for more info.