Does Hard Work Beats Talent?

"Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard!" - Tim Notke

There are plenty of people with talent. There are people born with some innate talents naturally over others. As someone enters higher levels of competition whether in sports, business, academics, or investing, talent is not enough. All your competition has some level of skills and abilities.  In the long term though in the race to success it’s the work that wins out. 


You may not be smarter, faster, better looking, or more talented than others but you can certainly outwork them. It is hard to beat someone with the passion to get up every morning and work for hours on their goals every day. No matter how they feel, they do the work, it doesn’t matter what the weather is outside, they work. They don’t let failure slow them down, it inspires them to work harder. People’s doubts and negativity doesn’t make them quit it lights a fire in them to prove the naysayers wrong. They don’t quit when they’re tired they never stop.


Take the example of one of the greatest football player on earth who also appears to be the role model of millions of people around the globe. Yes, its none other than Cristiano Ronaldo. The name speaks loads. He is a walking tribute to hard work and determination. He is the 1st person to enter the pitch for practice sessions and the last person to leave the pitch. Working hard is the ultimate key to his success


The ultimate winners in any field not only work hard but they put their effort into doing the right things that lead them to their goals. They learn from other’s successes and failures on what to do and what not to do. Work hard at not only doing both the right things and also at not doing the wrong things. Self-control and self-discipline also take work and are the primary skills in a winner's toolbox that keep them on their path. Seeing their ultimate goal is what lights their path and the reward that gives them the energy to do the work. 


Yes, someone who "works hard" to improve at something or just spends loads of time on something can achieve results better than someone with a natural, innate talent for that activity. However, talents that align well with a certain activity do:

  • make that certain activity easier
  • make that activity more sustainable
  • make it more likely you will derive energy and fulfillment from the activity

All other factors aside, I reason that if someone with an innate talent for an activity works as hard as the person who has talents that are better suited to other activities, the person with the innate talent for that activity will probably be better at it.

However, in real life, there are other factors involved, and also, talents, by nature, don't lend themselves to any one specific activity. You can use your talents to do lots of different things well... maybe not everything, but lots of things.

But one must always remember: "Talent is nothing without Hard work."




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