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Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard

Something that has always kept me going over these years is the quote “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.

You can be:

  1. Talented (genetically / skillfully / monetarily) and work hard – best option.
  2. Untalented and work hard – second best option.
  3. Talented but lazy – second worst option.
  4. Untalented but lazy – absolute worst option.

Hard Work vs Talent

Humans have a tendency to think that we are doing poorly (such as being over over-weight) because of our genetics.

It’s common to hear reasons like… “I have a slow metabolism, I get sick regularly, I don’t put on muscle easily, I’m not athletically built, I’m introverted, all my family members are obese, etc.

Anyone that knows me will know I used to be the same. I grew up my whole life overweight and unhealthy, blaming my genetics. Now, if you met me, you would think I was born doing squats and bicep curls.

What changed?

I realized although I don’t have the best genetics possible, the biggest problem was that I actually wasn’t making much of an effort. I let myself think that it was pointless, therefore, I didn’t try, therefore, it reinforced my belief that my genetics were a problem when in reality my lack of effort was.

When you actually understand a bit more about how genetics work, you start to realize just how little impact it has in comparison to the power your daily actions have.

Your genetics has to do with the biological process where specific genes (made up of DNA) are passed on through heredity. This means the genes that were passed on to you from your biological parents influences what you become and which physical traits you express.

For example, certain diseases, characteristics, and physical limitations may get passed on from parents to their offspring.

Thankfully, due to the field of epigenetics, we know that our environment also has a significant impact on our gene expression, which genes are active, which genes aren’t, and how those genes are read by cells in the body.

This means that things like frequent or no exercise, good or poor nutrition, quality or lack of sleep, and even just the way you think about things can alter your gene expression for the better or the worse.

We are not entirely limited by our genetics, unlike what many think.

Just because you have a history of heart disease or cancer doesn’t mean you are definitely going to get it too. Likewise, just because your whole family seems to be overweight and unhealthy doesn’t mean you have to be too. If you can recognize just how much control you have over your gene expression and potential, then it’s an extremely exciting and empowering thing!

Very few people ever come close to realizing their full genetic potential. Worst case you may have a limitation from becoming an elite athlete that is pushing on the upper limits of human performance.

However, with your inherited genetics combined with the correct strategies influencing your epigenetics and controlling your environment, you are still able to lose fat, gain muscle, improve your health and live a better quality life.

So, going back to those reasons like “I have a slow metabolism, I get sick regularly, I don’t put on muscle easily, I’m not athletically built, I’m introverted, all my family are obese, etc“…

Well, good nutrition and exercise will improve your metabolism, immune system, help you put on muscle, improve your physique and capabilities, and improve your confidence.

But most importantly, NONE of that will get better if you just give up and don’t even try.

If you want to be successful, you have only 1 option: WORK HARD.

Whether you won the genetic lotto or couldn’t have given yourself a worse set of genes if you tried… You can improve one hell of a lot by just putting in some effort and being dedicated to your goal.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are definitely exceptions out there. For example, working hard for the sake of working hard is silly. You don’t get a badge of honor for that – you just get chronic stress, poorer health, and relationships that fall apart. But if you are smart about it and work hard in a strategic and timely manner with equal amounts of rest and reward, then you are likely on the right track.

Whatever your goal, there will be principles that if applied consistently with a determined and effortful manner that will bring you good results. Whether in nutrition, fitness, entrepreneurship, public speaking, investing, sports, writing, teaching, learning…

Hard work beats talent when talent doesnt work hard

No matter who you are, make sure that you are either in box number 1 of box number 2.

– Eric.

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