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You Think It Is All About Lucky Survivors? Wrong. It Is About Effort!

Jonah Lehrer writes:

Because work isn’t fun. It doesn’t matter if we’re engaging in deliberate practice or studying algebra – the most necessary activities are often the least pleasant. Furthermore, success requires that people learn how to exert effort for extended periods of time, engaging in 10,000 hours of practice (+/- 5000 hours), suffering through 12 years of school and going through draft after draft. There are no shortcuts: even those blessed with raw talent still need to stay on task. Practice is never optional.

Consider the work of Francis Galton, the 19th century British polymath who spent decades amassing biographical information on the lives of eminent judges, politicians, poets, musicians and wrestlers. Although Galton hoped to identify the hereditary origins of genius – he wanted to lend support to his cousin Charles Darwin’s new theory of evolution – he eventually concluded that innate intelligence was not sufficient for high-achievement. Rather, these successful men needed to also be blessed with “zeal and with capacity for hard labour.”

Who said work isn’t fun?


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