Hard Work Beats Talent When Talent Doesn’t Work Hard

Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard. #DoYourBestEvenWhenYouDontNeedTo #GoodSteward #AudienceofOne

Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard. #DoYourBestEvenWhenYouDontNeedTo #GoodSteward #AudienceofOneWhen you are talented in some area and doing a job you are overqualified for, it may seem like you don’t need to work as hard to be half as good as everyone else involved in the job.

put another way,
When you are really good at something and you are working with people whose skills are average or less, it may be tempting to coast.

but what if you didn’t?
What if, instead, you did your absolute BEST work?

What if you put forth the kind of effort required when you are in a situation where YOU are the one working with people who have more skills and experience and you are striving to keep up?

In that situation, if you were the person with less talent and YOU worked harder than someone with more talent,

who would be seen as the person with the strongest work ethic?
would you be given more responsibility?
more opportunity?
more respect?

would your pursuit of excellence inspire others to also give their best, leading to increased morale and an elevation of the entire project?

When you are the person with less talent and YOU work harder than the person with more talent, does that make YOU their greatest competition?

Back to the original scenario, if YOU are the person on a team who has the greatest talent, the strongest skillset and the most experience and YOU pursue EXCELLENCE when a lesser effort would still contribute more than…everyone else combined,

would you be seen as the person with the strongest work ethic?
would you confirm to everyone involved that you deserve more responsibility and opportunity?
would the respect others have for you increase?
would YOUR pursuit of excellence not only inspire others to give their best but also lead to CONTAGIOUS increase of morale and EXPONENTIAL elevation of the entire project?

Consider: If you are the person with the greatest talent and someone works harder than you, they are your greatest competition.

If you are a person of faith,
~ diligently pray that the Holy Spirit would equip your for the work and then lean on God’s power to accomplish in you what you can’t accomplish on your own.
~ ask God to make you aware of what He wants you to attend to and who He might want you to help and encourage or even mentor.
~ ask God to help you be a strong witness for His love and grace.

#DoYourBestEvenWhenYouDontNeedTo
Be a #GoodSteward of the talents you’ve been blessed with.
Keep your focus on #AudienceofOne

the unintentional message behind accepting the status quo.

Check it out.
Such a cute video.
Encouraging.
A great example of optimism.
But another thought nags at me.
Scroll below the video if you care to explore that thought with me.

Sure. He’s the “GREATEST CATCHER in the WORLD!”

But that’s not what he wanted. He wanted to be the “GREATEST HITTER in the WORLD!”

But after THREE tries. T H R E E.

all by himself.
with no coach.
no instruction.
no advice.
no developmental feedback (constructive criticism)
no hard work.
no practice.

He GAVE UP his self-proclaimed dream.

and settled for what he was ALREADY good at.

(theoretically. At that moment, he has zero competition. “Greatest Catcher” status remains to be seen until he’s on the receiving end of an average pitcher’s fast ball.)

Does all that sound mean? pessimistic?

If the goal is to make him feel better, then yes. I suppose it is.

BUT. If the goal is to help him GET better, then how is cheering for him when he abandons his dream a good thing? How is cheering for him in this situation NOT encouraging him to give up instead of asking for help and working toward fulfilling his dream?

Seriously. Everything I do well, I probably sucked at in the beginning.

I serve as a career coach and one way I do that is to volunteer with a 12 week program that helps the unemployed and underemployed find, obtain and keep a family sustaining career. As you might expect, the people who apply to this program are looking for a better job. They’re looking for a career inSTEAD of a job.

But even more foundational than that, they are looking for CHANGE. They want a better life. A more stable income. Security. Self-confidence. Hope. Encouragement. Inspiration. They are sick and tired of the status quo and they are at a place in their life when they are ready to do something about it. Without exception, every single person who applies is, by the act of applying, asking for help. When they are accepted into the program, they themselves are agreeing to accept help.

So what happens when the coach they’ve been matched with or another student in their group hears their story and reacts by assuring them they are “fine” just the way they are and they don’t need to change a thing. They are ENOUGH.

If you are looking for change and you are being assured you don’t need to change because “you are enough” just the way you are, what does that mean? What does that do to your motivation? If your choices – by natural consequence – have led you to where you are in life and you are not happy with where you are, is hearing “you are fine just the way you are – don’t let anyone tell you that you need to change” really helpful?

Is it kind?

Is it true?

I find myself thinking about the old adage:

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you always get what you’ve always gotten.”

and

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”
~ Albert Einstein

and one of my personal favorites:

“It is not enough that we do our best; sometimes we must do what is required.”
~ Winston S. Churchill

In my experience, telling these students – or ANYone seeking change or betterment in any area of their life – that they are fine and enough is counter-productive. If you want to get better at anything, there ARE steps you can take and by the sheer nature of the word CHANGE, those steps HAVE to be different steps than the ones you’ve taken in the past and the steps you are taking now. I’ve written about some ways to approach changing for the better four times in the last few days alone:

1. It Doesn’t Matter if You CAN. It matters if you DO.
2. Want to improve? Give people permission to tell you the truth.
3. Looking for a Qualified Teacher or Credible Mentor? 4 Things to Consider.
4. problem solving and benchmarking.

The hard fact is that if you WANT change, you HAVE TO change.

comfort zone? or rut?

There is a tendency to hold on to what we have because it’s what we have. It’s only in hindsight that we realize we were stuck in a rut, closed off to the new or different because, well, it’s new and different. When we have the courage and objectivity to step back and look, really look at our circumstances, when we take a few moments to live an examined life, we risk seeing things we aren’t all that comfortable with.

Either inch by inch or in a flash, sometimes we discover our comfort zones aren’t all that comfortable.