The Myth of Talent and How to Avoid it's Pitfalls
I'd like to ask you to take 20 minutes out of your day and watch this lecture by Matthew Syed. He describes how many people fall for the myth of talent when considering learning a new skill. It has a powerful message for magicians that are practicing their magic.
Why you need hard work more than natural talent
When we see famous magicians performing, it's easy to think that they must have been born with an extra set of powers that we don't possess. Somehow, these magicians have skills that far exceed those that we could ever hope to have. We run ourselves down because we think we need to have been born with some form of special natural ability. It's totally understandable, as it makes sense to us about how the world works, and reassures us that our own shortcomings have roots outside of our control. We simply weren't born with the same chances as everyone else. It’s self destructive and makes magicians give up learning magic. We just say ‘what’s the point of even trying’.
Talent may be a myth and self defeating
Research shows us that talent is highly over-rated as the cause of success. Natural talent does exist, but it's a very bad indicator of future outcomes. Natural talent has a far smaller influence on our ability to master a skill than we imagine.
The greatest achievements can come from consistant, focused magic practice over time. Our culture makes us feel embarrassed about attributing success to hard work. Instead, we should be inspired by magicians that put in effort. We should focus on the journey they have taken to learn and master their skills.
When you watch other magicians perform, think about the hours of work they have put in to get the preformance to that standard.
Focus on the effort rather than the success of the magician.
Set your own practice goals so you commit to consistant work.
View 'talented' magicians as 'dedicated magicians'. Use their performance as proof that YOU can perform to that standard as well. Decide that having those skills is important enough to you, for you to commit to the work required.
Practice your magic every day using a proven drill or program to give structure to your practice.