All tagged jealousy

Genius Without Work is a Myth.

When I was much younger than I am now, I was lamenting being a decidedly mediocre swimmer. I was decent, to be sure, and won a state gold medal once, but never succeeded in larger competitions, despite training with those who did and being able to keep up in practice.

I was frustrated and consulted my dad, the beacon of all wisdom at the time (to be clear, now that I'm almost 30, I'm back in the stage where I find him pretty smart. Hey, Dave!). He told me that as a coach, he'd take the person who worked hard over the person with natural talent any day of the week. His words were meant to encourage (and, to an extent, I agree), but they sent up an interesting dichotomy in my head: if you have natural talent, you don't have to work hard, and, if you work hard, you must not have much natural talent. You can't have both.