Thursday, February 28, 2013

Talent Vs Attitude

When we observe excellence, we wish we could be talented like that. However, excellence does not come from talent alone. In fact a major part of excellence has nothing to do with talent. In course of time once you go beyond certain level (which is not too high), ability and talent are two of the least used qualities that matter. It is what you do with that talent which matters and here comes the word ‘attitude’. Talent breeds ego and talent never solves problems beyond a point while attitude does.

Sachin Tendulkar has become synonym of Talent in the world of cricket. In mere age of 14 years, he played 55 days without a break. He practiced for long hours; played the game, slept on the dining table and then played again. Fifty Five days in a row – that can’t be talent rather it is attitude -attitude towards the game. In an interview with a TV channel he said that he is a man of preparation and the match for him begins much earlier than the real start on ground.

But we all think when Sachin was born; nurse picked him up and said, ‘here is Mr Tendulkar and here is his century of centuries’ – which is not the truth. Is it Tendulkar’s talent that produced the greatest cricketer of the century? No, it is his work ethics, attitude and more than anything his passion to perform which counts far more than talent. Talent opens the first door, it might also open second for you but it is never going to open the last.

As per Harsha Bhogle, the famous Cricket Commentator, there are many young cricketers who are extremely talented. But the moment they see roadblock, they don’t know how to proceed because they never struggle for success, they always use their talent to succeed. In his book ‘The Winning Way’ he writes that the victory or defeat of cricket team is decided in the dressing room before the ground. Only by sensing the attitude of the team in dressing room, it can be told if the team is going to win or lose the match.

In army when they build Elite Core team, they look at ones career track record. If one never failed they won’t pick the person because if he did not face any failure earlier; he may not know how to bounce and persevere until the goal is achieved. They pick person who failed and bounced; that is where ones ‘attitude’ comes through.

As per study of William James at Harvard University, “The greatest discovery of this generation is: human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitude.”

In another study it was found that when a person gets a high profile job, 85% of the times it is because of his attitude and only 15% of the times because of smartness or knowledge of facts and figures. Surprisingly, almost 100% of our education expenses and time go to learn facts and figures which account only for 15% in success at work and life.
Truly, attitude defines the altitude and attitude makes all the difference in pursuit of excellence. 

This article is contributed by my friend and fellow Toastmaster Mr Anurag Singh.  If you are enriched by this, please take a moment to say thanks in the comments section below.