THE FORUMS

December 6th, 2016
Natural Ability And Culvitated Skill
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Tyler

Tyler

Instructor | Trusted Member

Join Date: 08/20/2006 | Posts: 8738

So my mother is visiting with me, and wakes me up in the middle of the night to tell me that my sister in university is desperately in need of me to wake up and edit her essay which is due to be handed in at the last minute.

This is sort of thing is kind of peeving, as I have yet another 15 hour workday awaiting me, and all I ask is a good night's sleep so that I can be alert during the day to do my job.

Anyway, one thing that struck me funny about this was that my mother appealed to me to get out of bed and write the paper (which I did, of course) on the grounds that I have an ability that my sister simply doesn't have.

As if to say that I was lucky enough to be born as a decent writer, whereas my poor sister wasn't born with that ability and requires extra help.

Of course, the reality is that writing did NOT come easily to me. In the fifth grade my writing was so dismal that I was given a weekly writing assignment that other kids didn't have to do, on the grounds that I wouldn't be passed to the sixth grade unless I improved.

Writing, like most things I've done, was something I learned how to do by constant trial-and-error, including failed experiments and constant improvement over many years. This isn't rocket science -- while my sister was partying and having fun I was working. So for every 1 hour of work she's put into improving her writing, I've put in 100 or more.

Of course, this isn't something that the average person can process. Working at something consistently is so far outside their reality that to see someone with any skill simply comes across as "natural ability" as opposed to something that was cultivated by force of will.

The whole thing reminds me of bootcamp, where students will sometimes say "You just have this natural social ability that always leaves you with something to say! I just wasn't born with that. It's just not me." Riiiiiiiiight...

I was thinking though, that despite it being a frustration, the day that you have people envying you on the grounds that they think you have natural ability is the day that you've really arrived.

One of my goals in terms of the impact I want to have is to help people see the possibilities of constant progressive improvement. I want to be a person people can look at, and say "Wow, look at that guy... If he did it, I can do it."

I think a lot of this starts with small victories and snowballs. Basic things like going to the gym or eating healthy or setting any goal and STICKING to it builds self-esteem and gives reference-points to your unconscious mind that you're capable of achieving that which you set your mind out to accomplish.

Most of what I accomplished came about by the same process -- starting out totally useless and confused, slowly building baseline competence, and cultivating expertise over long periods of time.

Get out of the victim mindset, or focusing on that which you weren't born with. It's fruitless endeavour and a waste of precious time-resources. Make the decision to commit to something and to accomplish the mission at all costs. Any thought that isn't useful -- identify it, nix it out, and keep moving forward.

The results are worth the stretch.


Tyler
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#1

BishUK

Senior Member

Join Date: 08/20/2006 | Posts: 254

Nice post bro,

It reminds me of the example of 2 guys who go the gym. One gains 10lbs of muscle in 3 months and is all pissed and annoyed at his results. The other gains 5lbs and is fired up for the next 3 months, gains another 5, goes for another 3 months and before he knows he blows past his buddy who has given up. Positivity is SO important, I actually think this is one of the key lessons RSD re-enforced into me.

This is a repeatable pattern in almost every aspect of life, I see it everywhere all the time. If I hear someone say he is a natural at some area I immediately assume that I can learn the same skill, and blow past that guy. I almost feel my competitive streak suddenly fire up now. The same applies in business, self development, health and fitness, sports etc.



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#2
TooManifesto

TooManifesto

Respected Member

Join Date: 08/22/2006 | Posts: 655

It's funny to know that success in this area is the same in other areas of life. Success is tons of dicsipline.

And.. success is a lifestyle, not a destination :)
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#3
Jack-Stripper

Jack-Stripper

Trusted Member

Join Date: 11/07/2006 | Posts: 1086

I know how you feel Tyler. I use to suck at writing back in primary school. There were times that I felt like I'd rather fail than write another piece. Problem is, I never wrote what I really wanted to, because I was afraid it would be: corny/out of line/not good enough etc. I often let my sister write my essays (pretty ironic hey?), because she wrote well. This usually got me 80% for the writing. It's a shame actually, because the teachers never knew I sucked at writing. The few things that I wrote myself usually got about 20% (for effort).

Then one day, last year, I just decided I'm gonna stop worrying about what my teachers will think of my writing. I JUST LET GO. I started writing whatever I felt like. I even cursed in some of my essays. I wrote about dead cats, religion, politics, war, prostitutes and whatever else I felt passionate about at that moment.

Now I'm getting FULL MARKS on my writing, because I stopped holding back. I JUST LET GO.
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#4
TooManifesto

TooManifesto

Respected Member

Join Date: 08/22/2006 | Posts: 655

Tyler, if you have an extra 1min, check ur mp-inbox plz. :D
I want some feedback on the way I work on my skills. The message is Short.
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#5

Rico

Member

Join Date: 11/20/2006 | Posts: 50

Tyler, how much time did it take for you to really become the man you are now?
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#6

Creat0r

Member

Join Date: 09/26/2006 | Posts: 54

It's good to hear that it is Possible.

I'm still a noob in the field, seems like there is no progress a lot of times.

But hearing that it can be done, gives extra motivation to keep going.

But how did you get that core motivation to keep going, no matter what?

My motivation seems to be inconsistent. It seems that my motivation is more emotion-based, which is very bad. I really have to make priorities and make work of it.
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#7
Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope

Trusted Member

Join Date: 09/20/2006 | Posts: 2063

Great post. The concept of Natural ability is one of the most harmful fallacies to anyone's self esteem.

At high school, many people assumed I was a natural chode. However, being homeschooled up to the age of 13, I had little social interaction or understanding of peer interactions. Hence, I tended to avoid social situations with peers that could lead to embarassment, which merely reinforced my percieved 'lack of ability' in this area.

However, my intense MOTIVATION over the past 2 months has sky-rocketed my ability to average-to-above-average. I can't wait to see where I end up over the next few years!

Quote:
As if to say that I was lucky enough to be born as a decent writer, whereas my poor sister wasn't born with that ability and requires extra help.


I learned to drive competently on public roads in about 2 hrs, my sister has done 60 hours and still can't handle simple intersections and round abouts. Dad tears his hair out trying to teach her, and tells me she has 'no natural ability' in this area. HOWEVER, since the age of 5, whenever I was in the car I observed the driver, looked at other traffic, memorised how an H pattern gearbox worked, looked at the tachometer and speedometer etc, so basically by the time I hopped into the driver's seat, I already knew how to drive. Whereas my sister didn't know which pedal did what.

Skill is all about experience, practise, developing a frame of understanding. "God given ability" may vary slightly, but the BIG DIFFERENCE is how we use and develop these abilities.
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#8

#17

Member

Join Date: 09/20/2006 | Posts: 67

Tyler Wrote:
So my mother is visiting with me, and wakes me up in the middle of the night to tell me that my sister in university is desperately in need of me to wake up and edit her essay which is due to be handed in at the last minute.

This is sort of thing is kind of peeving, as I have yet another 15 hour workday awaiting me, and all I ask is a good night's sleep so that I can be alert during the day to do my job.

Anyway, one thing that struck me funny about this was that my mother appealed to me to get out of bed and write the paper (which I did, of course) on the grounds that I have an ability that my sister simply doesn't have.

As if to say that I was lucky enough to be born as a decent writer, whereas my poor sister wasn't born with that ability and requires extra help.

Of course, the reality is that writing did NOT come easily to me. In the fifth grade my writing was so dismal that I was given a weekly writing assignment that other kids didn't have to do, on the grounds that I wouldn't be passed to the sixth grade unless I improved.

Writing, like most things I've done, was something I learned how to do by constant trial-and-error, including failed experiments and constant improvement over many years. This isn't rocket science -- while my sister was partying and having fun I was working. So for every 1 hour of work she's put into improving her writing, I've put in 100 or more.

Of course, this isn't something that the average person can process. Working at something consistently is so far outside their reality that to see someone with any skill simply comes across as "natural ability" as opposed to something that was cultivated by force of will.

The whole thing reminds me of bootcamp, where students will sometimes say "You just have this natural social ability that always leaves you with something to say! I just wasn't born with that. It's just not me." Riiiiiiiiight...

I was thinking though, that despite it being a frustration, the day that you have people envying you on the grounds that they think you have natural ability is the day that you've really arrived.

One of my goals in terms of the impact I want to have is to help people see the possibilities of constant progressive improvement. I want to be a person people can look at, and say "Wow, look at that guy... If he did it, I can do it."

I think a lot of this starts with small victories and snowballs. Basic things like going to the gym or eating healthy or setting any goal and STICKING to it builds self-esteem and gives reference-points to your unconscious mind that you're capable of achieving that which you set your mind out to accomplish.

Most of what I accomplished came about by the same process -- starting out totally useless and confused, slowly building baseline competence, and cultivating expertise over long periods of time.

Get out of the victim mindset, or focusing on that which you weren't born with. It's fruitless endeavour and a waste of precious time-resources. Make the decision to commit to something and to accomplish the mission at all costs. Any thought that isn't useful -- identify it, nix it out, and keep moving forward.

The results are worth the stretch.


Tyler


I know I'm only piling on here, but this thread gave me a really useful kick in the azz. Not just for the game, but for a project that I need to finish soon. If I successfully complete it and make a habit of doing this like that consistently, it will really help along my career. (I'm in the sciences, and it's `publish or perish'.) If I establish different habits and slack off (which I suppose I'm doing now by surfing the 'net), my results will be different.

Something else I've noticed about most people: They love to do one of two things with successful people.

(a) Be envious and tear down someone who is successful, instead of trying to learn from that person. (I know this because yeah, I found myself doing this from time to time whenever I felt that I wasn't as far along as I would've liked to be. I realize what an ugly, limiting mindset this was to me and I don't do this anymore.)

(b) Attach themselves to that person and try to suck value chodey-style. They become too much a FAN and not enough a PLAYER. You know, kind of like try to become the star athlete's `best friend' instead of putting in the work himself in the court, weightroom, ect... (Yep, I did this too. But I stopped doing that too because I don't want to be just a fan. I'm a player.)



You already wrote about the way to look at people who are successful, I can't add anything more there...
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#9

Nowhere

Trusted Member

Join Date: 09/20/2006 | Posts: 1208

Awesome post.

I have a high GPA majoring in one of the most difficult subjects at a prestigious university, and have extensive knowledge on a vareity of intellectual subjects (won't give details to preserve anonymity). People say I'm a genius and complain how that would never work for them. Um...no. It really annoys me. I did from terrible to just mildly good in middle school and high school up till junior year and only after making a far stronger effort in my classes than all my peers and reading for up to 5 hours a day on various subjects each day did I get smart, clever, and knowledgeable enough to get where I am (which still isn't where I'd like to be).
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#10
Zel

Zel

Senior Member

Join Date: 09/20/2006 | Posts: 221

Ditto to that. I've owned my own business for several years and worked endlessly to achieve the success we have today. Just to become a licensed professional in my field and get through school was hard enough. When I hear people say to me that it seems so easy, success was inevitable, and that I'm a natural at what I do I think back to how much I had to work at it and nearly quit on several occasions.

Any skill worth having has been fought for.

Nowhere Wrote:
Awesome post.

I have a high GPA majoring in one of the most difficult subjects at a prestigious university, and have extensive knowledge on a vareity of intellectual subjects (won't give details to preserve anonymity). People say I'm a genius and complain how that would never work for them. Um...no. It really annoys me. I did from terrible to just mildly good in middle school and high school up till junior year and only after making a far stronger effort in my classes than all my peers and reading for up to 5 hours a day on various subjects each day did I get smart, clever, and knowledgeable enough to get where I am (which still isn't where I'd like to be).
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