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building skills

Building Skills Comes From Persistence

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Are you good at what you do because of raw talent or is your success based on persistence? Building skills may be a combination of talent and learning. Persistence will make you better.

Some people are known to have an eye for art. Others are said to be great with their hands, a fast runner, or have an amazing voice. Is this talent, or skills built?

The person with the fanciest cell phone who seemingly works magic, is that a talent?

A person who knows seemingly endless amounts of historical information is that a talent?

Talent or Persistence?

People are often described as having talent when they have capabilities that appear above average. Yet, sometimes it is not so much a talent as it is persistence in getting better.

Most basketball players are tall, yet arguably, that may not be directly related to their ability to shoot the ball from beyond the three-point line.

Horse jockeys are small, not a talent. Distance runners are not overweight, not a talent.

We often confuse talent with persistence.

Building Skills

Someone who is good with numbers may be related to how they’ve been taught to think about math.

An archer gets better with practice. The same is true for good students, house painters, and gardeners.

What you work hard at, you’ll do better. You’ll build more skill.

In some cases, there are somewhat natural limitations. Being short in basketball is not an advantage, and perhaps no amount of persistence can overcome a short stature.

For most things in life, and for most professional careers, it is much more about persistence than it is about talent.

A great lawyer, works at it. So does a home builder, an engineer, and an accountant.

Persistence makes the difference.

Build more skill.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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