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Saturday, December 17, 2011

My thoughts on talent, passion, hard-work and success

I don't know if success can be defined or measured. To me, it's the ability of a person to attain happiness at his will. In that sense, it can be measured to some extent by means of money, friends and other tangible items. But more than any of that, it is the freedom to do what makes you happy which may or many not involve any of the above.
So how exactly do you find success? It starts with finding what you are passionate about, what makes you get up from sleep and be recharged by the mere thought of it. For some people it may be painting, for some it's photography. Or for folks like me, it's an idea to create something, something that makes my life as well as others' easier. Passion motivates you to keep going in spite of the obstacles or the energy you need to spend. It makes you put that extra into something where you could have gotten away without it. But that extra in fact makes a world of difference. Remember that lady at the closed counter, who came out to help you when you really needed it? She didn't have to help you, but when she did, that made a big difference.
It's not always easy to find what you are passionate about, and sometimes you are forced into doing something out of circumstances. I admire those who still manage to find the little things within that they find interesting.

Talent is probably a little easier to define, yet it's more profound. It's an innate skill that lets you do things easily even if you are doing it the first time. Most people are talented in one thing or the other, but few actually find what they are talented in. And even fewer people realize its full potential. I am reminded of this speech by Harsha Bhogle, where he talks about the importance of attitude. I believe that attitude stems from passion. Whether or not that's true, it pushes you to work hard. Working hard is not just about spending too much time, it's as much about applying it the right way. And diligence is perhaps the most important factor for success. A good example I could think of are some of the best players in tennis - Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi and Roger Federer. Based on the variety of shots they were capable of, I always thought Agassi was perhaps more talented than Sampras. But their head-to-head record says otherwise. And that's the difference hard-work can play. Federer is perhaps the best example in tennis for someone who realized his true potential, the summation of talent and diligence.

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