Encouragement and years of practice are necessary to succeed


Success being the result of talent and hard  work lacks foundation.

Qualities (height in basketball players or QI for mathematicians) have a threshold. Above that, it makes less difference and other things are more important:

  • Practical intelligence: knowing what to ask and when, that means to interpret and work social situations.
  • Connections
  • To be born at the rigt time. Bill gates and The Beatles would have not have the same success if they were born a decade later;
  • Where you come from and culture. E.g. Asians are better at maths as to pronounce the numbers they need to do some math. Also, farming jobs require intense work ethic that – differently from Europe – developed a culture of hard work. Also, Korean don’t normally correct their superiors when they make a mistake (that caused plain crashes in the past due to pilots not advised for possible dangerous manoeuvres by the crew).

Practice and encouragement are keys

To achieve world-class mastery at something, you need to practice 10,000 hours (around 5 years if done 8 hours a day Monday to Friday).  You also need expensive equipment and encouragement from family, friends, teachers and kind strangers.

To back that:Successful Canadian hockey players are statistically born in January-March. The reason is they were the older in the class and they had an advantage that helped them to win, being encouraged more and get a cumulative advantage with time. 


Inspired by the book “Outliers”

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