Is Talent A Useless Concept?

Uncategorized Nov 01, 2022

Have you ever heard yourself saying, "I could never do that, or I wish I could do that?", especially when watching athletes compete, a performer belt out a song, or an awe-inspiring speaker?

What we often see is their very best performance, what we don't see is the endless hours, months, and years they have spent practicing and perfecting what we see.

In this second part of our three-part series looking at insightful concepts from the article The Mundanity of Excellence by Daniel Chambliss, who followed amateur and Olympic swimmers for several years to see what made them successful, there were three takeaways:

1. Excellence is a qualitative phenomenon.  We spoke about this in our last newsletter.  Remember, more does not equal better in most things, especially exercise.  Rather, focus on the quality of how you move through your exercises.

2. Talent is a useless concept. 

3. Excellence is mundane.

This week we will look at the idea that talent is a useless concept.  Yes, you may find people who seem to have a natural talent or seem built to play a specific sport.  Yet, Chambliss writes by saying it is a natural talent:

  • masks the concrete actions that create outstanding performance
  • avoids the work of empirical analysis and logical explanations
  • perpetuates the sense of innate psychological differences between high performers and other people

We have seen these in many stories of athletes like Micheal Jordan, one of the best all-time basketball players.  It was said that Jordan did not initially make his high school basketball team.  When he did, he told his coaches he would always work his hardest.  When he went to college, he stayed longer than his teammates after practice to continue practicing his skills. 

The difference between high performers and others is the dedication to doing the work repeatedly and overcoming the inner voices that say, 'not today.'


You may not be looking to compete at a high level.  Yet, do you want to feel and move your best for years to come?  Do you want your health to be at its best?

It takes a similar dedication and mindset to have these things as well.  Exercising well is not about talent.  It is about the dedication to do it, do it well and do it every day.

If you are ready and looking for a professional who understands these concepts, reach out.  We can help.


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