Ten Things That Require Zero Talent
On Monday I linked to the list Ten Things That Require Zero Talent. The point is that even if you have little talent – whatever talent is – you can still make the most of what you have, and these ten things will, in the long run, almost always overcome talent. (Unless, of course, the "talented" one also does these ten things to a very high degree.) Here's the actual list:
- Being on time
- Work ethic
- Body language
- Being coachable
- Doing extra
- Being prepared
I can't help but think the list is somewhat redundant. You really should do all ten, but in reality, #7 (Passion) leads to #6 (Attitude), which leads to the other eight. Now it's possible to have a good Attitude without the Passion, but that does make it more difficult. (A person working a menial job may not have passion for the job, but can still have a good attitude about it.) But a good Attitude is a must, and automatically leads to the rest.
Some might try to nitpick, for example claiming energy comes from fitness – but it's still mostly attitude, unless you are out running a marathon. Even if you are doing footwork drills, you can have energy until you run out of it, and then you rest and it comes back. But even more directly, if you don't have energy, then you should do the fitness training to get it back – which comes from passion and/or attitude.
I always look at #1 as an indirect way of testing students. Those with great attitudes, who go on to become the best at what they do, are invariably on time – because they are just dying to get there to start training, or whatever else it is they do. (Or, if they are doing something that helps others, they are there on time because they feel the obligation to do so – part of attitude.) Being on time is not something you should do most of the time; it's an attitude in itself, the idea that you should simply be on time, always – and if you aren't there early enough to make sure you can be there on time, you are not on time. (For the record, I've coached about 20,000 hours at MDTTC since we opened in 1992. I've been late for a session exactly twice. Once because of a traffic jam, and once because I got my times mixed up. And those two instances still make me grit my teeth.)
Work ethic, effort, body language, energy, being coachable, doing extra, and being prepared – they all come from attitude, which is the core cause for nearly all success. The best players have all of this. They are the ones who do it all, and then some (i.e. "Doing extra").
So how do you do on this list, in table tennis and in your other endeavors?
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