Last week I was asked to speak at the Mcited conference for youth. It was an honour and a privilege to meet some of the outstanding young people that attended. Many of whom had managed to transcend some of the most difficult circumstances to carve out successful careers for themselves and become shining beacons of their communities from a very young age.
It got me thinking, and as I went to dinner with some dear friends later that evening I posed the question of nature or nurture… Do we need to be born with a God given and obvious talent to become successful, or can these talents be obtained or as I prefer to say unleashed?
Some said, ‘You either have it (talent), or you don’t!’ My belief is that we all have it, it’s just a question of whether we realise it or not…
Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers talks of the 10,000 hours of commitment to any one thing that is needed to become masterful. We can therefore with the right amount of time and dedicated effort become masters of what we choose.
Attendance at Mcited on Friday further confirmed my belief that it’s important that we teach this to our children early. Amassing 10,000 hours takes about 5 years of full time work at 40 hours a week with no holidays as an adult, however 2 hours practice 5 days a week from the age of 4 makes you a master of your art by the grand old age of 23.
I’ve read biography after biography and listened to life story after life story and the common factor among masters is that they realised what they wanted early in life, created positive thoughts and visions about their goal and put in the hours of dedicated practice to make it a reality.
Knowing a child’s individual personality, their likes and dislikes can enable parents to establish what skills a child will need to master early and assist them in shaping a successful future.
Oh and never let anyone tell them anything is impossible..