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Talent is never enough

Talent is never enough: Discover the choices that will take you beyond your talentIn Talent is never enough: Discover the choices that will take you Beyond your Talent, leadership expert Dr. John C. Maxwell tells it as it is – People are never successful by talent alone, because if talent is enough, why aren't some incredibly talented people equally successful?

Dr. Maxwell argues that the separation between the highly talented and the truly successful is in making the right choices. He highlights 13 essential elements to help us maximize our natural talents and develop into “talent-plus” people.

Maxwell contends that Belief Lifts our Talent, Passion Energizes our Talent, Initiative Activates our Talent, Focus Directs our Talent, Preparation Positions our Talent, Practice Sharpens our Talent, Perseverance Sustains our Talent, Courage Tests our Talent, Teachability Expands our Talent, Character Protects our Talent, Relationships Influence our Talent, Responsibility Strengthens our Talent and Teamwork Multiplies our Talent.

I will probably touch on most of the elements in separate entries. For today, let's concentrate on Teachability, an often overlooked topic in Personal Development.

According to Maxwell, because talented people usually think they know everything in a particular discipline, this makes it hard for them to be taught. Learning is more an attitude rather than competency. Leonardo Da Vinci is who most would consider the most talented individual that ever lived. He had the ability to master contrasting disciplines and that was because he had a passion for learning and discovery that kept him hungry.

To become highly teachable, we can model after Da Vinci. Understanding the following truths would put you one step ahead of everyone else:

1) Successful people view learning differently from others. They do not mind paying for books, seminars, courses and tools that would help them gain valuable knowledge they lack. They actively seek out mentors to guide them and point out their mistakes.

2) Talented people are likely to be hard to teach. As I have pointed out in What got you here won't get you there: How Successful people become even more Successful, we have to keep our minds open and receptive to new ideas because what makes us Successful in the first place are unlikely to keep us Successful. We must have a hungry for knowledge and self-improvement like Da Vinci in order to get to the next level of where we want to go.

3) Learning is a lifelong process. You don't stop learning after you have graduated from college/university. That's where the REAL learning starts.

4) Nothing is interesting unless you are interested. If you want some area of your life to become more interesting (Studies, Work, Relationships etc.), get interested in it first.

5) Pride is the Number 1 Obstacle to Teachability and Success. For many people, their personal growths are restricted by and are inversely proportional to the size of their egos. We need to learn to put our egos aside and see everyone we meet as a potential teacher we can learn from.

Talent is never enough is a great book I would recommend to anyone interested in becoming a talent-plus person. I have only covered one aspect of what I learnt from Dr. Maxwell in this book review. If you want to discover more and have not bought the book yet, I strongly urge you to get your copy today!



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Very relevant and interesting. Its great to see individuals that devote time to this area of motivating and empowering others. We all need a boost and this type of reading and dialogue comes in handy. Bright and talented individuals just like beginners need to re-boost and re-network with others that understand them and re-energize them intellectually.

Heather says:

Looks like an interesting read. I just might buy…

Roshawn says:

Very nice article. The five truths you provide are worthy of remembrance, especially the fourth one. Disinterest is probably the main reason people don’t learn much of anything. Only when there’s interest do people learn, commit, and do.