“True talent is honed over time, through practice, through perseverance: through grit.”

We’ve all known people who seem to get whatever they want so effortlessly – it’s as if they weren’t even trying. They get the grades, the job, the glory, and we are left wondering how on earth we could possibly compete with such raw talent. Raw talent! Well, what if I told you: There is no such thing.

Sure, some people are born with natural abilities, but this isn’t the raw talent that we generally associate with young prodigies; and if it is, then it doesn’t necessarily last long. True talent is honed over time, through practice, through perseverance: through grit. You may be a natural-born genius, but you’re not going to go far if you sit on your butt all day without a care in the world.

I believe that many of us are thinking about it the wrong way. We believe that natural talent matters more than important qualities, such as determination and dedication. My mother always told me that you don’t have to be born with a natural aptitude for something in order to be successful at it. Like any good thing in life, excellence takes time. If you put in long hours of extra studying or consistent practicing, your perseverance will put you on par with or even surpass those who were born with talent all along. Malcolm Gladwell refers to this simple key to success as the 10,000-hour rule.

It doesn’t seem fair, though, does it? That some people are forced to put in a hundred times more effort to get to the same level that others are just born into. Rest assured, we have something that they don’t have. We have failures, and many of them. It is these failures that make us all the more resilient. Having tried something and failed but having had the resolve and the courage to try again, face another failure, and then another, and another: that is true grit. And in the long run, it’s the gritty girls who will triumph.