A Star Is Made – New York Times

I seem to have a theme lately of "what to do with your life" and this quote resonated.  According to research done by the authors of Freakonomics, practice is more important than talent; you are just more likely to practice what you like so you end up being good at what you like.  (Or vice versa.)  From A Star Is Made – New York Times.

when it comes to choosing a life path, you should do what you love — because if you don’t love it, you are unlikely to work hard enough to get very good. Most people naturally don’t like to do things they aren’t "good" at. So they often give up, telling themselves they simply don’t possess the talent for math or skiing or the violin. But what they really lack is the desire to be good and to undertake the deliberate practice that would make them better.

So the key is figuring out what you enjoy doing whether you are good at it or not yet.

2 Replies to “A Star Is Made – New York Times”

  1. There’s a book called “Do What You Love.” I don’t remember who it is by but I read it years ago and was impressed by it. And I’ve noticed that successful people are often passionate about what they are doing. I doubt the theory that practice can equal talent. For instance, I love music. I learned to play the guitar by practicing alot but I was limited because I didn’t have a great sense of rhythm or an ear for it. I did get better but I was never great. I enjoyed doing it but I never was “performance” quality.

  2. Thanks for the pointer to the book.
    I think to some extent it’s cyclical – you tend to like what’s easy for you and you get good at what you like. So talent and practice feed off of each other.
    I’ve always loved math and it’s always made a lot of sense to me. I’m not sure I would have done all my math homework with such enthusiasm if it had been really hard for me and I’m sure I wouldn’t have been as good at it if I hadn’t done so much homework.

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