The moment we believe that success is determined by an ingrained level of ability as opposed to resilience and hard work, we will be brittle in the face of adversity.
I find this to be a very liberating thought.
My wife and I have been watching a series of retrospectives about famous rock bands. One of the things that struck me was how hard these folks worked before they became famous. Most of them spent years perfecting their craft. As a society, we don’t see (and certainly don’t celebrate) all the effort, work, and time that goes into becoming “an overnight success.”
So, the lesson for me is that talent and ability can help you get where you want to be, but don’t rely upon them. Instead, set your goal then put in the hard work and roll with the punches along the way. At some point you will be able to look back and see how far you’ve come.
After all, reaching your goal isn’t really the interesting part. It’s the journey part that’s exciting and invigorating, but more on that later.