Justin Cobb on the Learnable Nature of Success and Talent

Business / June 14, 2019

One of the core philosophies that Justin Cobb lives by is that leadership and success are teachable skills. Many people are under the impression that successful leaders are possessed of some gift or special ability that others don’t have. We regard these leaders with a sense of reverence as we think “I could never get there. I don’t have ‘what it takes’”. However, the reality is that the only thing you need to be successful is the ability to follow a system. The willingness to learn and apply that knowledge is really it.

“Success is a learnable skill. You can learn to succeed at anything. If you want to be a great golfer, you can learn how to do it. If you want to be a great piano player, you can learn how to do it. If you want to be truly happy, you can learn how to do it. If you want to be rich, you can learn how to do it. It doesn’t matter where you are right now. It doesn’t matter where you’re starting from. What matters is that you are willing to learn.”

T. Harv Eker

One of the best things you can do if you want to be successful is to change your mindset on this one important thing. The best way to do it is to rethink the way you understand the word ‘talent’. The way most of us use it is to describe something unattainable. Something mystical that another person has that we could never get. “Wow,” we say, “That person is such a talented singer/author/actor/speaker/salesperson. They’re a natural”.

The reality of talent is that almost nobody is born with any. Talent is an iceberg. On the surface, we see an amazing painter who can turn out a realistic oil painting in a day. But underneath the surface is thousands of hours of practice, hundreds of failures, research, hard work. A million things that led them to the point that they are at today.

Instead of using the word talent to describe this phenomenon, instead, try using the word ‘skill’. A skill is something anyone can achieve, with hard work, dedication and the willingness to learn. These two words should be interchangeable in your vocabulary. Then you’ll never again doubt your ability to succeed.


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