“3 Minutes To Live 1% Happier”

Reality: Talent or Hard Work?

2023.10.10 | #31

Happy Reality Day! Here is your weekly dose of reality to help you live 1% happier↓

1 Insight From Me

In 2002, Judit Polgar defeated Kasparov, the recognized human chess king, in a game.

Who is Judit? The world’s number one female chess player.

That’s not all. Following closely in second place is her sister Zsuzsa Polgar, and their other sister Zsófia is also a chess grandmaster.

And the three sisters are all products of an experiment.

Their father believed that talent did not exist and that all children could be trained to become geniuses in any field. So he hit it off with their mother and decided to conduct a one-of-a-kind experiment to train the three of them to play chess from birth. As a result, all three of them actually became chess masters. Moreover, all three of them like chess very much and really enjoy it.

This leads to the classic question: Should you do what you love, or love what you do?

On the one hand, countless famous people say that you should find your passion, on the other hand, there are also famous people like Cal Newport, Geoffrey Colvin, etc. who say that talent is not important, but hard work is.

So what should we do?

In fact, the answer is very simple, it is to combine it:

First find your path, and then work hard.

Everyone has talent, and talent determines the areas in which you are more likely to succeed.

In theory, we can enjoy anything. But in reality, it is easier to like things that come easily.

The top people in any field have both talent and hard work. Why? Because people are not machines, our actions must be driven by motivation. If there is no motivation such as passion, it simply won’t last long.

Why do we have to create difficulties when there are no difficulties in the first place, and then use most of our energy to overcome them?

Faced with the same job, a person who doesn’t like it, half of energy has already been used to just sitting at the desk before even starting working. But for someone who is passionate about it, he can make greater progress in the same time, and it will be easier to reach the end too.

I forgot to mention that in addition to being a psychologist, the father of the three chess sisters was also a chess teacher before giving birth to them.

1 Insight From Others

As Robert Plomin, a behavioral geneticist at King’s College in London, told me, It is now at the point where we have stopped testing to see if traits have a genetic component because we literally can’t find a single one that isn’t influenced by our genes. 

― James Clear

1 Small Step To Take

“T-shaped road”

Everyone has to go through an exploring stage and an exploiting stage, which correspond to the horizontal and vertical line of the T respectively.

The catch is, the vertical line is different for everyone.

But in fact, most people do whatever others are doing, they don’t even start walking the horizontal line. “I didn’t realize it at first, but when I realized it, it was too late.”


That is just an excuse, you are just afraid.

PS: What does “mentally strong” mean?

Do you find this issue of Reality helpful? Leave a reply to this email, I check every reply in my inbox.

Until next week,

Ted Wild

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