You don’t need talent

Dear Logan,

I just read this guy’s blog post and I really liked it.

“I am sick of hearing people say, “Oh, I love your code, I wish I could do thatYou can. The only reason you can’t is because you don’t practice enough. I used to think that I wasn’t smart enough. I was jealous of those that did crazy code stuff that I couldn’t even comprehend. Then, one day, I ran into something I did not understand and instead of giving up, I pushed through. I sat there in front of my computer for hours and wrestled with class and class instance variables.

That day was a turning point for me. It was the last time I thought that whether or not I was successful depended on my talent or intelligence. It really comes down to hard work people. Ever since then, I have attacked each thing that I do not understand until I understand it.”

Or, as Calvin Coolidge once said:

 “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

If you want to be successful at almost anything (watch the American Idol auditions for an example of why I added “almost”), persistence is all you need.  Once you understand that, it just becomes a matter of deciding what’s important to you, and deciding how to spend the time that you’ve been given.  Would you rather watch TV or read a book?  Would you rather build something, or talk to a friend?  Would you rather watch Sesame Street or write some code (ok, that one was for me)?  The right answers to those questions all depend on what you decide is important to you.  You can achieve great things at the expense of your time.  But when it comes to time, everyone is on a fixed budget.  So spend it wisely.

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