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Daily Mote Notes

Talent is overrated

Talents are pretty much useless.

As Calvin Coolidge said, “Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.”

There’s an ancient story about talents that goes like this:

Once upon a mountain, an old lord went travelling, leaving his favourite servants with some silver coins (called Talents).

When he returns, the servants have all done something different with their Talents:

  1. The first servant — who got five Talents — blew it all on drugs and women and fast donkeys.
  2. The second servant — who got two Talents — was terrified he’d lose them, and so he buried them deep in the ground, where nobody could find them.
  3. The last servant — who only got one Talent — put it to work every day, investing in other businesses and earning interest on loans. By the time his master returns, he has ten Talents.

If we don’t show anyone our talents, they’re just going to stay buried and useless.  

There are thousands of talented ‘geniuses’ who put in minimal effort and end up with nothing. And there are thousands of idiots who’ve made millions because they knew they weren’t talented and decided to outwork everyone instead.

We don’t need talents to be successful. We just need to show up and do the work every damn day.

That’s how you become ‘talented’ at anything.