The Two Saddest Words

You have natural God-given strengths that allow you to offer greater value to those around. Strengths that make you unique and provide you an advantage in that strength over others.

Those with natural talent can achieve a basic level of success, but only those that pour everything into maximizing this talent will become top performers.

These natural strengths also allow you to differentiate yourself from the competition.

Think back to grade school. Did you ever know (or maybe this was you) a student who was just naturally good in academics? Yes, they may have studied a bit, but school seemed to come naturally to them.

The same could be said for certain kids in athletics. There was always a young athlete that was naturally taller, faster, or stronger than the other kids.

This natural talent allowed them to succeed……..for a while.

Over time, as these naturally talented kids grew older and went to better schools or joined better teams. The schooling become more challenging and the competition become better and more work was involved to stay at the top.

Being naturally skilled or gifted in a certain area can take you to a certain point, but sooner or later, that natural talent must be accompanied by hard work and effort to rise and remain at the top.

I recently heard leadership expert, John C. Maxwell say this,

“If gifted and you do nothing, you will be in the top 50%.
If gifted and you do something, you will be in the top 10%.
If gifted and you do everything, you will be in the top 1%”

Finding and using your natural talent is only half the battle. From there, it’s up to you to put in the work to both rise to the top and stay at the top of your profession.

Every year in April the NFL holds their annual football draft. Experts and franchises analyze and rank college football players to decide what players to draft to improve their teams.

The word used over and over from draft experts and analysts is the word potential. Before any of these amateur players have ever stepped on an NFL field, they label athletes with certain natural talents, skill sets, and long-term expectations.

Over time, some of these players live up to the expectations and others simply fade away.

Why is it that some of the most naturally gifted athletes with all of this “potential” don’t make it? It could be a number of reasons, but many times, they discover that their natural talent isn’t enough. Maybe God-given ability got them through high school or even college, but to get to the top 1%, it takes more than talent combined with SOME effort.

Be the 1% in your industry

Don’t sell yourself short and have people talk about your potential.

Don’t take shortcuts.

Just because something comes naturally to you, doesn’t mean that it requires less work. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.

To be in the top 1%, focus on your strength and do EVERYTHING to maximize those strengths.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.