Updated: Dec 2, 2019
How many times have you looked at a friend who went on to achieve great milestones in life. My next question is- how many times have you wondered that you just weren't good enough to achieve those milestones. It's as if your friend possess some hidden talent that you just don't seem to have. The way they communicate eloquently or solve problems seem far fetched talent for you.
Till the age of 24, I used to think in same ditto fashion. Until, I genuinely invested in myself after realizing the delta between my current skillsets vs needed to achieve my dreams. Today at the age of 28, I have the privilege of working with few of the brightest minds at BCG. I wonder if anyone among us was born with a silver spoon or whether anyone among us was just born talented. The honest answer is neither.
Life is fairly simple. Talent is really an over-rated concept we give unnecessary weightage to. I have never encountered a 800 score GMAT taker to go on and become the most successful CEO. Well yes you need to cross the threshold talent which can be acquired through hard work is all my point. The "wow" elements we observe in people has a story behind it. The story must have taken months, years or even a decade. Today when we marvel at the talented performance of Meryl Streep, there are nights and nights of practice sessions behind it. Today's talent is a function of how much time has been spent nurturing on the skill set in the past.
I can imagine many of you thinking- Shatakshi you seem to be oversimplifying life a bit. Well yes, I am. All I am putting forth is the idea that you need to be born with a functional mind and you have the ability where you see that friend of yours.
Now that I spend 80% of my day at BCG , I realize why people in consulting are so smart ! It's not that we have some extra ordinary mental capacity. Consulting firms hire folks who have been over-achievers in life-a function of hard work put before. Later you spend literally 16 hours everyday solving problems. By virtue of the time spent in problem solving, you are bound to become smart ass. I bet if you pick a consultant and a non consultant and teach them pottery for equal number of hours. There will be equal chances for both of them to get it right in their first attempt.
Taking a full circle, I have been demotivated early in life thinking I just hadn't it in me. I wouldn't want anyone in my network to think so low of themselves. Yes, the later you start investing in yourself the later you achieve your goals. However, there's a beauty in walking that journey too. Do not let the concept of talent ride over your dreams. Whatever talent you see at point-in-time has gone through sleepless nights.
This is how consultants become smart, successful CEOs generate revenue, Selena Gomez creates new hits, Bella Hadid walks the ramp with such poise and you can achieve your dreams that keeps you awake at night :)
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