Mozart clocked up 3,500 hours of practice before his first birthday. Tiger Woods was given a golf club before his first birthday and was coached by a professional when he was four. Serena and Venus Williams trained with baseball bats for up to seven hours a day in school holidays. David Beckham kicked a football from precisely the same spot for hour after hour in a local park as a young child.
Andre Agassi said: “My father says that if I hit 2,500 balls each day, I’ll hit 17,500 balls each week, and at the end of one year I’ll have hit nearly one million balls. Numbers don’t lie. A child who hits one million balls each year will be unbeatable.”
There is no doubt that God has made each of us with unique qualities. Everyone is born with differences, and some are born with unique advantages for certain tasks, but no one is genetically designed for greatness, and no-one achieves remarkable success without dedicated practice and strategic effort.
It doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about art, sport, music or maths. It doesn’t matter who we are talking about, where we live, who our parents are, what school we attend. No-one is born a genius; no-one is born successful. No-one reaches elite status in any field without thousands of hours of practice.
The belief that talent or intelligence is just something we’re born with robs us of the motivation to change ourselves and limits our capacity to contribute to society. Let’s not kid ourselves. There is no easy road to success. We can all grow and change, but it takes dedication and hard work.