Persistence is more important than natural talent

What’s more important than natural talent? Persistence. Why? Because, let me explain.

We’ve seen it a million times. People starting off way ahead of everyone else and just stalling. The most likely to succeed turning out to be an average Joe or Jane. The reason for that is naturally talented folks have it too good, and find things too easy. They never develop that killer chip on the shoulder that us less naturally talented folk do.

I don’t have natural talent, nor do I have good genetics. I’m short, balding, and almost legally blind. Yet, I’ve done pretty well in life, especially for the cards I was dealt with.

You’ll see a lot of late bloomers thrive. It’s because, we’ve had to fight harder just for the same size piece of pie.

In college, I took three speech classes as I knew I’d have to use my speaking ability when I got out. If you’re still in college or have college aged kids, I strongly advice you to either take speech or encourage your kids to take it. I made my son take it in high school. At first, he got pretty upset about it. After taking it, he thanked me because he realized just how important that skill set is.

It’s all about persistence. Those with persistence will smoke those without it.

Things go wrong

Things go wrong and you’ll have setbacks. They’re a part of life. Expect to take a lot of detours in life.

Folks who are used to having it easy simply won’t be able to deal with types of events. Those of us who have had setbacks our entire life know how to take detours. It’s because, we’ve done detours our whole lives. We’ve mastered the detour. Heck, my whole fucking life is a detour.


Shauna (not her real name) was one of the top three hottest chicks in my high school class. I asked her out. She said no. No biggie since my strategy always involved detours and ended up with someone else.

Well, I bumped into Shauna only a few years after high school. She looked like life hit her with a truck. Whereas, I improved, her best days obviously were in high school. Imagine that.

You may have had similar experiences. And to be fair, the same goes for men. You see male office workers brag about how cool they were in high school. Like aging desperate guy for instance. He constantly brags about how he was really tough in high school and he fucked so many chicks when he was a big time clubber.

Yay! But, where is he today? Stuck in the past.

How does this apply to skills?

I love making the Tom Brady vs Colin Kaepernick analogy. Tom Brady, the guy who almost didn’t make the NFL. The guy buried on the depth chart. The guy scouts said was “too slow,” “too skinny,” “too weak for the NFL.” Now, he’s arguably the best quarterback of the Super Bowl era.

On the other hand, you got Colin Kaepernick with superior genetics, lightning speed and strong as an ox. He even graded a 37 on the Wonderlic test (giving him a pretty high IQ). Is he even in the NFL?

The same goes for artists. The guy who everything came easy for him will quit when possible suitors keep saying “no.” However, the guy who really, really loves doing art will really, really find a way to make a career out of it. No coincidence.

So used to things falling apart…

I’m so used to things falling apart that when things work out, I’m ecstatic. So you’ll never see me quit. Things falling apart? I just keep on going.

I’ve learned if you power through obstacles, you’ll succeed. When the going gets tough, keep going forward. You might have to change course here and there, but make sure you keep powering forward.

Don’t give up. If you give up, you’ll never know if you could have made it or not.


Roman is an artist, composer, writer, and travel junkie.

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