Hard Work Beats Talent When Talent Doesn’t Work Hard

Inspirational Living

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hard work beats talent when talent doesnt work hard

Hard Work Beats Talent When Talent Doesn’t Work Hard


This saying was originally said by Tim Notke and my instant thoughts on reading it were is this just mumbo jumbo or is there meaning to these words?  I almost dismissed this as just another of those catchy phrases!  But reading again ‘hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard’, the penny dropped!  Turns out, it is not just mincing words together, it is actually a very purposeful and valid statement. I interpreted the statement to have 2 meanings as follows:


Interpretation 1 of ‘hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard’

Talent alone does not guarantee success. Just like we work our muscles with regular exercise, so too do we need to work our talent to ensure that our we maximise our full potential. We all know that even the best musicians spend hours in the studio rehearsing. Individuals like Serena Williams are examples of people who have combined both talent and hard work to achieve extra-ordinary success. How about Sir Mo Farah who spent hours and hours priming his running skills in sweltering African heat. Now these are examples of people who reaped the results of both talent and hard work.

Now the question is, what stops some people from working their talents?


Lack of confidence- self esteem does not always come naturally.  Whilst some people will walk onto a stage filled with thousands of people and rock it,  for some their talents cannot go beyond their front door.  We may know deep down that we are very capable but with self doubt  we are pretty much crippled. Without the exercise, without the hard work, the talent will go to waste.

Being too confident– sometimes with talented individuals there can be a tendency of over confidence. As a child growing up, I witnessed this particularly at school where it was usually the very bright ones that failed exams, simply because they did not prepare. They believed they knew everything and never prepared for the exam. On the other hand, those who were worried about their academic abilities studied hard, practised and practised, surprisingly coming out with good results. This is a good example of the statement, “hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard‘.

Lack of desire– Even with talent, there are things we must do. There are tasks we must accomplish. Unfortunately, there are incidences when the willingness to perform these tasks is just weak. We dont feel inspired enough to get up and go for it. In the words of  Napoleon Hill, the author of Think and Grow Rich,


Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.


If the desire is strong enough, laziness disappears. If you need to hit the gym, you will hit it! If you need to make that phone call, you will do it without thinking. That is the power of desire. If the talent is there but the desire is not, then the talent is like a weak muscle. You gotta work it!

There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.

Colin Powell

Hopefully, this article will give you the inspiration you need to work hard and not be beaten because you did not put in the work.


hard work beats talent

Interpretation 2 of “hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard’ 

The other side of the coin for this statement is that it is possible for those ‘without’ the so called talent to be successful through hard work. There are lots of people who were told they will never be successful but they defied their critics and made it. As an example, there are several singers who were rejected on several shows such as American Idol but have since become success stories, sometimes surpassing the success of the real winners. There are also several business rejects who through hard work turned around their fortunes. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and many more were rejects at some point in their careers.

James A. Garfield, compliments what I am saying here perfectly,

If the power to do hard work is not a skill, it’s the best possible substitute for it.     

Whether you are a talented person seeking motivation to work your talents or perhaps you are someone who has been told that you cannot do it,  the door is open to all. If you have been told you have no talent, working hard will take you closer. If you know you have the talent, do not rest on your laurels, you dont want to be testament of ‘hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard’.

We all need inspiration, here are some encouraging words to get you pumped up to work hard!


Nothing will work unless you do. – Maya Angelou


“If your dream is a big dream, and if you want your life to work on the high level that you say you do, there’s no way around doing the work it takes to get you there.”
― Joyce Chapman


I do not know anyone who has gotten to the top without hard work. That is the recipe. It will not always get you to the top, but it will get you pretty near.     

Margaret Thatcher


Opportunity is missed by most because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.     

Thomas Alva Edison


If you want to achieve some really big and interesting goals, you have to learn to fall in love with hard work.     

Steve Pavlina


So there you have it, that my 2 cents on this rather profound saying ‘hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard’. Let’s get ready to work!