Talent is overrated. Hard work is not.
Somehow I feel that not enough attention is being given to the hard work behind the scenes of someone polishing his or her craft. People generally tend to focus on the amazing end product, which somehow validates the talent of the individual.
Many things, like good design, are constant iterative processes. Over time, better ideas tend to be produced because the absolutely horrible ones have been created and refuted already.
Just like people who are seen to be better than the average individual. Thomas Edison is said to have famously remarked that it took him 10,000 failures before he was able to make a light bulb that worked.
What I realised about people who are exceptional tend to keep to their devices. They may open up and talk a little, but most of the time they will be trudging along like the little engine that could. They would invest more time than the average individual on a certain skill, eventually becoming the best amongst their peers for the particular skill.
With that quiet confidence, they could have marketed themselves for better future opportunities. But they usually do not do so. It is the people around them who market them better than they do.
What I find really amazing about this kind of people is their mental resilience within them. It is really not easy to do something repeatedly for long periods of time. But I digress.
The most important lesson that I took out of this was that of consistency. Sure, one can be talented, have greater propensity to learn and grow. But if one does not constantly hone one's skills by repeatedly practising it, eventually all of these talents would be wasted.
No matter your circumstances, the best option then would be to be disclipined and consistent. By making something a habit, you will be ensuring that you will be constantly practising what you set out to achieve, eventually setting yourself up for a better future. Even if you will may fail along the way, sometimes you may never know if an opportunity hits you. So open your eyes and forge ahead. The future is yours to grasp!