Joshua Foer’s book Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything suggests that grand chessmasters have only average cognitive skills for most things. Their analytical skills are not superior to other people’s abilities. Rather, their passion for chess and the hours they’ve spent practicing result in memories that can be accessed quickly. This super memory bank of data that they’ve accumulated from hours of practice is used to find the best move for any given chess situation.
Forrest Gump didn’t have superior intelligence. In fact, his IQ of 75 was considered below average.
But Forrest did have passion for the things he did in life.
Forrest did spend hours practicing ping-pong to become a champion.
Forrest did work hard at the shrimpin’ business before becoming successful.
Malcolm Gladwell in Outliers suggests it takes 10,000 hours to master a particular subject or skill.
So maybe smart is over-rated. Maybe hard work and passion are a lot more important then raw intelligence and cognitive skills.
How hard are you willing to work?
How passionate are you for your work?
How many hours are you willing to dedicate to master your life’s purpose?
Next Blog Title: Does it Ring True to YOU?
Next Blog Date: June 4, 2012