Stop Saying People Are “Talented“

We’ve all said it before. We’re describing an amazing pianist, a high-scoring basketball player, a CEO. We look at them and we think, “Wow, they are talented.”


Saying people are “talented” lets you off the hook. It makes it seem like high-achievers have something you don’t. And if they have something you don’t, you can’t be held accountable for failure.

The only difference between you and them is that they work harder than you. Plain and simple.

Sure, they may have had better opportunities than you, but that’s another excuse. Do you think Ben Carson had “opportunities”? No, he made them and outworked everyone in his category to become the best at what he does.

I also understand that no matter how hard you work, you’ll never play basketball like LeBron. But if you are not putting in the work to achieve your goals, no amount of opportunity or natural ability can achieve them for you.

Who would LeBron be without his incredible work ethic? A bouncer? An obese YouTuber washout with 2 videos? He’d be a nobody without his work ethic.

So let’s agree to stop calling people talented. It cheapens their achievements and allows you an excuse to not achieve. Let’s call them “admirable”, “hard-working”, “inspiring”, “dedicated”, “impressive”.

Anything but “talented”, please.

P.S. This is day 14 of 30 in my challenge to write every day for 30 days.

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