The Definition of Talent (According To Sean D’Souza)

You can be anything you want.
There’s no such thing as talent.

Talent is merely this: Elimination of mistakes.

The fewer mistakes you make in anything, the more talented you are.

So as individuals, we need to focus on making mistakes.

And that’s the curse of our lives. Our schools are designed to prevent us from making mistakes. Our parents tell us not to make mistakes. Imagine a world where you were allowed to make a mistake on purpose.

We have such situations in our workshops.
It’s called a red-herring assignment.
I give an assignment that can’t be done.

Or at least has to be aborted, because otherwise it will go all wrong. Yet most folks complete the assignment. And then when they get back to the room to present their solution, they realise that they’ve made a mistake.

Now the brain is in super self-correct mode. It’s made the mistake and can fix it. Without making the mistake it can’t fix the mistake. Something in our brain requires the mistake to be our own. I can see you making a mistake and try to avoid making the mistake, but more often than not I will make the mistake myself.

And this mistake-making is a good thing.
Because talent is just the elimination of mistakes. The more mistakes you make—and fix—the more talented you become.

But what of those people who seem spectacularly dumb?

What about those who make the same mistake over and over again? Surely they must learn from their mistakes, so why aren’t they super-talented?

It’s not just about making mistakes. It’s about elimination. Without elimination, all you have is a portfolio full of mistakes. And zero um…’talent.’

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }


Haha, I totally agree Sean.

“And Zero Um…’talent’.”

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