“Effort requires no skill”
That’s a quote from an Australian basketball player named Warrick Giddy. Actually, what he said was, “Defense is all effort and effort requires no skill.”
We affirm that successful people are those who work hard and never give up. But are there those who succeed without effort, relying solely on their skills?
There are some really smart students who just get everything, they whiz through the material, do great on tests, and make excellent grades. Their higher i.q. eliminates the need for effort.
Highly skilled athletes can be lazy about practicing, or preparing for a game, believing that their skills are all they need to defeat their opponents.
Sometimes it is like this:
- I don’t need to study for the test, my excellent memory is enough.
- I don’t need to rehearse, my natural talent will come shining through.
- Recipes are superfluous, my culinary skills exceed the ABC’s of cooking.
- I don’t need to review the playbook, at game time, just hand me the ball.
- Hard work is dumb, I’m going to figure out how to work smart.
Admittedly, those with above average talent can sometimes appear invincible. I have always had a great memory. Studying for a test wasn’t necessary since I could remember enough to pass or to even make an A. In theater/drama classes I didn’t like rehearsing because I had my lines perfectly and besides, I was a natural actor. Or so I believed.
Was that the moral of the tortoise and the hare? If great speed can be recognized as great talent, then the moral proves true, the tortoise’s great effort defeated the hare’s great skill.
The exception to skill over effort is when your opponent’s skills exceed your own. The exception is when the exam doesn’t measure the facts stored in your head, but the understanding of concepts verses facts. Oops, wish I had studied more!
There was a college history final that really surprised me. The test wasn’t about the people, dates, and events I had memorized, but an essay on the development of humanity spanning 3000 years. The exam tested my understanding of history and its relevancy to modern cultures. Ouch. I hadn’t put any effort into knowing that stuff.
As parents, we want our kids to be smart and hard workers. We don’t want them to develop a habit of just getting by on their talent, charm, and good looks. We want to see some sweat equity, the results of hard work, the value of effort.
So yes, let’s be smart and let’s use all our skills. But let’s also put our backs into it and keep our nose to the grindstone. Everything worth having is worth working for.
Work hard, be smart, never give up. Be awesome today!