Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The 2% Solution: Talent is not the Answer

I am a mediocre dancer. I know that. But I learned three important things that many other mediocre dancers have not. The importance of:
  • Having a coach
  • Practicing alone
  • Practicing with others
Talent is not the answer
If you are like me and only have 2% talent but can work hard you can be at least a good dancer. I am in the 2% talent range on many things. But I am emboldened with having learnt to play music professionally. I wasn’t very talented, but I worked hard at it and I watched myself pass talented people who had gobs of talent but didn’t work at it.

I did the same with speaking foreign languages: Not much talent there either. I wasn’t allowed to take French in 7th grade because my aptitude test said I didn’t have the talent for it. A few languages later, Spanish, Greek and German, I learned the same lesson of the 2% talent solution.

It took me a long time to learn how to ride a unicycle, but because my children wanted to, I took my little talent and got up early before anyone would see me struggling like a clumsy clown. Now people think that the 3 of us have uncanny talent at balance as we play street hockey on unicycles. No, I have 2% talent. The rest was work. We have 100% fun and joy together, but it all started with the 2% solution.

Work is not the answer either
If one does not have talent and only works hard, failure will soon be knocking at the door. The only way to stick to it with little talent is to find joy in what you are doing. One of the most important things about going to a coach is they might be pretty hard on you, but they should be helping you with the joy of mastery. So (if you’ll allow some coaching about being coached), avoid really negative coaches. They will ruin you. Look at their students who are so critical of others because they have endured an abusive coach (the critical parent paradigm) and now invest all their energy in pleasing the critical inner dialogue instead of loving tango for what it is – pure joy. Dieter, the most negative coach I have ever experienced is a great dancer but many of the dancers from his S&M Tango School in Germany where he teaches are known as stuffy and critical. You can tell his students by their black leather and whips. I have to admit, I sometimes like dancing with them -- ouch those ganchos hurt!

Next: "The 2% Solution:  The role of joy

No comments: