Genius, Genes, and Gusto

by Scott Barry Kaufman

Lately, research on the importance of “deliberate practice” —strategic training that focuses on improving one’s weak spots as well as building on one’s  strengths—has been getting a lot of play, giving the misguided impression that anyone could be a top musician or athlete if they put in the immense amount of time it takes to master a complex skill. While that may be technically true, it’s not always realistic. To engage in deliberate practice you need a huge helping of motivation. And where does such passion to improve come from? Often it’s in our genes.

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