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Talent is Great, but Mental Toughness is Better

In the neverending quest to unlock the true formula for success, many will weigh the strengths of talent vs. grit, in much the same way behaviorists constantly go back and forth on the “nature vs. nurture” debate.

Obviously, talent can be a magnificent asset, but even those with loads of it cannot be successful without putting in the work, as well.


On that note, there’s a nice piece over at, entitled “Talent is Overrated: Top 10 Habits of Mentally Tough People,” that details a variety of habits and characteristics those with minds and wills of steel seem to have in common. It’s a good read, and we’ll not go over all of the ten in this space, but there are a few that are particularly near and dear to the heart of this author.

One habit mentioned in the article is consistency. Those who are not so mentally tough often have a real problem with maintaining consistency, but, without it, success usually remains elusive. Those who can establish a highly-productive regimen and maintain it, even as life may prove wildly unpredictable from one day to the next, will tend to prevail, even if they aren’t bathing in natural talent.

Another important characteristic of the mentally tough detailed in the article is that “they don’t whine, complain or criticize.” You know the types – the people who are (nowadays) constantly griping about this or that on Facebook or another social media site. While the mentally tough are not spared the raw deals, mishaps, and misfortunes that befall others, they tend not to allow themselves to become self-destructively sidetracked by those events. Chronic negativity is absolutely one of the worst diseases the goal-oriented can contract.

Along the same lines is that the mentally tough refuse to dwell on the past. This doesn’t mean they are not affected by what has come before, obviously, or that they are incapable or unwilling to learn the lessons past events and experiences can provide to them. However, in order to forge ahead on the path to both achieving and maintaining real success, the past, regardless of what it represents, must remain firmly there. As with the unfortunate inclination to endlessly complain, living in the past will prove to be an insurmountable obstacle to one desirous of real success.

As noted, these are just three of the ten habits of the mentally tough outlined in the great article over at Entrepreneur. Check it out for yourself to see if you are presently “ready-made” as a mentally tough person, or if there are some elements of your makeup that need a little tweaking so that you may successfully become one of them.

By Robert G. Yetman, Jr.