We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Geniuses resent people attributing their entire skill to natural ability, and tend to the opposite extreme of insisting that it was all hard work. It was never all hard work, as many dedicated but failed athletes and musicians know. However, they do have a very good point: once exceptional ability is established, it is not likely to get you far on its own unless you develop the gift. At the highest levels, there is no rest and constant learning and practice are still required.
Assistant Village Idiot
"Geniuses resent people attributing their entire skill to natural ability".
No I don't. My genius was inherited same as most every other genius. What I do with it to succeed at any particular thing is hard work but for me most everything came easily.
As the story goes, a journalist was interviewing DiMaggio at his home and asked him what it felt like to be such a “natural hitter.” Without saying a word, he dragged the reporter downstairs. In the shadows of the basement, DiMaggio picked up a bat and began to repeat a series of practice swings. Before each swing, he would call out a particular pitch such as “fastball, low and away” or “slider, inside” and adjust his approach accordingly.
Once he finished the routine, DiMaggio set the bat down, picked up a piece of chalk, and scratched a tally mark on the wall. Then he flicked on the lights to reveal thousands of tally marks covering the basement walls. Supposedly, DiMaggio then looked at the journalist and said, “Don't you ever tell me that I'm a natural hitter again.”
Evidence for my claim about the claims geniuses make, but not evidence that hard work creates genius. Joe had three siblings who were professional ballplayers as well, strong evidence for genetic advantages. And DiMaggio was legendary in the field for how smooth and natural he looked as well. Hard work doesn't get you there from point zero. All of us who played sports or music knew that therew were people who just showed up and were already way ahead of most others. I used to say of my stepfamily (a few All-Americans in various sports) that if you invented a new sport you would be electing them captain by nightfall. They did also work at it, worked hard. I was a musician, and always said "I have to work twice as hard to be half as good" as the others I hung with. But mostly what the people who work hard and don't have the ability learn is how to be coaches, or promoters, or reporters, or agents, stay involved with what they love in some other way.
Assistant Village Idiot
One important particular attribute is that the average professional baseball player has 20/12 eyesight.
Shoot, as if it didn't take both. I could work my brains out at painting, sculpture, or architecture, and of course I'd realize more of my natural talent that way than sitting on my butt, but it wouldn't make me a once-in-a-millennium Michaelangelo.
It's also true that you never know if you're a once-in-a-millennium whiz at something unless you exert yourself. All you'll really find out is what talent you were born with that gives you a little bit of easy edge on the average Joe. And the exertion itself has a meaning; it's not all about hitting the top of the charts.