Unpopular opinion:

“Talent has nothing to do with success.”

People overestimate talent on their way.

You’ve heard it 1000 times:
The crossroads of talent and passion are where success is found.

Or is it? Let’s check out 2 stories to verify that.

Scatman John: The Stutterer who Scatted

As a kid, John had a terrible defect – a severe stutter.

It traumatized him so much that he was afraid to speak in public.

What would be the one worse profession John could choose? The singer, of course.

John started his journey by learning to play piano. It made him passionate about music.

One day he discovered the art of scat singing, which requires extreme diction.

Perfect style for a stutterer, right?

You know the rest of the story.

Scatman John not only became the biggest scat star ever.

The scat, the exact opposite of his struggle, defined his public identity.

Jim Kwik: The Genius with the Broken Brain

As a kid, Jim had a traumatic head injury that left him with a learning disability.

His teacher called him “the boy with the broken brain.”

To learn anything, he had to put in 10x more effort than his friends at the same age.

Who would you the least expect him to become?

  • Speed reader?
  • Accelerated learner?
  • Extreme memory whiz?

Jim mastered all of these skills to the level of being able to:

  • Teach it to other people
  • Build a worldwide business based on them
  • Give a keynote speech after a few hours of preparation about a topic he had no idea of before

How did they do it?

They put in the amount of effort no one else would be willing to.

They knew they were flawed, but they refused the defect to define them.

They learned how to overcome it.

They worked insanely hard to improve.

And they didn’t stop at the average level.

They kept working until they became the top 0,1% at the skill they initially were in the bottom 0,1%.


Let’s summarize it with the lyrics of the Scatman’s greatest hit:

Everybody stutters one way or the other,

So check out my message to you:

As a matter of fact, a-don’t let nothin’ hold you back,

If the Scatman can do it, so can you!

Scatman John

Categories: Self development