Old Chinese proverb, Fall down nine times, get up 10.
What is success without failure? A lot of those think that there are those born, naturally talented that don’t have to work as hard as the rest of us. In other words, the belief is Innate talent just manifests itself without proper training. While some of us have an inclination for certain Talents, I believe this is completely and utterly False.
Hard work beats Talent 9 times out of 10, when Talent refuses to work hard. One of the most famous examples in modern MMA is the Difference between George St. Pierre and BJ PENN. For many years, BJ was regarded as “The Prodigy” a man that was just a born natural fighter, with a diamond chin, a predilection for scrapping in the streets of Hawaii. Penn also received his black belt in Jiu-Jitsu after only 4 years of training, if you’ve ever trained in this artform, for the rest of us, it takes a lifetime to master. Penn not only did this but also won the Mundials in Brazil, as it was unheard of for an American to come down to Brazil and beatdown their best fighters with no previous experience at that level. Penn was basically regarded as someone that doesn’t need to work for a living because he was born into wealth, His parents are both real estate Moguls, (his mom Lorainne Shin owning the majority of Wal-Marts in Hawaii). But BJ’s conditioning has always been lackluster.
On the other hand, George St. Pierre was a kid who grew up poor in the cold streets of Montreal. On weekends, he had to go work as a garbage man to help his parents out and pay his way through schooling. St Pierre always told of how his peers would laugh at him at his goals. When St. Pierre listed his dream as being a professional fighter, his peers laughed at him as said it was too tough. He proved them wrong. He said he wanted to fight in the UFC, they said the fighters were too tough and he’d never make it. St. Pierre once again proved them wrong. Then St. Pierre said he wanted to become champion over the then champ, Matt Hughes. Everyone stated ,” Matt is too strong, he’s a beast, youll get slaughtered.”
Not only has St. Pierre beat Hughes twice, but he is already ranked as one of the best fighters of all time. St. Pierre’s poor upbringing and what he has accomplished with his hard work contrasts with the natural talent of BJ.
One doesn’t need to go beyond this picture to figure out how the fight played out. As it stands, hard work beats talent.
Civil’s Mantra Last is the New First pays homage to this belief, that Effort is rewarded.