Is your Intelligence a Gift, or just a Product of your Hard Work?

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Some believe the intelligence of Albert Einstein, Bobby Fischer, and Bethoven is a gift, a natural born talent,while others believe immense success and intelligence is a result of hard work and dedication. Dr. Anders Ericsson, Swedish psychologist, and Professor of Psychology at Florida State University, has found in his recent studies that, 20 hours of practice, for 50 weeks out of the year, for ten years (10,000 hours) of practice can make one an expert at their craft.

In Dr. Ericsson’s article, “The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance,” published on, in 1993, reported He states that,10,000 hours of practice could make someone an expert at whatever they desire, according to

Dr. Ericsson’s process in this past study was, to study the myths of greatly intelligent people, and look into the time and hard work spent, getting them to master their craft. He looks into their talent and progress, and then studies the amount of time and effort that goes into their expertise.

Dr. Ericsson says, “ ‘talent’ is often a story we tell ourselves to justify our own failure or to protect children from the possibility of failure,” reported During his investigation, Dr. Ericsson broke down the myths of famously intelligent individuals, and the work they put into their crafts.

According to,Dr. Ericsson has said that talent is something attainable by practice and hard work, this promotes the view of some people that you can do anything you want. Dr. Ericsson and fellow expert, Robert Pool told reporter, “I have yet to find anybody who finds their gift.”

Another view of the two is, the difference between doing something because you enjoy it, and doing something to prove someone wrong or right. There is a large difference in the two, and this difference is believed to affect the performance of people, and their expertise.