What does the secret of wealth have to do with Picasso and Lionel Messi?

Picasso was eating alone at a restaurant.

A woman approached him in awe and said she would pay whatever he wanted for the sketch she watched him draw.
Ten thousand dollars, and it’s yours.

“But it only took you 30 seconds to draw?” The woman replied with astonishment.
“No,” Picasso said. “It has taken me forty years to draw.”

Lionel Messi said something similar:

I start early and I stay late, day after day, year after year, it took me 17 years and 114 days to become an overnight success.

Lionel Messi

We see a normal person when we look at successful and wealthy people. They’re not any different to you and me. But if they look the same, why are they successful and we’re not?

The first answer we jump for is talent. They must have a gift. No matter what happens, they would have always ended up successful. If we can chalk it up to divine intervention, other people’s success doesn’t hurt our ego.

Luck always plays a role in wealth and success, but the real secret isn’t a secret. It doesn’t need to hide, because we don’t want to see it.

The secret to success and wealth is hard work.

All we see is the wonderful artwork or the extraordinary ability to move on the field. We don’t see the thousands of hours, hundreds of sacrifices or fanatical drive to keep improving behind these people.

We don’t see this secret because it’s easier to tell ourselves they had a gift than come to realise it was hard work. The same hard work we avoid in our own lives.

With many of the greats, there was certainly a pinch of skill. But there has never been greatness without hard work. And history tells us the gift is always overinflated – that’s how stories and legends work.

When you go out and create your success, people might be impressed; they might call it all luck, even say you were born with it. You might nod, laugh it off, or shoot back some self-deprecating joke. But deep down, you know the real reason. It was the thousands of hours you worked diligently towards your goal. It was hard work.

Published in Learning, Life, life lessons, Productivity, Self Improvement
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