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Better Than Before

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Quote by Geoffrey Colvin in chapter 1 of his book “Talent is Overrated: What really separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else“:

“When Tchaikovsky finished writing his Violin Concerto in 1878, he asked the famous Leopold Auer to give the premier performance. Auer studied the score and said no – he thought the work was unplayable. Today every young violinist graduating from Juilliard can play it. The music is the same, the violins are the same, and human beings haven’t changed. But people have learned how to perform much, much better.”

Geoffrey Colvin reports that in most areas of human performance, when people apply themselves with deliberate practice, they easily outperform, even at a young age, the masters of just a couple a generations ago. This is because no one is born a violinist, or a doctor, or an accomplished science-fiction writer, but rather they are taught specific skills and train themselves deliberately over many years with the latest techniques in skill development. This increased achievement is widespread across all human endeavor and reminds us that GREATNESS can indeed be achieved in your child – that is IF you stop letting yourself be misled by the idea that greatness is simply “discovered” wholly-formed in your child. Rather greatness in a talent is developed through hard planning, hard work, and with a lots of support by the parents during the early years.