The first time I tried to played guitar, what came from the guitar was so far from music, there likely isn’t a name for it.

The first time I sang in front of a girlfriend, she told me to stop because I was hurting her ears.

The first time I performed stand-up comedy, I forgot to turn the mic on and bombed twice in one night with the same material.

The first time I spoke in Public, sweat was coming down my face within seconds and I didn’t remember a word of what was said.

Before I wrote my first book, I didn’t know the difference between fiction and non-fiction. I also barely graduated high school (I got a 49+1% in a class that allowed me to graduate, even though I didn’t earn it), and I didn’t read my first book to completion until 27 years of age.

I could go on but I think you see where I’m going.

Despite having no natural talent in ANY of these areas, I went on to release four CD’s (my latest was nominated for Rock Recording of the year), perform on stages throughout my region, and beyond, sign a book deal with a New York Publisher and have that book reach the top of many charts, and speak on 3 TEDx Stages and perform stand-up at the famed Second City.

The moral?

You don’t have to be naturally talented to achieve at the highest level, as long as you’re passionate about the thing you are attempting AND you’re willing to put in the hours of practice.

I wrote a small section about this in my latest book, The Book of WHY (and HOW), and it got tremendous feedback from readers.

I think everyone likes to know you can learn a craft and don’t have to be born with a natural talent in an area to have some success in it.

In fact, in the book, I talk about how a hockey coach friend of mine has seen many players who should have made the NHL walking away from Hockey all together because they couldn’t make the majors, while others who never should have made the NHL did, and went on to become stars.

The great news is I don’t have to reveal a bunch of strategy here for you to follow.

For you simply have to be willing to identify which area you want to excel in and put in the hours (more than 10,000 according to Malcolm Gladwell and others) and I think you’ll find that you too can excel in an area you otherwise “don’t belong” (according to others).

Plus, if you are willing to study under other people, you may even be able to shorten the amount of practice required.

In the interim, here’s to you and your greater success.