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Talent or Acquired Skills: What Defines Success?

What defines successful people?

Maraike is a very smart and capable individual but early this year she felt overwhelmed by the pressure to do it all – to excel in business, maintain personal relationships, be there for her family and practice self-care. The constant comparison to others’ seemingly perfect lives made her feel inadequate and unsure of her own path.


Talent facilitates the way

But did Maraike’s  pressure really come from the outside? Or had she simply stopped giving her best effort? Talent makes it easier to achieve success by simplifying the learning of certain skills. However, talent is not a guarantee of success.

It was time for her to step back and – within the framework of our 1:1 Budo-coaching – observe, gain insight into her current position in life and her aspirations but especially to understand that delving in self-pity was not the solution- the short-cuts she had been trying neither.

She had reached a point where her talent, which was a given, was not enough to be successful.

By adhering to a structured plan and staying true to her principles, she realized how to navigate her challenges and stay on track towards her goals.


Talent is not a guarantee of success


Success is not simply something you stumble upon; it's cultivated through discipline, taking action and staying on course with a plan.


Successful individuals, regardless of their talent, typically have a vision in mind that they pursue with determination through their own drive. They adhere to their commitment and unwavering dedication; they take action, learn, experiment, without fear of failure – that’s what makes the difference.

Martial arts training imparts important lessons on this matter, which we pass on in our Budo coaching sessions when it comes to building a fulfilling and sustainable career.

Martial Arts practice teaches important lessons this regarding that we pass in our coachings when asked to give advice on how to build a fulfilling and sustainable career.



There are three fundamental truths this regarding:



Knowing something does not automatically mean being able to do it


Mere knowledge of techniques or strategies is not enough to be successful in a fight. In the dojo as well as in professional life. Only the ability to convert theoretical knowledge into practical application and develop the given skills-set is crucial.

A Martial arts  beginner, for example, may understand all the theories about certain practices, but it is only through repeated training and practical application that he or she becomes able to use those techniques effectively.

On the job, what really counts is the ability to translate your own knowledge into concrete actions and results.


Being able is not the same as wanting to


Martial arts teach us that perfecting skill requires constant effort. It is similar in the professional environment: pure ability is not enough if the motivation and will to use these skills are missing.

An experienced Budoka may have excellent techniques, but without the willingness to train hard and give it all on the mat, this person will not put his/ her skills to good use, if at all.

An employee may have excellent skills or given talents, but without the willingness to dive deeper, gain new skills, try out new things, take on challenges, move on and develop further, their talent will go to waste.



Motivation does not equal consistency


Motivation is a powerful drive that often comes with short-term enthusiasm. However, martial arts teaches that true persistence goes beyond initial excitement. In professional life, this means that initial motivation must be replaced by perseverance and consistency in the long term. Especially in the face of challenges.

A Budoka (Martial artist) may be motivated to learn the art, but only through continuous training over years will he or she achieve true mastery. A working person may initially be motivated by the prospect of a promotion, but only by pursuing their goal  – including facing and overcoming hindrances and staying committed in the long term that they will achieve sustainable success.


So, how do you put these findings into practice, to build a fulfilling and sustainable career?


👉🧠✍️ Apply what you know and cultivate your skills. Do not sit back, identify what you need to further develop! Turn your knowledge into action by setting yourself realistic goals and move on step by step.

👉🎯✓ Boost your motivation: Find out what drives you and use that motivation to set long-term objectives. Reward yourself for progress and honour each step you make towards that goal to maintain motivation.

👉💪🙇‍♀️ Be disciplined: The path to success is a marathon not a sprint. Perseverance will help you to achieve long-term goals. Accept setbacks as part of the process and be consistent.

👉🤔🙏 Do not give up: fear of of failure is what holds a lot of people back from trying to do things, but the road to success includes failure. Failure is where you learn.


How to stick to your plans?


  1. Establish a Routine: Set a daily schedule for work, exercise, and leisure activities.
  2. Prioritize Goals: Identify long-term objectives and break them down into manageable tasks.
  3. Practice Self-Discipline: Learn to resist immediate gratification in favor of long-term rewards, push yourself even when the going gets tough
  4. Seek Inspiration and support: Draw motivation from role models, mentors or teachers. Sorround yourself with people that supports you with their experience, knowledge and network.
  5. Reflect and Adjust: Regularly assess your progress and adapt your approach as needed to stay on course toward your goals.
  6. Trust in your capabilities: The more experience and knowledge you gain, the more you will feel self-assured


Avoid this pitfall


Resist the temptation of comparing yourself others with others, especially those appearing in some virtual reality  – you just see the surface. By scrolling on social media posts, who hasn’t felt once in a while like they were falling behind or not enough? But you and I both know that what we see it’s only what gets shared, the perfect polished images, not the struggles behind.


Do you still feel that you have too many unanswered questions? Is self-doubt suddenly slowing down your career? Do you lack  clarity of mind? We can help you in finding your direction. Through our martial arts-based coaching, we activate your body and mind, getting you back in the game.
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