Okay, I just finished listening to the audiobook I told you about yesterday, The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle.
Coyle's premise is that talent is actually well-practiced skill that develops over time, ignited by some inciting incident that inspires the drive to hone the talent, and encouraged by outside mentors.
In a nutshell, he says that neuroscience now understands that talent has a physiological base. Our synapses fire faster when we execute our talent/skills, and those neural pathways are strengthened by biological insulation which allows the electrical impulses to fire and travel faster through our brain. This results in our ability to do things more naturally, quicker, and seemingly pick up things faster.
First off, the reviews that I have read say that he forgets to address one particular aspect of "talent" that in some fields is absolutely required: creativity. The ability to think outside the box. To develop new pathways and methods of thinking of things and perceiving things. Most of Coyle's examples involve sports and music--actions that rely upon muscle memory and repetitive learning to develop.
He says that great artists come from years and years and years of practice and contemplation: "deep learning", or the act of breaking things down and isolating the components, addressing our errors, and then repeating. Slowly. For artists, that means doing your art over and over and over and over... Building the insulation around those synapses and getting better at doing our art. Moving to the next step constantly, without pause to celebrate the previous step's accomplishment. Driven by our own motivation and guided by others' coaching.
Coyle, of course, isn't so simplistic. I'm mangling his idea by oversimplifying it and leaving out substantial parts of his perspective that explain his idea in more detail.
It's an interesting thought. Diligence is everything. Mistakes are required, and should be sought not avoided by constantly overreaching bit by bit once each aspect is acquired.
I guess one shouldn't ask how one creates a success, but why we don't honor the process of analyzing our failures. It's not what we're doing right, it's what we're doing wrong that needs our attention. Success will come. Practice makes perfect. Literally.