Vietnamese proverb: Cần cù bù thông minh
Translation: Hard work compensates for lack of intelligence.
Lesson: A high IQ is over-rated. Hard work is the key to achievement.
We have to admit that clever people have it easier in life: They learn faster, solve problems quickly and grab opportunities to get ahead more readily than their less intelligent counterparts. However, as you have read earlier, an IQ is not a fixed number, but one that can be enhanced through learning from people and from books. By working hard, any average person can become smarter and more skilled in their chosen endeavor.
In fact, hard work can also make up for lack of talents in many fields. It has been well-documented that to become an expert in any field, one needs to expend a minimum of 10,000 hours of training. Working hard is also the basis of creativity. For the longest time, people have held a common myth about creativity that it is the product of a sudden God-given eureka moment when a great idea just comes to their mind out of thin air. This myth was very well busted in the book entitled How to fly a horse: The Secret History of Creation, Invention, and Discovery by Kevin Ashton. In this book, Ashton persuades the reader that creativity is the hard-born child of persistent labor, no matter how talented you are. We all know Mozart was a genius, but even the great Mozart had to work hard to create his masterpieces: He did not just imagine his symphonies and write them down whole and perfect in one uninterrupted session. So, if you want to be great at something, just remember the rule of 10,000 hours, which claims that if anyone invests 10,000 hours in learning anything, that person will master it at an expert level.