Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Skill vs. Effort

The kids noticed the cuts in my fingers from kitesurfing yesterday. I explained that since I am still learning, my body compensates for my lack of skill with force. So I end up pulling too hard on the bar (that trims the kite) and working much harder than I should. We discussed how those with "skill" can effortlessly achieve what those without skill need lots of force to accomplish.

I asked them what they thought was more important, effort or skill. They answered effort, to which I replied that it probably depended on the activity [correction: A tells me he actually said skill]. There are some activities for which having the right skill or talent is probably all you need, while there are other for which you must make an effort - no matter how skilled.

I suggested to them than when choosing what to do in life, they should ideally pick things for which either they have a natural talent, or that can be mastered through effort and dedication. I probably should have also added a third type of activity: those that they enjoy even if they don't do very well.

I tried to give them examples of the above but couldn't think of good ones and the mile was up!

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