Talent Alone Is the Death of Us All

Why starting and ending with your abilities goes nowhere.

Kevin Horton
5 min readFeb 5, 2019


I thought I was the best guitarist on earth. I’d mastered a few chords here and there, gained some seasoned advice from a close friend who had his share in the music industry, and pumped myself up full of pride juice.

My dad signed me up for guitar lessons at 10 years old, proud of the fact that his son wanted to become a better musician. Yeah, that lasted for a day. I thought the lessons were boring. I needed something more exciting.

There was nothing standing in between me and the idea of strumming my guitar in front of hundreds, even thousands of people. It was all I could think about as a 12-year-old “prodigy,” with the hope of making it big someday.

I was talented. I’m not going to lie about that.

Those notes were coming through the amplifiers eloquently. People loved to hear me play, especially my family and friends. They would often travel from Kentucky to enjoy the sound of those strings on Sunday mornings.

But soon enough, that beautiful sound turned into something repulsive. After assuming that my skills would take me far in life, I stopped playing. I completely ignored the need to practice and hone my craft.

Looking back, everything I was doing revolved around my ability to do it. Little did I know that this kind of mindset is what kills progress, binding us to a place so far from where we should be it cripples us.

Complacency Breeds Laziness, A Downward Spiral

While I sat there relishing in my talented self, I started seeing less and less of a need to improve. I’d already arrived as far as I was concerned. What was the point of working to get any better?

This is what we call complacency.

See, that’s what corrupts our minds when we settle with our abilities and not on the importance of consistently growing. Ultimately, it bleeds over into other avenues of life that we aren’t aware of.

“Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”

—Kevin Durant



Kevin Horton

Believer. Listener. Teller of honest stories.