Commitment, Not Talent is What You Need to Succeed in Life

By: B. K. Vijay


“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” – Stephen King, American novelist

Loud and fancy advertisements in newspapers, TV channels, hoardings and other media by the commercial educational institutes on top ranks in Eamcet, IIT, Inter, SSC, etc., are conditioning common man’s mind to believe that talent is the only thing you need to have, to be successful in life.

But, do all these toppers, though talented, can really succeed in life? Will these IIT toppers get Nobel Prizes for India? Where will these toppers be after 10 years from now? The answer for all the above questions is most likely to be not outstanding. This is just because talent alone cannot assure you success. Many of these toppers think that they are talented and can easily get any job that they wish – but the fact is talent can make you eligible, but not employable.

It’s not talent, you need to have commitment to succeed in life
Though talent gets you in the gate, it is commitment that leads to success. Commitment towards your learning or at work, will help you grow in your career, while talent at the most, can help you in acquiring a job.


If you flip through the history, you can find people who were successful, they had more commitment than talent. Take the example of our Indian Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry (2009), Venkataraman Ramakrishnan, who was a Ph.D holder in Physics, but later transitioned to Biology. An interesting fact about him is that he failed to qualify for the national-level entrance exams like IIT and Christian Medical College entrance exam, and opted for the basic sciences (B.Sc.) in his UG (unlike the present generation students who opt only for engineering, medicine or management).

Though he was a highly qualified Ph.D holder in Physics, may be due to his parental influence (both his parents were scientists and taught biochemistry) he transitioned from Physics to Biology, by doing a two-year graduation program in Biology. Later, he started his research work in Bio-chemistry in the year 1983 and spent a whole lot of his career on it. If we really observe, his failure at the IIT entrance shows that he was an above average, not that brilliant student. But he pursued his passion towards Bio-chemistry for decades, by staying out of comfort zone, and finally won the Noble prize for his work on ribosomes in the year 2009. It took almost 16 years for him to become a noble laureate. Though he was talented it was only his commitment that made him a successful person today.

Not only Venkataraman, there are many such people who may/may not have talent, but have succeeded in life because of their strong and effective commitment towards what ever they do. One among them is Rahul Dravid, who himself stated that, unlike his talented counterparts, he didn’t have the natural flair for batting; it was his practice, perseverance, hard work and commitment, that made him the second highest test run scorer.


Hence, it is commitment that will drive you to the ladder of success and also in achieving your goals in life.

”Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.” – Mario Andretti

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