Anyone can be anything

The Polgar sisters experiment shows that there is no such thing as innate talent, that all skills are acquired. In 1965, a Hungarian psychologist named Laszlo Polgar hypothesized that any child could be trained into becoming a genius in any field. He and his wife decided to test his hypothesis on their own children. (Fun fact: conducting this experiment was the reason the couple got married.) The first of their three daughters was born in 1969. But even before she was born, Laszlo had outlined a detailed plan of how to raise their children. They filled their house with chess books and pictures of chess players, homeschooled their children, kept records of all opponents their children played against in tournaments, etc. Basically, they made their whole lives revolve around chess.

Anyway, all three daughters ended up becoming grandmasters at a very young age, confirming Laszlo's hypothesis.


And this is not the only such story. Take Serena and Venus Williams for example. Their father coached them from a very young age and made their lives revolve around Tennis. To give you an idea how much they practiced, ``The young sisters hardly ever left the courts, grinding through practice sessions that started as early as 6 a.m. and stretched into the dark of night after school was out. They sometimes had to return 500 volleys just to earn a rest for the evening.'' (source) And we all know how all that effort turned out for them.


So if anyone can do it, why don't they? The answer lies in our willingness. First, it's hard to pick one thing to focus on. Second, if we do find a passion in something, it's hard to make the sacrifices required to excel in it. (E.g. think about body building. Many of us are passionate enough to go the gym, but really excelling in this requires a strict diet and sleep schedule, which we are not willing to do.) So yeah, you can be anything you want. Are you willing to though?