An anonymous reader writes: Me, I want to be a natural. I want to show up at the first class and discover I have a knack for whatever it is we're going to study — pottery, Japanese calligraphy, racquetball, oil painting, flute. I don't mind work, as long as it comes easily, with guaranteed results. But I'm usually the class dunce, or at least that's what it feels like as I struggle to keep up after the going gets tough. Eventually I quit, loath to spend precious effort on what could be a mediocre outcome.
But my four daughters turned out differently. They don't think about talent, because it's beside the point. Like the proverbial tortoise, they make slow and steady strides in disciplines that are difficult for them, eventually surpassing more gifted hares. They weren't born this way. Their approach to learning came about as a lucky accident.