I kind of love this post at narrowcrookedlanes. The author has titled it "The badger rampant" in reference to the Hufflepuff division of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter novels. Each of the four Hogwarts houses has its own value that it holds higher than any other: Gryffindor’s is bravery, Ravenclaw’s is intelligence, and Slytherin’s is cunning. Hufflepuff’s is dedication; the belief that if you put in enough hard work in an area you can excel in anything.
While I happened to be placed in Ravenclaw on JK Rowling’s Pottermore, I’m probably more suited to Hufflepuff. I have many talents (nearly all of us do, even if we don’t recognize them), but I believe that talent can only get your foot in the door; to actually be invited in to stay you have to work hard. You have to take that talent and sculpt it and refine it and polish it until it shines.
I’ve been thinking about this lately, watching the Olympics on TV. Those athletes are undeniably talented in their respective sports; some clearly more than others. But even the extremely gifted ones didn’t make it to the Games on their talent alone. Each of them put in hours and hours and years and years of time and sweat and learning and repetitive practice to get to where they are today.
The flip side of the same coin is that anyone can "make it" if they put in the time and effort (especially in an area where they have, as Robert J Sawyer says, a modicum of talent). It may take months, it may take years. But, as our parents used to tell us when we were growing up, you can be anything you want – all it takes is a bit of hard work and patience. (And, perhaps, a tiny bit of luck; but Lady Luck has a habit of calling on those who are already working.)