Macklemore is not talented. Don't get me wrong. He writes creative lyrics and catchy rhythms.
Listening to the song 'Can't Hold Us' this morning, Macklemore tells us what he really is.
'Looking for a better way to get up out of bed
Instead of getting on the Internet and checking a new hit
stay on my craft and stick around for those pounds
Chasing dreams since I was fourteen with the four track bussing
Halfway cross that city with the backpack...'
Macklemore isn't talented, and it's not because he's not good at his craft. He is. The concept of talent is one of the greatest misnomers in our culture. Macklemore applied focus and effort correctly to yield what we today call talent.
Carol Dweck, a world leading education researcher, teaches that the single greatest indicator of future success is which of two mindsets you adopt.
A fixed mindset believes you simply are what you are. You are either good or bad at math. You are smart or not. Great at sports or not. Talent determines your future.
A growth mindset believes that focused effort trumps genetics. You did well on the math test because you worked. You came up with a creative marketing campaign because you gave your focused attention to the task.
The first leads not only to less growth, but it actually reduces your appetite for trying new things. If you try something but don't initially succeed, it's evidence of a lack of talent. And that is not worth the risk. People with a growth mindset believe that any task that initially seems insurmountable can be conquered with enough hard work and mental focus. Why? Because it was hard work that made them successful in the past.
Macklemore is not one of the most popular artists in the world because of talent, it's because of his mindset and approach to performance. If you think about your life, what mindset do you find that guides you? Be honest. If it's a fixed mindset, it's time to actively reallocate your attention to ideas that push you to better performance.