AIMIT… Experience

Zlatan Ibrahimovic posted his top XI, and one name missing was 5-time Ballon D’Or winner, Cristiano Ronaldo. Why? Because he’s not a natural talent. According to Zlatan, “[C. Ronaldo] is different because it’s the result of training. It’s not natural.”

It’s not even a new thing to say this. Deco said this on the Messi vs Ronaldo discussion: “They are completely different. Though Messi takes care of himself like a normal athlete, Ronaldo is unbelievable. It borders on sickness because he always wants to be the best at his job. He competes in everything.”

The cold, hard facts though – Each of them has five Ballon D’Ors in a cabinet somewhere at home. In reality, it seems that if Messi had really wanted it he could have 10 of them at home, his natural talent is such that if he had worked as hard as Ronaldo, Ronaldo wouldn’t have been close and there would be no discussion at all.

But Ronaldo wanted to be number 1, and he has been. He was relentless to the point of obsession, never letting up and never slowing down. Ronaldo’s focus is lazer-like, and this is the most important thing. Ronaldo’s desire to be number 1 was so strong that when he won in 2008 at only 23 years old, he beat not only Messi, but David Villa, Kaká and of course, the legend himself, Zlatan. I am not suggesting Ronaldo isn’t talented, but is he more naturally talented than Kaká? Ronaldinho? Zlatan? Probably not – but his relentless attitude towards being the best meant he was able to win awards that more experienced, and more naturally talented players did not.

Like natural talent, experience is great to have. To be able to pull from the past and use ideas and information that has helped in the past can be a great thing. Anyone who has ever had to problem-solve anything can attest to the fact that experience has value. But much like we discussed in this post where we talked about ability being worthless without hard work, experience is much the same. What’s the point in having a ton of experience if it is never used for a good purpose?

Here are the three takeaways for today:

1 – Experience is great, but does it really “do” anything? Sure, when we’re in a bind we’ll try to draw on it, but do you make new decisions every day based on past experiences?

2 – If you could choose between a ton of experiences to learn from, or an attitude that would make you focused on achieving all your goals, which would it be?

3 – Why do some people make the same mistakes over and over, while others make a mistake, learn, move on, and succeed?

Just like ability, experience is great. It can be critical for success, but it has to be used wisely and with a desire to grow and improve, and that’s attitude. Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t start with Sunday League talent, he was way above average to start, but his attitude drove him on to success that more talented, and more experienced players didn’t achieve.

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