You Suck At Everything

You Suck At Everything

People are born with talents. You better hope you get one that’s impressive or lucrative, because otherwise you’re screwed.

Take these two artists for example:

Artist #1

Artist #2

I didn’t choose these two artists so I could pick on the first one though. I actually picked these two because they illustrate my point, and there’s something really interesting about both of these guys: they have the same name. It’s not impossible, but “Jonathan Hardesty” isn’t the most common name to share.

The Difference Between The Jonathan Hardestys

I want to show you another comparison. It’s the Jonathans’ self portraits.

Jonathan #1

Jonathan #2

What are the chances of these two artists’ names being identical?


Jonathan #1 is from 2002. Jonathan #2 is from 2011, almost a decade later.

The Jonathans have the same DNA, the same mother, the same father. The difference between the two Jonathans is time, determination, and persistence. Talent doesn’t exist; get to work.

Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
-Calvin Coolidge


  1. Mary ()

    wow..just yesterday I was looking at a bunch of photos I took from 5 years ago..they all went in the trash bin.My thoughts were ..boy have I improved my skills in five years..lots of workshops ..classes..reading etc. I may never be Diane Arbus but enjoying the process and helping others along the way! (Reply)

    • Pete ()

      I love that! I wrote an essay a long while back that recommended looking back at old work so you could see the improvement over time. It’s a powerful motivator, for sure. (Reply)

  2. kara rane ()

    great comparison to exemplify human growth when one has focus and the ultra underdog of perseverance. best wishes to the better You we can all be.. (Reply)

  3. Connor ()

    Just finished burning the midnight oil to get a solid round of development in. Seems like much of my web-design progress happens late-night. Great post, illustrates my feelings this day. Great quote: “Talent doesn’t exist; get to work.” (Reply)

    • Pete ()

      I used to be the same way with the late nights. I realized that what it is is that late night is dead quiet and there’s nothing to distract you. Have you tried the pomodoro method of getting things done? It’s awesome. (Reply)

  4. MOMO ()

    I fully believe in this concept. Many theories rely on a number around 10,000 hours of doing an activity/art/”talent” to achieve mastery, also known as the level of achievement at which everyone says, “oh my, you’re so talented.” (Reply)