Many people assume that those who are the most successful get to where they are based on just pure talent or ability. However, if one asks the very successful how they achieved what they achieved, they will all inform you of the hours upon weeks and months and years of hard work and training and practice that must be done to reach the pinnacle, no matter what endeavor may be pursued.
Malcolm Gladwell explores this topic in his new book, Outliers: The Story Of Success which will be published November 27th. Here is an excerpt. (Guardian.co.uk)
Comparing people and careers as diverse as the Beatles, Hockey players, and software gurus, Mr Gladwell has come upon an astounding number that ties all these highly successful people together. That number is 10,000. When studying these achievers, he noted that for all of them, true greatness did not come about until at least 10,000 hours of hard practice at their chosen pursuit were complete. That is a large number! It is an achievable number, but one that takes years or even decades to achieve. It is a great article and should give credence to the maxim that "practice makes perfect," or at least, "practice makes GREATNESS."
So, while talent is a must, the ability to work hard and long and tirelessly is likely the true determinant for success, and is that not what your mother told you?