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Is Success Down To Hard Work Or Talent?

Debate At Irwin Mitchell Real Estate Dinner At The Gherkin


Karen Roberts, Press Officer | 0207 400 8714

Putting in the hours or innate superior talent? This was the question posed at last night's Real Estate  dinner hosted by law firm Irwin Mitchell at the "Gherkin" Tower in London.
Speaking to more than eighty of the law firm's top property clients, Times journalist and three times Commonwealth table tennis champion Matthew Syed told how he had been given a unique set of advantages - a table tennis table at the age of eight, an equally obsessed older brother to practice with, attending a school which had one of the top table tennis coaches in the country and access to the only 24 hours table tennis club in the UK - to help him on the way. This enabled Syed to put in the hours of practice that he believed made all the difference for him to succeed. Leading on from this, Syed inferred that we can all be the best with practice and dedication.

These thoughts were echoed by double Olympic gold medal winner, swimmer Rebecca Adlington OBE,   who described her swim routine from the age of 11: getting up at 4.30 am to get to the nearest pool an hour away, swimming for two hours before school and after school spending one hour in the gym and two further hours’ swimming. And this was six days a week! Eight years’ preparation for the two Olympic gold medals she won aged nineteen.

There is no debating Matthew or Rebecca's talent but it appears that hard work and putting in the hours were what made the world of difference, combined with a determination to succeed. Becky Adlington described her focus on the 800 metres: "This was my race - nobody was going to take that from me.” But both top performers put support from their families high on list for helping them to succeed.

Paul Firth National Head of Real Estate at Irwin Mitchell said:

Rob Thompson, Head of Real Estate in London for Irwin Mitchell, who himself competed for Team GB at the Barcelona Olympics, the same games as Matthew Syed, agreed:

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