If you dream of being, say, the next Masters green-jacket wearer but—despite years of practice—are still more bogey than Bubba, it may be time to leave that ambition in the bunker.
A new Princeton meta-analysis of 88 separate studies suggests that practice, while good for bettering performance, won’t guarantee perfection in a task no matter how much effort you put into it.
“Fluid intelligence generally predicts how well a person can ‘pick up’ the new rules in a domain and carry them out,” says study chief Brooke Macnamara, Ph.D.
Translation: When it comes to how much you can improve at something, there’s usually no substitute for natural-born talent. That doesn’t mean you should ditch a beloved endeavor if you enjoy it and it fits into your life, Macnamara says. “Though you might need to accept that you may not become the world’s greatest at it.”
For access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!