The Talent Code – Daniel Coyle
Talent is the result of deep practice. In his book, Daniel Coyle looks at extraordinary performers, shows what made them great and give insights into true mastery.
Although talent feels and looks predestined, in fact we have a good deal of control over what skills we develop, and we have more potential than we might ever presume to guess.
Subscribe to AtomicIdeas Newsletter (Free!)
AtomicIdeas newsletter brings you one great bite-sized idea every day, curated from world's best non-fiction books, articles, podcasts..and more. Actionable. Atomic. In just 5 minutes!
Mastery is about deep practice
When we hear of ‘muscle memory,’ it really describes our brain’s neurological circuitry. The brain circuits are connected and insulated by a substance called myelin. When we practice or engage in any skill, we stimulate myelin growth.
Talent is the result of deep practice. The best way to learn is with deliberate practice where you push yourself to the edge constantly. The more you practice deliberately, the faster and better you learn
The rules of deep practice
Choose one goal beyond your present abilities.
- Chunk it up: Break the thing you’re trying to master down into chunks and master them one by one, then put them back together.
- Repetition: Repeat skills slowly and ensure to do them properly. Mistakes show a lack of competence in that area and should be viewed as an opportunity to improve. Repetition of mistakes will train the mistakes.
- Feel the struggle: Pick a target, reach for it, and adjust as you go.
Ignition – sparking your initial motivation
The tactical approach towards skill-building is only one part. The other is the student’s attitude towards their first lesson or experience.
Three key factors fuel motivation and the love for the craft:
- Psychological identity: If one already possess the identity “I am a musician” from the start, they are more likely to take the actions needed to make that happen.
- Long-term focus: A study of musicians showed that students who came to their first lesson with a long-term commitment outperformed those with a short-term commitment by 400%.
- Emotional attachment.