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The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle

Updated on January 31, 2014

Myelin Coils Around the Brain's Neural Circuits

It's cutting-edge science - how myelin spirals around the neurons in the brain, and yes, it's important to us.

Myelin creates flash-drive thought/action process systems that fire us up - or down.

Every time we perform an action well or poorly more myelin (substance like insulation that coats our nerves) locks-in that action and leads us on a path to stronger or poorer performance in our thoughts and actions.

The more myelin wraps, the more success-driven pathways, the farther and easier we go on, to reach our goals of greatness ,in happiness, in health, in work, in family and relationships......or the deeper we dig into poverty of mind, spirit, illness, and broken bank.

OK, the photo is not of the book or of the author. It's a picture of the daughter (mine) who currently has my book. She was getting in her first hours of practice, leading to a career in cooking! and she's chomping down on a Walla Walla Sweet Onion.

Teachers reported that a little child had little musical talent. Then she spent 12-minutes breaking a new piano piece into bits and repeatedly practicing each one until she got it.

Dit-dit-dit da-da, and then adding the next bit dah-de-dum, to produce Dit-dit-dit da-da dah-de-dum, and so on, until she performed the whole piece well.

Hotbed Violins picked by the-talent-code

1/2 Half Size Student Beginners Kids Violin with Case and Accessories - Natural & DirectlyCheap(TM) Translucent Blue Medium Pick
1/2 Half Size Student Beginners Kids Violin with Case and Accessories - Natural & DirectlyCheap(TM) Translucent Blue Medium Pick

This is what I wish I had begun playing on and I'd sure get one for my daughter if she were small now.


Deeply Concentrating

Do you recognize yourself deep in concentration solving a problem (for me, it's often writing), only to catch a glimpse of yourself in a mirror, seeing the seriousness of your expression, at times even like a scowl?

It may be the same look of concerted effort that Dan Coyle describes in those students of excellence he highlights in The Talent Code. That is "deep practice!"

Dan Coyle says focus your practice in one area for 10,000 hours and you'll have honed you talent. Do it yourself and you're on your way to your own ten thousand hours.

You Bet, the photo's me copyright 2008 Leslie Sinclair

Coyle saw the Brazilian outfit that turned out masterful soccer players who learned by practicing inside a crummy cramped room with a cement or dirt floor.

They didn't even use regular soccer balls, but heavy, small, poorly inflated balls, but the cramped quarters and the heavy balls gave them harder workouts.

Lots of Ball Handling

Players got the ball more often, and developed quicker reflex muscle systems that turned them into fantastic soccer players.

Brazilian soccer players seemed to appear on the world soccer scene from nowhere, but it was really this concentrated system that had polished them up to the level of perfection that we witnessed in world-class soccer tournaments, after thousands of hours of practice.

Futsal at the Seattle Futsal Academy - accompanied by Candela by Buena Vista Social Club

Brain sharpening in a spiral kind of way!

Nightline: The Talent Factories

Chart topping music from a shopping mall school - this is one of the Talent Hotbeds. See myelin on the computer screen. How myelin circuits grow.

"Talent is Practice & Practice is Talent" - concentrate deeply - again and again

Dan Coyle's discoveries are wrapped in science. This is nobody's hokus-pokus. Everything about talent is based on science. Talent is practice, repetition, challenging.

Frusktration is a real necessity: Coyle says the myelin wrapping happens after the point of frustration. It's that wide-eyed "yeah!" that comes when you really Get It!

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Daniel Coyle's official site - don't miss it!

Click on "Explore Your Talents" at top right and then click on any area of interest - for a stimulating explanation of deep practice as it applies in that area (really translates to any area."

Bill Gates' Deep Practice

Remember how Bill Gates seemed to spring from nowhere - an impromptu computer genius! What we didn't know was his back story - how he was born just at the right time so he was the right age to benefit from the new computer at Lakeside High School, how it was a parents' group that raised the funds to buy that computer.

How a downtown business recruited top code writers (himself and best friend, Paul Allen) to write code for their company.

Consider how he got to the University of Washington at just the right time to get access to free use of downtime at the university's computer center (back when those centers filled a whole building, just for them) to get in his ten thousand hours of practice time.

Then Gates happened to be the right age to take advantage of the university's computer center's nighttime void in computer use.

A combination of circumstances: good luck, interest, and privilege enabled Gates to exploit his interest, to build his skills, to suddenly? appear on the computer scene when PCs were first introduced.

He had - a long time earlier - got in his thousand hours of deep practice (Coyle's term).

So, he was born at a critical time to be the right age to benefit from the private high school's gift of a computer, where he could program to his heart's content.

Other programming novices had to sign up for a few hours per week, compared to Gates' regular all-nighters, the result of his sneaking out of his home after bedtime and sneaking back in, in early morning).

"The takeaway: to build the good stuff, first you have to build the bad stuff. The bad stuff isn't really bad - it's a step; a blueprint that shows you where we need to go next."

Dan Coyle

Book or Film - Which Motivates to Success?

That's me sitting there, at the beginning of my art career.

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What do you think about the Talent Code?

Can you see how it applies to your life?

Like many others, I thought he was born with a silicon chip in his head. How about you?

Have you ever thought this book might apply to Bill Gates' success?

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