The Little Book of Talent(R)

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##The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips for Improving Your Skills

ASIN: B007JC1RM2 READ: 2014-02-10 RATING: 7/10

This book is a manual for building a faster brain and a better you.It is an easy-to-read and easy-to-use handbook of scientifically proven,field-tested methods to improve skills-your skills,your kids’ skills,your organization’s skills-in movie,art,music,sports,and business.

#GETTING STARTED

  • Stare,Steal,and Be Willing to Be Stupid.

  • To create the spark,and to use the fuel for deep pratice.

###TIP #1 Stare at who you want to become

###TIP #2 Spend fifteen minutes a day engraving on you brain

The key to effective engraving is to create an intense connection: to watch and listen so closely that you can imagine the feeling of performing the skill. For physical skills, project yourself inside the performer’s body. Become aware of the movement, the rhythm; try to feel the interior shape of the moves. For mental skills, simulate the skill by re-creating the expert’s decision patterns. Chess players achieve this by replaying classic games, move by move; public speakers do it by regiving great speeches complete with original inflections; musicians cover their favorite songs; some writers I know achieve this effect by retyping passages verbatim from great works. (It sounds kind of Zen,but it works).

###TIP #3 Steal without apology

All improvement is about absorbing and applying new information,and the best source of information is top performers.So steal it.

###TIP #4 Buy a notebook

###TIP #5 Be willing to be stupid

###TIP #6 Choose spartan over luxurious

###TIP #7 Before you start,figure out if it’s a hard skill or a soft skill

  • HARD, HIGH-PRECISION SKILLS are actions that are performed as correctly and consistently as possible, every time.

  • SOFT, HIGH-FLEXIBILITY SKILLS , on the other hand, are those that have many paths to a good result, not just one.

###TIP #8 To build hard skills,work like a careful carpenter

  • To develop reliable hard skills, you need to connect the right wires in your brain. In this, it helps to be careful, slow, and keenly attuned to errors. To work like a careful carpenter.

  • When you learn hard skills, be precise and measured.

  • Pay attention to errors, and fix them, particularly at the start.

###TIP #9 To build soft skills,play like a skateboarder

  • When you practice a soft skill, focus on making a high number of varied reps, and on getting clear feedback. Don’t worry too much about making errors—the important thing is to explore.

  • Soft skills are often more fun to practice, but they’re also tougher because they demand that you coach yourself.

  • After each session ask yourself, What worked? What didn’t? And why?

###TIP #10 Honor hard skills

To picture your talent as a big oak tree—a massive, thick trunk of hard skills with a towering canopy of flexible soft skills up above. First build the trunk. Then work on the branches.

###TIP #11 Don’t fall for the prodigy myth

If you have early success,do your best to ignore the praise and keep pushing yourself to the edges of your ability,where improment happens.If you don’t have early success,don’t quit.Instead,treat your early efforts as experiments,not as verdicts.Remenber,this is a marathon,not a sprint.

###TIP #12 Five ways to pick a high-quality teacher or coach

  • 1)Avoid Someone Who Reminds You of a Courteous Waiter

  • 2)Seek Someone Who Scares You a Little

  • 3)Seek Someone Who Gives Short,Clear Directions

  • 4)Seek Someone who Loves Teaching Fundamentals

  • 5)Other Things Being Equal,Pick the Older Person

#IMPROVING SKILLS

Find the sweet spot,then reach.

###TIP #13 Find the sweet spot

  • There is a place, right on the edge of your ability, where you learn best and fastest.

  • Comfort Zone,Sweet Spot,Survival Zone

###TIP #14 Take off your watch

Deep practice is not measured in minutes or hours, but in the number of high-quality reaches and repetitions you make—basically, how many new connections you form in your brain.

###TIP #15 Break every move down into chunks

###TIP #16 Each day,try build one perfect chunk

###TIP #17 Embrace struggle

###TIP #18 Choose five minutes a day over an hour a week

###TIP #19 Don’t do “drills”,instead,play small,addictive games

###TIP #20 Pratice alone

###TIP #21 Think in images

Whenever possible, create a vivid image for each chunk you want to learn. The images don’t have to be elaborate, just easy to see and feel.

###TIP #22 Pay attention immediately after you make a mistake

  • Mistakes are our guideposts for improvement.

  • Don’t wince, don’t close your eyes; look straight at them and see what really happened, and ask yourself what you can do next to improve.

###TIP #23 Visualize the wires of your brain forming new connections

  • Every time you practice deeply—the wires of your brain get faster.

###TIP #24 Visual the wires of your brain getting faster

###TIP #25 Shrink the space

###TIP #26 Slow it down(Ever slow than you think)

###TIP #27 Close your eyes

  • Closing your eyes is a swift way to nudge you to the edges of your ability, to get you into your sweet spot.

  • It sweeps away distraction and engages your other senses to provide new feedback.

  • t helps you engrave the blueprint of a task on your brain by making even a familiar skill seem strange and fresh.

###TIP #28 MIME it

###TIP #29 When you get it right,mark the spot

###TIP #30 Take a nap

###TIP #31 To learn a new move,exaggerate it

###TIP #32 Make positive reaches

###TIP #33 To learn from a book,close the book

###TIP #34 Use the sandwich technique

One way is to employ the sandwich technique. It goes like this:

    1. Make the correct move.
    1. Make the incorrect move.
    1. Make the correct move again.

###TIP #35 Use the 3x10 technique

To learn something most effectively, practice it three times, with ten-minute breaks between each rep.

###TIP #36 Invent daily tests

###TIP #37 To choose the best practice method,use the R.E.P.S gause

  • R: Reaching and Repeating

  • E: Engagement
  • P: Purposefulness

  • S: Strong, Speedy Feedback.

###TIP #38 Stop before you’re exhausted

###TIP #39 Practice immediately after performance

###TIP #40 Just before sleep,watch s mental movie

###TIP #41 End on a positive note

###TIP #42 Six ways to be a better teacher or coach

  • 1)Use the first few seconds to connect on an emotional level

  • 2)Avoid giving long speeches,instead,deliver vivid chunks of information

  • 3)Be allergic to mushy language

  • 4)Make a scorecard for learning

  • 5)Maximize “Reachfulness”

  • 6)Aim to create independent learners

#SUSRAINING PROGRESS

Embrace repetition,cultive grit,and keep big goals secret

###TIP #43 Embrace repetition

  • Repetition is the single most powerful lever we have to improve our skills, because it uses the built-in mechanism for making the wires of our brains faster and more accurate.

  • Embracing repetition means changing your mindset; instead of viewing it as a chore, view it as your most powerful tool.

###TIP #44 Have a blue-collar mindset

  • As the artist Chuck Close says, “Inspiration is for amateurs.”

###TIP #45 For every hour of competition,spend five hours practicing

###TIP #46 Don’t waste time trying to break bad habits,instead,build new ones

###TIP #47 To learn it more deeply,teach it

  • This works because when you communicate a skill to someone, you come to understand it more deeply yourself.

###TIP #48 Give a new skill a minimum of eight weeks

###TIP #49 When you get stuck,make a shift

###TIP #50 Cultivate your grit

  • Grit is that mix of passion, perseverance, and self-discipline that keeps us moving forward in spite of obstacles.

###TIP #51 Keep your big goals secret

  • Keeping our big goals to ourselves is one of the smartest goals we can set.

###TIP #52 Think like a gardener,work like a carpenter

  • We all want to improve our skills quickly—today, if not sooner. But the truth is, talent grows slowly. You would not criticize a seedling because it was not yet a tall oak tree; nor should you get upset because your skill circuitry is in the growth stage. Instead, build it with daily deep practice.

  • Think patiently, without judgment. Work steadily, strategically, knowing that each piece connects to a larger whole.


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