What is the secret of talent? How do we unlock it? Whether coaching soccer or learning to play the piano, or perfecting your golf swing, this revolutionary book shows you how to grow talent by tapping into a newly discovered brain mechanism.
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Week 1 of 4
1) As you begin this book, reflect on your own beliefs about talent. When you see a person who possesses great skill, do you believe their ability is due mostly to natural gifts? How much of a person’s capacity to develop skill do you believe is determined by their genetics, and how much is by environment and training?
2) Consider the world’s best athletes, pianists, fighter pilots, bank robbers and skateboarders. Looking ahead, what do you expect they will have in common?
3) Many of us will often operate on limiting beliefs that we are incapable of doing certain things well or developing skill in certain areas. Is there an area in your own life that you have you operated on a belief that you are incapable of developing skill or lacking in talent?
Keep your responses to the above points in mind as you begin The Talent Code this week to read Chapters 1 and 2.
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Week 2 of 4
What a great start to The Talent Code, by Daniel Coyle! Chapters 1 and 2 were filled with so much information that challenges what many believe to be optimal learning environments and what it means to have ‘talent’.
Learning about Myelin and its key role to the way our brains function helps us to better understand how we can train our bodies and minds to the highest level.
Some thoughts as you move forward to Chapters 3 and 4:
1) In our introductory reading guide, we aimed to articulate our beliefs around talent and those who seem to have natural gifts. Have any of your beliefs changed after reading the first 2 chapters of this book?
2) When learning a new skill, many of us feel easily frustrated or discouraged when making mistakes, but this book explains that learning through struggle and “mistake-focused practice” is the best way to learn and build skill.
Reflecting on your past experiences, can you think of a personal situation when you may have become discouraged or even quit working towards a goal because you didn’t understand this?
3) Understanding Myelin helps us to understand that we have many skills and abilities within our reach. Just as Fields commented that he “hasn’t myelinated his pool-playing circuits that much”, is there a skill that you may consider pursuing now that you understand the process.
4) So far this book mainly discusses developing performance skills (sports, music, flying fighter jets). If all words, actions and thoughts are a result of a trained circuit in our brains, what other areas of our lives can we apply this knowledge to?
Do you believe we can apply this to things like training our positive/negative thought patterns, our attitudes, capacity for kindness and compassion, or even sleep patterns?
This week continue on to read Chapters 3 and 4 in The Talent Code.
Click the link below to view the Bookchat and share your thoughts on what you’ve read so far.
Week 3 of 4
I continue to love this book, and am reminded of just how much useful information is in it!
Key points this past week include the 3 rules for Deep Practice as well as astonishing examples of larger groups demonstrating the way they’ve built their talents through myelin.
The 3 Rules of Deep Practice:
Rule#1: Chunk it Up
Rule#2: Repeat It
Rule#3: Learn to Feel it
After reading the guide below, visit the bookchat through the link to share your thoughts!
Week 3 Discussion:
1) Chapter 3 included more examples of the way struggle, challenge and failure propelled certain groups to success.
Do you feel that these groups were exceptions to the norm? Do you know of people or examples where these factors were present and groups did not succeed or do well?
2) In these chapters we really start to understand how crucial ‘struggle’ is to become talented and build skill. It includes a quote that “any sensible person would instinctively seek to avoid” the way deep practice feels.
How important do you believe it is for people to understand this before trying something new? Can you think of a time that you became discouraged trying to build a new skill and if so, do you think that you would have acted differently if you knew this information beforehand?
3) You’ve learned the 3 rules to deep practice (Chunk it up. Repeat it. Learn to feel it.). Now that you know these, what are all of the areas in your life that you might apply them to?
Now that you have gained some momentum, this week let’s move onto Section 2! This week, read Chapters 5, 6 and 7 to read about ‘Ignition” in The Talent Code.
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Week 4 of 4
Daniel Coyle explains that while deep practice is a cool, conscious act, ignition is a hot, mysterious burst, an awakening.
Week 4 Discussion:
1) “One puff, given time, brings many flowers”. If ignition is reactive, how important do you feel it is for people and students to visualize themselves and watch others as they are studying and learn skills?
2) In recent years, there seems to be many more people who argue that workplaces and learning environments need to be comfortable and aesthetically pleasing in order to contribute to success yet I found it interesting to read that most talent hotbeds tend to be junky, unattractive places.
The research of Bargh suggests that the unconscious mind will hold onto energy reserves until it gets the signal that things are rough. What do you think of this theory? Do you feel that we work best in comfortable environments or do you think it may be true that we will be too comfortable to do our best work?
3) Self discipline turns out to be twice as accurate as IQ in predicting a student’s grade point average. If character is more like a skill – honed through deep practice – then what are some of the ways that we can better emphasize character development in our classroom and school programs for students? What are the ways we might practice development of our character as adults?
For our final week of The Talent Code we will read the final section of the book with chapters 8, 9 and 10 this week.
Click the link below to join the chat, and stay tuned for the summary and conclusion as we complete The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle!