7 TIPS FROM THE LITTLE BOOK OF TALENT - DANIEL COYLE
1. STARE AT WHO YOU WANT TO BECOME
Who do you admire? Who are your heroes? Who do you want to become like? Study their life. Study everything they do. Read about their daily schedules. Read about their stories. You will find lessons that you can apply and use in your own life. Don’t pass up an opportunity to learn about them. Watch movies about them, read their biographies, read Wikipedia articles about them and stalk them on social media.
2. STEAL WITHOUT APOLOGY
Don’t worry about being original. Originality is all about collecting so many ideas and communicating it in your own way. Every artist steals from others. Everyone is learning from somebody. Rather than try to be original, try to steal from as many people as possible. Collect as many ideas as possible and produce them in your own unique way.
“Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic.” —Jim Jarmusch
3. DEVELOP SOFT SKILLS
Everyone is obsessed about showing themselves, very few focus on developing soft skills. Soft skills like good manners, public speaking, holding conversations, relationship building, leadership, etc. These are soft skills that cannot be seen but they may determine your whole career. Have you met people who were just likable? Everyone just loves them because they are kind, hardworking and patient. That’s the sort of person you need to become. Develop soft skills. A talented kid with bad manners will go nowhere. Developing soft skills put you at an advantage over others. A person who learned public speaking will stand above his equals who did not. The difference between you getting that role and not getting could be the way you greeted the judges when you entered the room. Soft skills, champ!
4. DON’T FALL FOR THE PRODIGY MYTH
Most of us grow up being taught that talent is an inheritance, like brown hair or blue eyes. Therefore, we presume that the surest sign of talent is early, instant, effortless success, i.e., being a prodigy. In fact, a well-established body of research shows that that assumption is false. Early success turns out to be a weak predictor of long-term success. Many top performers are overlooked early on, then grow quietly into stars. This list includes Michael Jordan (cut from his high school varsity team as a sophomore), Charles Darwin (considered slow and ordinary by teachers), Walt Disney (fired from an early job because he “lacked imagination”), Albert Einstein, Louis Pasteur, Paul Gauguin, Thomas Edison, Leo Tolstoy, Fred Astaire, Winston Churchill, Lucille Ball, and so on. If you have early success, do your best to ignore the praise and keep pushing yourself to the edges of your ability, where improvement happens. If you don’t have early success, don’t quit. Instead, treat your early efforts as experiments, not as verdicts. Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint.
5. EMBRACE STRUGGLE
Most of us instinctively avoid struggle, because it’s uncomfortable. It feels like failure. However, when it comes to developing your talent, struggle isn’t an option—it’s a biological necessity. This might sound strange, but it’s the way evolution has built us. The struggle and frustration you feel at the edges of your abilities—that uncomfortable burn of “almost, almost”—is the sensation of constructing new neural connections, a phenomenon that the UCLA psychologist Robert Bjork calls “desirable difficulty.” Your brain works just like your muscles: no pain, no gain.
6. GET FEEDBACK
Don’t just go on doing your thing. Get feedback from your superiors, judges and mentors. Ask them which areas you can improve upon, and improve on it. Don’t listen to that crap that you are always good. Everyone needs feedback, including the greats. Feedback will help you become better.
7. PRACTICE! PRACTICE!! PRACTICE!!!
Practice every day. Practice on your good days. Practice on your bad days. Practice on the days you don’t want to show up. Practice on the days you want to show. Practice on the days when the sun is not out. Practice on the days when others are not there. Practice. Practice.
That’s a wrap. Thank you for reading. Share with someone.