Book of Talent: Tips to Improve Your Skills

If you look at all the greats in any field, there's a formula they followed to get the skills needed to get to where they are.  We can say, it's a natural talent or they were born with it - however, don't buy that excuse.  Hard work at the right things over time will yield positive results. 

I picked up a book called The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips for Improving Your Skills by Daniel Coyle.  He spent time observing and studying at great people in their respective fields and took away tips on how to improve your skills in any field.  I won't list the entire 52 tips here, but these are the ones that I thought are the most important:

  1. Stare at what you want to become
  2. Spend 15 minutes per day engraving the skill on your brain (visualization)
  3. Steal without apology (nothing wrong with copying a great strategy)
  4. Be willing to be (and feel) silly (step outside your comfort zone)
  5. Pick a high quality teacher/coach - avoid the courteous/supportive "waiter"
  6. When practicing, find the sweet spot - not easy, but not impossible
  7. Break every move down into chunks - break it into simple elements, put it back together, repeat
  8. Embrace struggle - the brain works like muscles: no pain, no gain
  9. Visualize the wires of your brain forming new connections
  10. Make positive reaches - always focus on the positive move
  11. Embrace repetition
  12. Have a blue-collar mindset - get up and go to work everyday - whether you feel like it or not (inspiration is for amateurs)
  13. Don't waste time trying to break bad habits - instead focus on building new ones
  14. To learn it more deeply, teach it
  15. Cultivate your grit - mix of passion, perseverance, and self discipline
  16. Think like a gardener, work like a carpenter - meaning, think patiently without judgement, work strategically and steadily

What have you used that works to develop new skills? What will you try on this list? Would love to hear it in the comments or reach out directly.

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