The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle


Daniel Coyle

  Talent, Personal Development, Learning

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A tangible determinant for talent- Myelin

Code new skill in your body by increasing myelin in your brain

We all have connected fibres called “circuits" in our brain. Everything we think and do is a result of electrical impulses travelling through our nerve fibres. These circuits are wrapped in a substance called myelin. 

It insulates these circuits and determines how quickly and accurately an impulse can travel along a circuit. A thicker layer of myelin produces quicker electrical impulses corresponding to greater performance. More myelin the better.


How you can grow myelin

Practice makes perfect for this very reason. Make mistakes. It's part of the process. When you make mistakes, new nerve circuits are fired which causes a thickening of myelin around them.


Nature vs Nurture

Skill and talent cannot always be attributed to genetics. Consider the environment in which a person is raised as well.

Throughout history, talents have usually emerged in large groups, during a particular place and time. Eg: a Large number of great artists rose in Renaissance Florence during the 15th century. In Renaissance Florence, there was a culture of teaching boys a craft from a very young age. The author calls this Deep Practice.


Break skills into smaller parts

Splitting a task into smaller pieces is critical to deep learning.


Raise the bar 

Learning and deep practising a skill requires a lot of time and repetition. For training to be effective, you have to constantly raise the difficulty while practising.

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