Library / Personal Development | Human Psychology

Date of review: May 2020
Book author: Daniel Coyle
Вook published: 2012

The Little Book of Talent. 52 Tips for Improving Skills by Daniel Coyle (2012)

This is a short, punchy collection of practical tips on improving your performance. The author has a 'how-to' approach sharing his findings from his visits to top athletic schools and reading a number of psychological studies and books.

'Learning has to be hard, enjoy struggle'

The key advice is around making more repetitions, although not mechanical and avoiding the level at which your brain starts operating on autopilot. To do this, the author suggests focusing on 'perfect' repetitions (without mistakes) or changing the practice to keep the pressure and force yourself to keep learning / improving.

Other pieces of advice include copying best practices from top performers, keeping a diary and focusing each day on your progress, highlighting what has worked and what has not.

The book also differentiates between two key types of skills: hard and soft and different practice techniques required to master them - more of slow, careful process keenly attuned to errors for hard skills and playing inside challenging, ever-changing environments for soft skills.

The author also highlights the importance of 'sweet spot' - the area which is just above your current level and the need to reach that zone to make true progress. 'Learning has to be hard, enjoy struggle'.

To keep your motivation level high, use more images and visualisation, use more games rather than simply following boring tasks.

One more bonus of this book is a useful list of recommended books for further reading (not very long, about a dozen recommendations). The only drawback I would mention about this book is that its focus is mostly on sports and physical performance, a little on art, but a few tips are not so applicable to business situations.

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