The Talent Code - Deepstash
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Although talent feels and looks predestined, in fact we have a good deal of control over what skills we develop, and we have more potential than we might ever presume to guess.



423 reads

Your talent is yours to code

Where you end up in your field, whether it's sports, arts, or business, is not a result of your genes and your environment. 

Although talent feels and looks predestined, we have more control over what skills we develop and more potential than we might ever imagine.


204 reads

Mastery is about deep practice

When we hear of 'muscle memory,' it really describes our brain's neurological circuitry. The brain circuits are connected and insulated by a substance called myelin. When we practice or engage in any skill, we stimulate myelin growth.

Talent is the result of deep practice. The best way to learn is with deliberate practice where you push yourself to the edge constantly. The more you practice deliberately, the faster and better you learn


206 reads

The rules of deep practice

Choose one goal beyond your present abilities.

  1. Chunk it up: Break the thing you're trying to master down into chunks and master them one by one, then put them back together.
  2. Repetition: Repeat skills slowly and ensure to do them properly. Mistakes show a lack of competence in that area and should be viewed as an opportunity to improve. Repetition of mistakes will train the mistakes.
  3. Feel the struggle: Pick a target, reach for it, and adjust as you go. 


189 reads

Ignition - sparking your initial motivation

The tactical approach towards skill-building is only one part. The other is the student's attitude towards their first lesson or experience.

Three key factors fuel motivation and the love for the craft:

  • Psychological identity: If one already possess the identity "I am a musician" from the start, they are more likely to take the actions needed to make that happen.
  • Long-term focus: A study of musicians showed that students who came to their first lesson with a long-term commitment outperformed those with a short-term commitment by 400%.
  • Emotional attachment.


159 reads


Very few people can develop their talents by themselves. Everyone has teachers or coaches who train, motivate, teach and inspire.

  • The best teachers are able to understand each student as an individual and customise their training to fit each student's requirements.
  • The teacher must be an example of what they're teaching, not saying one thing and demonstrating another.
  • The mentor-student relationship is a complex feedback loop. Top coaches continually observe what is working and readjust their own approach.
  • Trust: The student must be able to trust their teachers both for competence and integrity.


123 reads



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Talent is the result of deep practice. In his book, Daniel Coyle looks at extraordinary performers, shows what made them great and give insights into true mastery.

Curious about different takes? Check out our The Talent Code Summary book page to explore multiple unique summaries written by Deepstash users.

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The Talent Code

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The Talent Code

Daniel Coyle


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