We all have various definitions and theories on what talent really is. Coyle sees talent as the combination of deep practice, ignition and master coaching; this builds myelin which is the major focus of this book. In most articles or books I have read, the nervous system focuses on the synapse. Think of a synapse as the connection between the nerves and myelin as the insulation around the nerve. The greater the insulation around the nerve the more effective you can fire it and the faster it will travel to complete the task request. You can build myelin in all tasks we do whether it is physical or mental. Coyle takes you on a journey on how to build, leverage and maintain myelin with many case studies such as athletes, musicians and business leaders.
I was recommended this book by Tony Robbins. Robbins views myelin as one of the greater scientific discoveries of late and is attempting at accelerating the myelin build process in his own body. Knowing what I know about Robbins, this provides significant weight on how important this discovery is for humans. I would have liked to have read more on the science of myelin in this book. Other than that this is a worthwhile book to read!
Three key takeaways from the book:
1. Skill is myelin insulation that wraps neural circuits and that grows according to certain signals. Written differently: practice makes myelin and myelin makes perfect.
2. Future belonging is a primal cue: a simple and direct signal that activates our built-in motivational triggers, funneling our energy and attention toward a goal. If you can leverage primal cues (e.g. future belonging, survival, hunger, thirst etc.) in achieving goals you have a much more likely chance of success. Talent requires deep practice, deep practice requires vast amounts of energy and primal cues trigger massive outpourings of energy.
3. In a study, measuring self-discipline is twice as accurate as IQ in predicting a student’s grade point average.