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The Talent Code – A Raving Book Review

Book Title: The Talent Code – Greatness isn’t Born, It’s Grown, Here’s How.

Author: Daniel Coyle

Publisher: Bantam Dell (a division of Random House)

Number of pages: 257

ISBN: 978-0-553-90649-3 (eBook)

The first time I opened this book I didn’t put it down for something like 4 hours. To be precise, I was reading the electronic version on my laptop, so that first statement isn’t totally correct. I don’t know how to describe the experience but let’s just say I was transformed. I felt limitless… it was as if I had stumbled into a world of infinite possibilities.

If you’ve watched Mel Gibson’s movie, What Women Want, I felt like Mel Gibson felt when it dawned on him that now he knew what women want in a man – and how he could fulfill these wants and needs beyond any woman’s wildest dreams. This book is a “self-limiting beliefs slayer”.

One of the greatest empowering statements I took from the book is this, that “if you can put yourself in the same situation as an outstanding person and attack a task that they took on [in other words if you can imitate and practice consistently and deeply] then you can perform as good, as or even better than that outstanding person.

What’s more, you don’t even have to be aware you’re imitating that person for this to work for you!

Now, the great news is that we are all prewired to imitate – it’s how we learn to walk and talk, arguably two of the most difficult tasks you ever took on.

The talent code is one of two books I wish I had read like 30 years ago. I will tell you the other one another time.

That was the rave… now the review.

The Talent Code is required reading IMHO for any parent with young kids who is interested to empower himself or herself with cutting edge knowledge and insights on how to discover their kid’s unique talent, gift or genius, and how to fast track the development of that unique talent.

Do you have a kid who exhibits signs of a “rage to master” something? It doesn’t matter if it’s solving a rubix cube, or building with Lego, or excelling at a video game. Therein may lie the key to his or her unique talent that is trying to find expression.

The Talent Code is also a great resource for any person in sports coaching, personal coaching, life coaching, and teaching.

Today we live in the information age and as has been pointed out elsewhere this is the age where any human being can alter their lives simply by altering their attitudes of mind. Today it’s never too late to discover and develop your passions, plus, practically any passion today can be turned into a lucrative business (think writing a book, or creating a course you can sell online, a paid webinar, or online coaching, etc.

The Talent Code if for you if you suspect that you have unexploited talent you’ve been sitting on that you could turn into a business, or a lucrative hobby, or simply something you could do to live happier.

Daniel Coyle studied what he has called talent hotbeds in Brazil (soccer), Russia (tennis) and lots of other success stories in other countries and his book delves into how extraordinary talent has bloomed in all the most unlikely places.

In Part 1 he explores deep practice – basically how these hotbeds structure the practice to build the circuitry and wiring required in the brain to “burn in” the skills needed for extraordinary performance and execution.

In Part 2 he explores Ignition, in other words the set of circumstances and conditions that have to exist to inspire the explosion of talent in these hotbeds.

In Part 3 he explores “master coaching”, a very specific kind of coaching environment – and coach – that he observed to supercharge the rapid growth of talent in the hotbeds.

And in Part 4 he explores the “myelin word.” Myelin is the layer of shielding that insulates the skill circuits in the brain (the grey matter). This layer needs to be built early (the growth of myelin diminishes as we grow older).

This is why I highly recommend this book to parents with young kids who are interested in fast-tracking the development of their kids’ unique talents, gift, or genius. Myelin and how it influences the development of extraordinary skill and talent has been very thoroughly documented by scientists and psychologists and it’s something you want to learn about to see how it works.

The electronic book comes with an index, but with modern devices the search function enables you to find any reference you want at the click of a button.

Daniel Coyle is a former editor at Outside and a two-time National Magazine Award finalist. His other books include the New York Times bestseller, “Lance Armstrong’s War”. His other books are: Hardball: A Season In The Projects, The Culture Code, The Little Book of Talent, and Walking Samuel.

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