Ease comes with training. We simply have to train over and over again until it feels natural, simple, and easy. That is the secret. ~ Shinichi Suzuki
by Pete Ferguson
I am about to share with you a secret to college scholarships and the key to the art of winning. It will seem so obvious that many of you will dismiss it out of hand. But it is what is going to help my all of my children get into – and pay for – advanced studies.
The secret is simple, deliberate practice.
“Natural Ability” is mostly a bunch of nonsense. Babies are born to breath, eat and poop. What causes them to excel in music, art, writing, business, etc, is largely due to the environment they are exposed to.
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. ~ Daniel Coyle, author of The Talent Code
In going to school, I knew many lunch ladies. Some were there for a paycheck. Others were there because they loved children and were a great encouragement. But simply standing in one place serving “food” did not make them a great cook or a great conversationalist. What caused one to stand out over another was their ability to cheer you up, present the food in a more digestible manner, etc.
But simply standing there – practicing – serving food alone caused such different results. It was the attitude behind the standing there that made all of the difference.
Ability does not just come about without training. We have to educate it in ourselves. Everyone has to train his own self. Stop lamenting lack of talent and develop talent instead. ~ Suzuki
Last night we attended a parent night with my daughter’s flute instructor. Actually, the word “instructor” is a bit of a disservice to Katrina Young. Katrina is a mentor, coach, cheerleader, and task master all rolled up into one.
She has a vision for each of her students to be able to take a seed of their god-given talent and cultivate it, develop it, excel it into something beautiful. Her vision – and preparation – is to see each of her students get a scholarship to college and one day teach and instruct others.
If you’ve read the book The Talent Code, you recognize that she is cultivating a hotbed of talent.
One of Katrina’s trade secrets I’m now rewarding you with for reading this far is that she has her students listen to the pieces of music they are practicing over and over again throughout the night.
In her own independent research with her daughter, she found the time to master a piece without doing this was several weeks. But when she put a CD on repeat throughout the night next to her daughter’s bed, the mastery only took a few days.
Katrina has a great track record of success so far. Many of her students are in the Utah Youth Symphony, have received scholarships, and are starting to realize her vision and goals.
As you look at your 2013 resolutions, if you make it past January 30th, you are in the top 11% of the population. If you make it through to the end of the year, you are probably in the top 3%.
Take a tip from Katrina, immerse yourself in whatever it is that you want to accomplish. Allow your conscious – and subconscious – mind to continual visualize success. Then surround yourself with people and resources who will help you accomplish this new ability.
Find a great coach, mentor, teacher and allow them to push you beyond your predetermined limits to become something truly extraordinary.
We’re all familiar with the adage that practice is the best teacher. Myelin casts the truth of this old saying in a new light. There is, biologically speaking, no substitute for attentive repetition. Nothing you can do—talking, thinking, reading, imagining—is more effective in building skill than executing the action, firing the impulses down the nerve fibers, fixing errors, honing the circuit. ~ (from page 87 of The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle)