How to become even more talented

We have all seen talented people in action.  They appear to have more time in their days and bounce in their step.  10,000 hours is bandied about as the level of commitment required to reach that level of expertise in your field.  Their are no shortcuts but understanding the process of developing talent is helpful.  Daniel Coyle, a great writer, spend a lot of time visiting high performance centers and learning more about talent development.

In The Talent Code, 3 ingredients to develop talent are identified.

Growth1. Deep practice. The more you practice something under trying conditions, the better you become at it.  These times are tough but the more grit you demonstrate, the more you will accumulate talent.  This is a call to getting out of the comfort zone and into the stretch zone.  As you do this, your body starts wrapping myelin (insulation tape for the brain) and your ability slowly improves.  This cool interactive page explains this process well.  A great example of deep practice leading to success?  Brasil developing into a powerhouse soccer nation.  A large contribution was made by a game they play growing up called futsal – for more read this.  The ball, court and goals are all much smaller and it puts them way out of a soccer players usual comfort zone.

2. Ignition. What would make you want to spend hours in deep practice mode?  Ignition.  This will be different for each person but everyone who becomes a CA(SA) has a reason for persevering.  Why do you want to be a CA(SA)?  What are you passionate about?  An interesting example is the trend among recent male world 100m record holders – they are almost all the last born in large families.  Think about it.  What motivated them to learn to run fast?  They all needed to catch up with older siblings!  Read more here

3. Masterful coaching. The final ingredient relates to hearing from those that are further down the road than you.  This is where lecturers and tutors can play an instrumental role in guiding students towards success.  All the energy and activity in the world still requires those adjustments that lead to greater effectiveness.

The application for the future CA(SA) is obvious.  Put yourself out of the comfort zone (do tutorials under exam conditions); keep motivated even when it is tough (remember why it is worth it) and finally pay attention to every bit of feedback you receive (yes that means reviewing all test scripts and reading examiner comments).

Paul Maughan

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