Month: February 2013

How to Stop Being Allergic to Practice

The main problem with practice is that we all have a powerful instinct to avoid it.
There’s a perfectly good reason for this: your unconscious brain. Practice involves spending lots of energy struggling for an uncertain payoff, and your unconscious brain really, really dislikes spending energy for uncertain payoffs.
After all, evolution built your brain to behave …

Stop Judging Talent; Start Nurturing Character

Warning: This Video May Be Addictive

A couple days ago, a reader named Casey Wheel sent me a link to this conversation between Jack White and Conan O’Brien. I clicked, figuring I’d watch a couple minutes.
Uh, wrong.
An hour later, I’m still watching. And taking notes. And rewinding.
Consider that your warning. This is two craftsmen at the top of their games, trading …

Make Your Future Self Happy: Guest Post by My Daughter Katie (14)

And the Oscar for Best Skill-Improvement Method Goes to…

Hey Coaches and Teachers: Quit Being Calm, and Start Getting Messy

Super Baby: the Prodigy Recipe

Meet Titus, who is not yet two years old.
Titus makes some great shots here, but for me the best moment is his smile, and his jubilant body language. Because it invokes how it all must have started.
It went something like this: Titus was crawling around, watching his older sibs play (it’s no accident that he’s …

Why Putting on Your “Game Face” is a Bad Idea

How to Daydream More Effectively

We all daydream. We all spend hundreds hours in a pleasantly zonked state, weaving stories about our future successes. As a small kid, my favorite daydream was winning a gold medal at the Olympics. I was a little hazy as to precisely which event — track, maybe? — but I could hear the anthem playing, …

The Power of Fun

“Let’s make it fun.”
You hear those words a lot these days from parents, teachers, and coaches — along with words like “passion” and “engagement.”  We all know that “fun” is a key element of the learning process. We think of it as the the spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down. That’s part …