This week I will pull some thoughts from Daniel Coyle’s book The Talent Code. The subtitle: Greatness Isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How. Daniel’s book can be found on the psychology shelf. I think this makes it perfect for examining the possible transferable findings to the realm of the artist. If we are honest, we Creatives battle our minds as much as we do the chosen medium of our expressions.
Journalist Daniel Coyle set out to discover how talent comes to be. He examined activities from around the world. I was fascinated with one particular finding.

Deep Practice.

Deep Practice comes from struggling in certain targeted ways. It is operating at the edges of our ability, where we make mistakes. When we make mistakes we become smarter … if we have the right mindset.
Accepting experiences where we are forced to slow down, make errors, and correct them is talent acquisition on steroids. This can make us swift and graceful … even without our knowledge that it is happening. There is a key aspect to nurturing our talent in this way.

Choose a goal just beyond our present abilities.

So what does this have to do with the Creative and Art?
Maybe Deep Practice can take us to new levels in our creative process.
Instead of going about our art in the same way today … what would happen if we made the decision (Mindset of Apprentice) to set aside perfection and challenge ourselves to the point of knowing we will probably fail … but just fail?
Instead of creating that type of art that offers us praise from others … what would happen if we made the decision (Mindset of Exploration) to finally scratch that creative itch we have had for so long but put off because others might not understand what we are doing and think we have lost our talent … or worse yet, never had talent?
Instead of comfortably reaching for our known and trusted tools that we use without thinking … what would happen if we made the decision (Mindset of Courage) to pick up that foreign instrument, produce new art, and hope it is at least refrigerator door worthy?

Samuel Beckett said, ”Try again. Fall again. Fail better.

Could you, as a Creative, benefit from The Art of Deep Practice?
It requires two questions:
1. What would happen if …?
2. Do I have the RIGHT MINDSET?
What do you think?
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I’m Preston McCracken, join me in ENLARGING OUR LIVES.