Doctorate Housewife

What my degree in IPE didn't teach me about baking, DIY, fitness, and life…

10 Tips to help you succeed in life, love, and everything


So you want to reach that highest height? I’ve got some tips for you… Ok, they’re not really my tips, but they’re my favourite from a very good collection. Daniel Coyle has done a lot of research in to what makes people good at things. He’s observed a lot of talented people at their best and worst and he’s figured out some of the dynamics. Better still, he’s shared them with us in a little book called The Little Book of Talents, 52 Tips for Improving Skills. Before I give you my picks, something to remember: “Small actions, repeated over time, transform us.” Something that always astounds me is how much people (myself included) constantly overestimate how much they can get done in the short term, but more importantly, how much they underestimate how much they can accomplish in the medium and long term. Small actions, repeated over time, transform us. The first and best tip – don’t forget that!

  1. Tip number 11 – Don’t believe the prodigy myth. We look at stars. We see their success and we assume that it came easy, that they never made mistakes, or hit hard patches. If you don’t see success early, don’t quit. Treat your efforts as experiments, not verdicts and keep trying.
  2. Tip number 13 – Find the sweet spot. You learn when you’re challenged enough but not too much. Research suggests this is at a place where you’re struggling, but alert to your errors, a place where your percentage of successful attempts is 50-80% Bet that’s lower than you thought!
  3. Tip number 16 – Each day try and build one perfect chunk. Practice isn’t enough, you have to make progress. Remember the overarching principle and seek out the small improvement everyday. Don’t go for the big one you can’t quite reach. Go for the biggest improvement you can still accomplish and build on it everyday.
  4. Tip number 18 – Choose 5 minutes a day over an hour a week. With deep concentrated practice, little and often is the real key. Cramming forces your brain to play catch up, while daily practice solidifies the neural pathways crucial for improvement. But you can’t be sloppy about it. The key is total focus, noticing and immediately fixing every mistake.
  5. Tip number 22 – Pay attention immediately after you make a mistake. Make a mistake and the instinct is to hide or brush over it. But if you want to succeed, then that instinct needs to change. Mistakes have huge power to teach us. Feedback is very valuable and the more immediate the better.
  6. Tip number 32 – Make positive reaches. Life always works better if you reach for what you want to accomplish, rather than what you’re desperate to avoid.
  7. Tip number 37- Use the REPS practice method. That’s Reach & repeat Engagement Purposefulness and Strong & speedy feedback.
  8. Tip 46- Don’t waste time trying to break bad habits. Instead build new ones. Start slowly; expect to feel clumsy and stupid, but it will get better. And the new habits will eventually overwrite the old circuitry.
  9. Tip 41- End on a positive note. Did you know that doctors often prolong colonoscopies so as to end on a good note. And though it makes the procedure, and hence the discomfort, last longer, it does make for happier patients. End your practice on a good note and you’ll be more likely do want to do it again tomorrow.
  10. Tip 38 – Stop before you’re exhausted. Exhaustion in the enemy of learning – it slows the brain, triggers errors, and encourages shortcuts that lead to the creation of bad habits. Exhausted practice can be worse than no practice at all. And so one final and related tip NAP. Your brain needs sleep to consolidate learning and to keep you concentrated during your practice sessions. Practice and work hard, but don’t forget to rest.

So, what are your favourite tips for success? Leave a comment and start the conversation =)





5 comments on “10 Tips to help you succeed in life, love, and everything

  1. Ciara
    October 12, 2012

    I love tip number 16. We practice for a purpose not just for practice sake. When we’re working to create something, it makes the practice more exciting and rewarding. Thanks Jessi for sharing!

  2. kitkat1126
    October 15, 2012

    I love tip #46. I used to spend so much time trying to fix myself or change old ways, but instead it seems much more productive to start new habits and fresh ways.

    Ok #41 I’m not sure I totally understand but maybe because a colonoscopy for any length of time sounds rough!

    • Jessi
      October 15, 2012

      Yeah, colonoscopies sound pretty awful to me too – a definite no thank you! The point is basically that the end of an experience matters most. So if the end is the most painful part, you’ll remember it being really awful, whereas if the doctor slows down so that the end is just mildly uncomfortable, the whole thing seems easier (even if it’s longer). I’m not sure I’m explaining this very well. The real thing to remember is to end on a high note =)

      • kitkat1126
        October 15, 2012

        Ahh thank you, I think I totally misread that one! I thought it meant slow-down just to take longer (not getting the fact that it makes it less painful) ha! 🙂

      • Jessi
        October 15, 2012

        No worries. That one took me a while to figure out too =)

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This entry was posted on October 12, 2012 by in Healthy Living and tagged , , , .

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