Could Your Daughter Be the Next Taylor Swift?

Show Notes:

The critical ingredients for developing talent are inspiration, deep practice, good coaches, and autonomy. 

In this podcast, Dr. Jordan describes what kids need in order to develop their talents:

The importance of autonomy in developing talent

Autonomy: creative geniuses are not qualitatively better in their fields; they produced >volume of work that gave them > variation and a higher chance of originality; quantity is the most predictable path to quality.

Thus, kids need to have autonomy in choosing their interests, down time to try things out and daydream and take risks and make mistakes

How deep practice creates mastery

Dr. Jordan describes the concept of deep practice which underlies the 10,000 hour rules of mastery; This starts with ignition or getting inspired by role models. Experience causes intense, unconscious emotional response = love, fascination, inspired, on fire = “I want to be like them, willing to delay gratification: “I want X, so I better do Y like crazy right now”, motivated by desire to connect ourselves to high-achieving people or groups.

Deep practice repetition: reach or stretch self slightly beyond your current ability, spending time in the zone of difficulty called the sweet spot.

What is myelin & how does it contribute to mastery

Myelin: wraps nerve fibers making signal stronger, faster, more accurate by preventing electrical impulses from leaking out; whenever practice anything, myelin responds by wrapping layers of insulation around that neural circuit, each new layers adds a little more skill and speed; the thicker the myelin gets, the better it insulates & the faster and more accurate our movements & thoughts become.

the more you generate impulses to specific area of brain, encountering & overcoming difficulties, the more neural scaffolding you build; the more scaffolding you build, the faster you learn.

Practice makes myelin, and myelin makes perfect; nerve firings grow myelin; myelin controls speed; impulse speed is skill; need autonomy, passion, persistence b/c wrappingmyelin around a big circuit requires immense energy & time.

The value of good coaches early on

Importance of early coaches: crucial in 1st phase of learning to get learner involved, captivated, hooked, and to need & want more info & expertise; made initial learning pleasant, fun, rewarding; much was playful activity, like a game. The best coaches use explain, demonstrate, imitation, correction, and repetition.

Other topics described in this podcast:

Value passion where you find it

Value passion where you find it; Give kids autonomy to choose activities and move on when they want to; Give kids autonomy to choose activities and move on when they want to; Trust that inspiration & motivation come at different ages & often thru misfortune; Help them find their tribe; affirm character vs. actions

Value Passion

Read these books for a more in-depth look at developing talent: Range by David Epstein; The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle, Dark Horse by Todd Rose, Originals by Adam Grant, The Element by Ken Robinson

Go to for more resources from Dr. Jordan


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