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Monday, December 13, 2010

The Genius in all of us by David Shenk

The author, David Shenk, a journalist by profession digs into a huge volume of psychology research to reassure us that there is a Genius untapped in all of us. In the process he demystifies several myths on inherited talents:

  • Like intelligence, talents are not innate gifts, but the result of a slow, invisible accretion of skills developed from the moment of conception. Everyone is born with differences and some with unique advantages for certain tasks. But no one is genetically designed into greatness and few are biologically restricted from attaining it.
  • Talent is not a thing, it is a process. Records are regularly broken because people are training harder and smarter.
  • Genes, Proteins and environmental signals ( including human behaviour and emotions) constantly interact with one another and this interactive process influences the production of proteins which then guide the functions of cells, which form traits.
  • Children develop only as the environment demands development.
  • Ordinary practice, where your current skill level is simply being reinforced is not enough to get better. It takes a special kind of practice to force yr mind and body into the kind of change necessary to improve.
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