|Forum Home > The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle > Myelin and Deep Practice|
Deep Practice makes myelin. Myelin wraps itself around your nerve fibers everytime you do something. The more myelin you have the faster the action can be carried out. When actions are slow...and you want to speed them up you need to build more myelin. As you increase the myelin on a certain "skill circuit" that skill not only becomes faster, you stop thinking about how you do it or if you can even do it. This is how things become natural. So, you know you have mastered something when you are able to do it without thinking about it.
Did you know with myelin you can speed up the rate at which your brain signals to nerves. From 2 MPH to 200 MPH. Also the amount of time between signals decreases which means the time to send something and send it again becomes less. Your information processing abilites increase 3,000 times!
In order to make myelin, you have to do something. You have to practice, the brain needs to fire those signals to your nerves. Thats why if you want to get good at something you have to practice, to work at it. You can't just wish that you will get better, becuase that doesn't create myelin. You're nerves also need repetition to build the myelin. So doing it once is good but not enough. They say it takes 10,000 repetitions to master a single skill. And 10,000 hours to master something..like playing the violin.
Once myelin is created it doesn't go away....unless you have an illness or with age. So, thats why you must practice carefully. If you practice the wrong way, learn something wrong you can't undo it. You have to learn how to do it again. But your brain could fire and send it the wrong way instead of the right way and thus you could still do it wrong. Thats why we say that for each time you do something wrong you need to do it right twice. Once to negate the wrong and another to build the up right skill circuit more...giving one more repetion to the right skill circuit in order to reach those 10,000 mastery reps.
You can think of myelin as a muscle. You have to use them to make them stronger. If you don't they will get weaker. You have to start practicing and keep doing it. Otherwise, you undo all of your hard work.
Lots of Love,