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Specailising early - good or bad?

Epstein (pg 79)

Early Specialisation - this sounds appealing, find what we like early, and get stuck into it so we can have more time to get good at it.

it turns out that starting out early isn’t such a good thing. In fact the converse could be true.

Elite Athletes in general do not specialise early. They tend to have a period of sampling, trying out different sports before picking one. They develop broad physical skills, try out different things to see what suits them, and delay specialising on one sport, far later than their peers who reach a plateau.

Exceptional musicians are far more likely to only specialise when they reach their 3rd instrument than average musicians. They also delayed specialisation.

Education: England vs Scotland. A period when circumstances was very similar between the 2 countries. Except higher education. England had to pick their specialisation by mid teens. Scotland could still try different combinations in University

The English would record higher income initially, but when the scots finally picked, they had better fit, a better match of quality and interest with subject domain. Their growth rates were faster; by 6 years out they erased the income GAP. Additionally, the English have a higher rate of quitting their jobs, because they were made to specialise so early they often picked something they didn’t want to do. Late specialisers lose out initially but win in the Long run.

Art. Vincent Van Gogh had 5 different careers, each which he deemed his true calling. He failed at all of them. Only at age 30 did he picked up a book called “a guide to the ABCs of drawing”. And then he made a decent feast of it.

Scientists that are Nobel laureates are 22 times more likely to have a hobby outside of work than a normal scientist.


Search pg 44

Bill Burnett and Dave Evans’ Stanford run

Jesse itzler’s life resume

Learn from others

Creativity - fast actor or time to ponder?

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