“Shrink the space.” After reading Daniel Coyle’s The Little Book of Talent, this phrase has been going through my head continuously. Coyle says tweets or microfiction help writers to hone their sentences and ideas. Brazilian soccer players can play futebol de salao, or room soccer. Within that small space, little moves are magnified. So much can happen and so much be learned in a small space.
One way to “shrink the space” is to get a coach or an experience that moves you through an experience or skills. A good coach, program, or book helps you get to the core of a skill in a shorter amount of time. You are always experimenting and trying things by yourself, but part of that experiment can be the stable of people you hire, the podcasts you listen to, the books you read etc. to help you shrink the space. The strange thing about coaching is that a coach is not even necessarily better at the whole “game.” They are just great at shrinking the space, whether it is physical or mental part of the game. Even Tiger Woods hires a golf coach.
Throughout my life, I realized I’ve had experiences and “coaching” that have helped me “shrink the space” and move forward in different areas:
- Life/Thinking Big: Outward Bound. Spending 23 days learning how to set up tarps, climb, and orient myself in the woods helped me think about bigger and bigger challenges in my life.
- Money/Finance: Steve Chandler, Phil Laut and others. I went on to learn how to be an Outward Bound instructor but I was also in debt. The books of Phil Laut, Eric Tyson, Jerrold Mundis and others really helped me to have a healthier money practice. Their books “live” on my Amazon Store. Check them out and support this website.
- Relationships: Eileen Jacobson. Relationships can be scarier than rappelling down a cliff face. Eileen really helped me find my ground. Now I am married with two little people who call me “daddy.”
- Language and Learning: ajatt.com and silverspoon. I’m not only learning more Japanese because of this website and paid immersion coaching service, but I have also learned how to be a more successful lifelong learner. I have learned how to box time and sting like a bee.
Opportunities for shrinking the space are everywhere and are often found when you are “playing around” in addition to when you are intentionally targeting areas for improvement. I’ve recently stumbled on to the podcasts of Kim Doyal at thewordpresschick.com and have been having fun with it. Just recently, she interviewed Nicole Fende, author of How to Be A Finance Rockstar. I am interested in WordPress and I am also interested in small business and finance with a heart. Through this at times zany but extremely insightful interview, I was able to “shrink the space” and get some interesting perspectives on both. One of the key themes–don’t be afraid to get help and coaching along the way.
Of course, “getting a coach” can become a hang up. Yes, I want a guitar teacher but should that keep me from practicing at least five minutes a day? I would really like to work with an editor, but should that keep me from writing at least fifteen minutes a day on ideas that excite me? No. For now I will work with little windows of time and shrink the space.
Join me. Coach or no coach, shrink the space. Try. Play. Love.