Book Report: Peak

July 15, 2016

 

Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool is a great read for all who seek to break through personal limitations and perform at the very highest levels. The book challenges the concept that there is such a thing as "natural talent" and provides strong evidence that skills are built through a particular form of effort the authors call "deliberate practice." It contains fascinating details from Ericsson's own research where, as an example, he taught a grad student to crash through his short term memory limit and eventually be able to recall a remarkable 88 numbers in a row. They analyze the careers of super performers from Mozart and sports figures to chess champions and scientists, making the repeated point that practice, not innate gifts led to these figures' achievements. The book is uplifting and provides concrete suggestions for using "deliberate practice" in one's own life and concludes with recommendations on how to implement the concepts in education and the world at large.

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