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Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise
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Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise

4.35  ·  Rating Details ·  1,887 Ratings  ·  240 Reviews
A survey of the psychology of expertise, providing techniques for developing mastery of any skill, drawn from the authors' extensive, pathfinding research

ebook, 336 pages
Published April 5th 2016 by Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Phil Sykora
May 29, 2016 Phil Sykora rated it it was amazing
If you want to get better at anything, this book is your starting point.

As a sophomore in high school, I remember asking my favorite English teacher if he would sign off on my application to an advanced writing class. The look on his face was shock: mouth open, eyebrows raised. I felt stupid for even asking.

Needless to say, I took a general English class my junior year.

But I decided I didn't want the other kids to get ahead of me academically. I didn't have that elusive, all-important trait that
Jun 23, 2016 Michael rated it it was amazing
Everest! There is no vantage point higher on the subject of expert performance than Anders Ericsson’s lifetime achievement in sharing this book. Through years of deliberate practice in observing what truly sets apart the best from the rest, Ericsson has guided many to new heights of accomplishment through his insights that sparked a paradigm shift of our understanding of “experts”. The ideas shared in these pages will no doubt help propel countless others for decades to come as they make even gr ...more
Dec 31, 2016 Kony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Talent is made, not born. Specifically, according to Ericsson & Pool, it's made through years and years of deliberate practice: the process of learning to recognize and emulate existing models of elite performance, through active trial-and-error, regular expert feedback, and self-motivated resilience. Deliberate practice is necessarily painful, but rewarding for those who keep at it.

Key implications: There's no "genius" gene, and in any case it doesn't take genius to become an expert or eli
Zac Scy
Aug 31, 2016 Zac Scy rated it it was amazing
Before I say anything else, this is the single most rewarding book I've read this year. I recommend anyone and everyone to read it. It's one of those books that busts the myths that have been floating around about "natural talent" being something that only a select few possess.

Back in 2008 Malcolm Gladwell introduced K. Anders Ericssons research on expertise to the masses. Those who read up on the research understood that there was more to it than the version presented in Gladwell's book. Unfort
Aug 15, 2016 Franta rated it it was amazing

Anders Ericsson reasons that expertise is best developed by deliberate practice and the existence of innate talent is an unconfirmed hypothesis.
Deliberate practice means doing - knowledge by itself is not indicative of expertise.

This is a positive book as its message is that the power to become great in any area is in everyone's hands.

Here are the insights.

Gaining expertise is largely a matter of improving one’s mental processes.

If you never push yourself beyond your comfort zone, you will nev

Lance Willett
May 02, 2016 Lance Willett rated it really liked it
My full review:

Thesis: there is no such thing as natural ability — anyone can become an expert by putting in the time (10K hour rule). Traits favorable to a task help at the beginning, but don't make a difference at high levels — it all comes down to effort.

Mastery is possible through deliberate practice, focused training with an expert who can push you to a higher understanding of the craft. A key ingredient is using mental representations, these help yo
Apr 27, 2016 Mat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Important Book

I try to keep a running list of "important" books that I want my kids to read when they're older. I'm adding Peak and its story of deliberate practice to the list. The book makes the point that there is no such thing as innate talent (or if there is, it only helps one at the very beginning of learning a new skill). Deliberate practice and building mental models (referred to as mental representations) are the keys. This book reinforced to me that having my kids take music lessons is
Jun 16, 2016 Alex rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone looking to improve on something in their lives. Really interesting information about human potential! Definitely a book I could see myself returning back to when I'm working on something! Well written and easy to follow even with the science-y stuff.
Jan 10, 2017 Ethiraj rated it it was amazing
This one is a masterpiece.If u want to be good at anything checkout this book.It shatters the belief of innate talent.
Oct 12, 2016 Emily rated it it was amazing
Probably my favorite book on this subject. Ericsson was the researcher that Gladwell referenced in his book "Outliers" with his famous 10,000 hour rule (the number of hours to become great at something). This book gives more detailed information and better explains his theory and research. The ideas and premise of this book kept popping up in discussions with my family, and especially children, and I was grateful for the hope and motivation it provides. Basically, besides body type and size, tal ...more
CP (Wayne)
Sep 20, 2016 CP (Wayne) rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2016
If I had to summarize this book in one sentence: A heavy read built around the ideas of deliberate practice and how anyone has the potential to obtain any skill they desire.

This book was well researched and used a lot of case studies to demonstrate its ideas. In my opinion, this book may get mixed reviews depending on the type of reader you are;

For those who are trying to find straightforward practical advice to help you obtain a skill. You might find this book a bit frustrating as you have to s
Matt Austin
May 24, 2016 Matt Austin rated it liked it
I first heard about this book while listening to the Freakonomics podcast a few weeks ago when Anders Ericsson was featured on the podcast and spoke at great lengths about his theory of "deliberate practice." The podcast was very interesting, so I had to get my hands on a copy of the book. After reading glowing reviews, I had high hopes. Unfortunately, the book was subpar, in my opinion. There are moments when I am captivated, but the discussion quickly becomes drawn out, and I find myself waiti ...more
Roger K.
Aug 16, 2016 Roger K. rated it it was amazing
This a well-written book with an important message - growth does not ever have to stop! Ericsson is the world's authority on building expertise and shares his formula for developing elite skills. He corrects misconceptions of his past work, such as the naive interpretations of the "10,000 hour rule", while providing a structure that anyone can use to become better - or the best. Highly recommended.
Doug Roberts
Aug 15, 2016 Doug Roberts rated it it was ok
I'm still slogging through the book but it's the same formula over and over and over. The secret to peak performance was revealed in the first chapters, now the author simply insists on telling anecdotal story after story to support the theory. I imagine if you're an athlete or a musician it must be wonderful to read about your peers but for someone interested in other areas, the book peaks in the early chapters and plateaus after.
Lou Cadle
Aug 08, 2016 Lou Cadle rated it really liked it
Main point: There is no such thing as “talent.” You work your ass off to become good at something.

Capsule Review for Writers: this book is useful up to a certain point of competence, and’re on your own, I’m afraid.

He provides interesting examples from mostly sports and music and chess, a little from ballet, and the only writing example he uses is Benjamin Franklin’s deconstruction and reconstruction of articles he admired, and how he set about to practice his way to become a good art
Oct 23, 2016 bartosz_witkowski rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned-books
While there are many excellent books devoted to increasing your physical fitness, Peak —Secrets from the New Science of Expertise is THE book you should read if you want to improve any skill of your choosing.

Funnily enough, one of the principles behind being a better performer (musical, mathematical etc.) is exactly the same as when you want to increase your physical performance: progressive overload.

We've all seen people that go to the gym and don't progress; guitarists that play exactly the s
Richard Knobloch
Eye opening

Everyone should read and consider the implications on their life if we all used deliberate practice in everything we do. I will begin immediately using the techniques in this book to improve my life for me and my family.
Oct 11, 2016 Clare rated it it was amazing
Fascinating insight into how we learn, and the potential of how much humans can achieve. The research in this book will stay with you and influence how you think about your own learning, your childrens' learning, and, for those of us in education, how you teach.
Navaneethakrishnan Gopalakrishnan
Nov 01, 2016 Navaneethakrishnan Gopalakrishnan rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Navaneethakrishnan by: Michael
This book has lots of takeaways and the core is all about how deliberate practice helps people to attain perfection in anything we wish to. By looking at great expertise people we think, they are born with such expertise and we cannot attain the same. The author breaks this by adding deliberate practice can be one of the powerful tool in making anyone to attain anything. One way or the other, everyone are born with some talent but how to sharpen on it depends on how we have our cognitive thought ...more
Sep 04, 2016 Nefficus rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology, sociology
Anders Ericcson is probably best known as the researcher behind the "10,000 hour rule" for developing expertise, which was popularized by Malcolm Gladwell in his book "Outliers." Ironically, in "Peak", Ericsson devotes some time debunking the oversimplification of his work by Gladwell, noting that the "rule" is not a specific target, but a median or average with a huge distribution depending on a multitude of factors, including domain of expertise and age of start.

However, the main crux of this
inspiring, with no-nonsense argumentation, simply awesome
Jun 06, 2016 Dmytro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: learning
One sentence to describe this book is: how to get really good at something.

The book starts out by making a pretty basic statement which is that the body and the brain do not have any pre-wired skills. However, we have the ability to acquire skills through practice. In other words the human body and brain are highly adaptable.
Given this, effective learning strategies should take advantage of the fact that adaptability exists.
The book claims that the strategies in this book work both in physical
Juan Duarte
Dec 17, 2016 Juan Duarte rated it really liked it
That was better than I expected. Very glad to have read from the source that the so called, "10,000 hours" rule is pretty much BS at this point. Very good, practical actionable information. In summation. If you want to get to the top apply deliberate practice to your craft, put in the time, and get proper mentoring.
Trey Hunner
Sep 18, 2016 Trey Hunner rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this book for teachers, trainers, mentors, and life-long learners. After I finish Make it Stick (which also mentions Ericsson's work), I'll need to review Peak and apply the principles of deliberate practice to my Python teaching methods.
May 19, 2016 Annie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recommend
They're not really secrets since the idea of dedicated practice to become an expert has been around for a while. The author makes an interesting point - when people practice/work on something, they reach a level of acceptable proficiency and then stops improving. People mistakenly think that if they do the same thing over and over for years, they have gotten as good as they're going to get. For example, a person types 40 words per minute and has done it for years. She figures that's the fastest ...more
Aug 01, 2016 Charmin rated it liked it
Case Studies.

1. Deliberate practice: most powerful form of learning. Purposeful repetition. Putting baby steps together to meet a long-term goal. Break it down, make a plan. Get outside your comfort zone.
2. Maintain positive feedback. Figure out the right way to practice. Focus. Feedback. Fix it.
3. The brain growth and changes in response to enhance training
4. Mental Representation - guide practice compared against what I did, identify mistakes and then correct for next time.
5. Add
Josh Meares
Nov 08, 2016 Josh Meares rated it it was ok
K. Anders Ericsson writes a good book with lots of practical applications that falls victim to the classic type 2 statistical error (false negative). Let's start with the good stuff. Ericsson tells a lot of cool anecdotes about the utility of deliberate practice. He never really defines deliberate practice. But basically it means getting a coach and performing focused exercises to get better while analyzing results. Easy enough. There is also some cool material about improving mental representat ...more
Matt Papes
There is a body of literature, of which this book is a part, that claim that it is not innate talent, but rather a system called 'deliberate practice' over a huge number of hours (the 10,000 hour rule) that explains extraordinary performance. My personal view is there is a mix of innate vs qualities like 'grit', but that we all can improve exponentially at any talent we wish to acquire and this book explains how to go about that in the most efficient way and also delves into the science of what ...more
Jun 29, 2016 Caitlin rated it really liked it
Ericsson makes a vital point about the necessity of practice, which is encouraging for many of us who feel we were not born "talented" in our fields. More importantly, he stresses that not just any practice will do - it must be deliberate practice that focuses on a stepwise progression of skills. Repetition is not enough, nor is any practice less than 100% focused.

He loses a star for not making his findings more applicable. There's some advice on how to develop deliberate practice, but given the
Jun 10, 2016 Hairuo rated it it was amazing
The ideas I got from this book is that:
1. 10000 hours is not necessary though focus to practice long enough is important. The key is deliberate practice.
2. Besides deliberate practice and feedback, mental representation is very important.
3. What we should improve ourselves is to learn from experts, coaches on what their mental representation works.
4. No one is innate talent, IQ is not important, the difference between genes may only lies in someone who would more likely to do more effective ment
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“The reason that most people don’t possess these extraordinary physical capabilities isn’t because they don’t have the capacity for them, but rather because they’re satisfied to live in the comfortable rut of homeostasis and never do the work that is required to get out of it. They live in the world of “good enough.” The same thing is true for all the mental activities we engage in,” 5 likes
“The best way to get past any barrier is to come at it from a different direction, which is one reason it is useful to work with a teacher or coach.” 2 likes
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