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Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  3,721 ratings  ·  325 reviews
A few common principles drive performance, regardless of the field or the task at hand. Whether someone is trying to qualify for the Olympics, break ground in mathematical theory or craft an artistic masterpiece, many of the practices that lead to great success are the same. In Peak Performance, Brad Stulberg, a former McKinsey and Company consultant and journalist who ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published June 6th 2017 by Rodale Books
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 ·  3,721 ratings  ·  325 reviews

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Riku Sayuj
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
PEAK PERFORMANCE: All You Need to Know

The Summary at the end of the book is more than all you need from the book. So here goes:


Stress Yourself

A) Seek out “just-manageable challenges” in areas of your life in which you want grow
•Just-manageable challenges are those that barely exceed your current abilities.
•If you feel fully in control, make the next challenge a bit harder.
•If you feel anxious or so aroused that you can’t focus, dial
☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~  ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣
My thoughts on the issue:
> First, monotonous pursuit of excellence is not as cool as it's cracked up to be.
>> Second, succeeding at one thing doesn't readily mean we are going to succeed at every weeny thing we do.
>>> Third, young kids get into consulting and go on thinking: 'the world is my frigging oyster'. Then somethings goes not according to the plan and BAM! We have a kid researching 'peak performance'. Really, drawing cool presentations is no performance. Yes, it's a
Ying Ying
The content could have easily been condensed to a blog post.

I have three main take-aways from the audiobook:
1) Use a good mixture of work and rest
2) Tap into the power of transcendental goals (that go beyond oneself)
3) Align your actions with your own personal values
Dec 04, 2017 rated it liked it
I should have known better than to think that this book would have anything new in it, but nope--it's all the same stuff, Flow, Growth mindset, sleep, deliberative practice, etc. I have read most of the source research for this book so it was just a compilation of stuff I've read a hundred times from a hundred different articles and books in this field. But really, it's my fault that I keep picking up these soft behavioral psych books that regurgitate the same studies (that may or not even be ...more
Travis Bow
Aug 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fun, practical, short, inspiring book. Just enough research and storytelling to convince you that the few well-organized pieces of advice will really help you do better at life without burning out.

An ultra-condensed version of those pieces of advice:

To grow, you should alternate periods of stress and rest. Tackle "just manageable challenges" (you should not feel fully in control) on purpose, then rest on purpose.
-Work with single-minded focus in small time blocks (50-90 minutes ideal,
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
Wound up being a disappointingly shallow survey of a bunch of topics I'd mostly read about elsewhere in more detail. Might be a useful read for someone who hasn't run across a lot of these ideas before.
Tim Cigelske
Aug 27, 2017 rated it liked it
There's a passage on page 130 of Peak Performance that summarizes pretty much the entire book:

"During the process of writing this book, whenever we hit an impasse that we couldn't overcome with a standard break or, even worse, felt writer's block looming, we turned to reading our favorite books in genres similar to this one. In particular, The Upside of Stress by Kelly McGonigal, PhD, Give and Take by Adam Grant, The Sports Gene by David Epstein, Quiet by Susan Cain, Drive by Daniel Pink, and
Bob Page
Jul 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: abandoned
The science of ego depletion was known to be very dubious in 2016, yet here a chapter presents it without any disclaimer in 2017. Another chapter has an overly optimistic summary of Dweck's mindset research. When you get dubious one social psychology theory after another, it's hard to trust anything else in the book.

On the plus side, it did remind me that random reward reinforcement is really bad for me, and it's always good to be reminded.
Santhosh Guru
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic read about a topic of interest for me. Provides a lot of actionable tips and suggestions. Connects with all my favorite threads of Anders Ericsson, Carol Dweck, Angela Duckworth in a science backed way.
Dec 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the very best NF books I've ever read. I just kept thinking "I should have my son read this chapter." "I should have my daughter read this chapter." "This person would love this." By the end, I just decided that maybe everyone should read the entire book. It was very well researched, included all the right things, and presented perfectly.

Note to self: read yearly.
Stefan Kanev
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
I like this book for two reasons – (1) it's short and (2) it's an amalgam of other great books on the subject.

Some of the key ideas are:

* Stress is important, as it causes growth. It will be hard to improve without applying stress to yourself.
* Rest is equally, if not more, important. It's easy to overlook and it's easier to skip. "Have the courage to rest".
* Practicing requires deep focus ("just 'practice' makes permanent; perfect practice makes perfect").
* Sleep is super important.
* Design
Jun 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Kind of a mixed bag. I would suggest going straight to the summary and if there are subjects you want to know more about how they formed their conclusions, go read that particular chapter.

This was mostly information I have read in other books with uninteresting filler. There were a couple of a-ha moments but only a couple.

I would recommend Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin rather than this one.
Andreia Pires
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Haley S
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very interesting book to help you to do exactly what the title says: "Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success." This book will truly help you find your "Peak Performance."
Would definitely recommend to everyone!
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Quite a useful book...
Madhur Ahuja
Excellent book. Explains why right amount of stress along with rest is necessary for personal growth.

How to prevent burnout? Some people say that its just excessive stress. One must think that why the additional work / responsibilities as negative stress (which causes burnout) instead of positive stress (which helps in growth) . The key here is motivation and sense of purpose. The sense of purpose to do those tasks were not strong enough to endure the additional stress and hence it lead to
Jeff Vaughn
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book! It took Stephen Covey's 7 Habits to the next level by helping you simplify your mission statement and put it into action through suggestions and good examples. I especially liked the suggestion to make your goals and life purposes focused on serving others. There were many other pearls as well. Enjoy the read and thank you Marty Vaughn for recommending it!
Lance Willett
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book describes threekey principles underlying sustainable peak performance:

1. Stress + rest = growth [the scientific cycle of growth and development]
2. Develop optimal routines and design your day [prime yourself for peak performance and daily productivity]
3. Harness the power of purpose [The power of purpose is a performance enhancer]

The power of mindset is important: how you view something fundamentally changes how your body responds to it. As in: “Pain is mandatory; suffering is
Sebastian Gebski
Feb 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
It's a book about many things.

About balance (however it's never stated this way), about essentialism, about grit, about rest, ...
Surprisingly, it doesn't mean that all of these "ingredients" are covered sloppily or via shortcuts - I've found this book quite comprehensive.

It's also a book about various kinds of performance - it doesn't necessarily focus e.g. on athletes. On one hand, it means no specific (or rather "activity-type-specific") hints, but it doesn't mean there are no useful
Tõnu Vahtra
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
A light half a day read that reminds you to focus on resting as much or even more than pushing you to the limit both physically and mentally. Not too much new information if you have read other books already on this topic but it was short enough to not become boring.

“Stress + rest = growth. This equation holds true regardless of what it is that you are trying to grow.”

“It isn't experience that sets top performers apart but the amount of deliberate practice they put in.”

“Even seemingly trivial
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Incredibly powerful book with timeless advice. Each chapter is well paced and filled with strong references to scientific research and studies as well as humbling stories from high performance individuals. They also provide "performance practices" at the end of each section that provide useful suggestions in how you can apply the topics discussed in the book into your own life. That was one of my favourite things about the book. I also appreciated just how empirical and evidence based this book ...more
Alex Devero
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Authors of Peak Performance truly stands on the shoulders of the giants. They created a framework, tips and suggestions for peak performance based on the work of Anders Ericsson, Carol Dweck, Angela Duckworth, Cal Newport and many others. This framework is based on topics such as positive (healthy) and negative stress, relaxation, growth mindset, grit, meditation, single-tasking, sleep, giving to others and finding a self-transcending purpose.

Authors outlined their framework in a simple and
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-audio
A lot of non-fiction productivity books tend to rely on non-falsifiable statements, general platitudes like "Be positive" and they tend to read like someone gave a keynote speech and decided to stretch it into a book. Lots of excellent turns of phrase, little advice when you actually think about it.

To be clear, this book is not like that. It provides actionable tips that make sense, it provides new insights instead of just repackaging cute turns of phrase, and it has a selection of fascinating
Moshe Zioni
I would like to meet someone that gave this a 5 star (44% of voters) and raised this to be one of the highest rated books in my "to read" list.

Very shallow, quote-filled book, with little substance that is "New" or "Science" or "Success", contrast to the book's tagline.

Good maybe as a primer for someone... else - stay away.
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
An essential real for up-to-the-moment science on performance. It's formatted much like Matthew Syed's 2010 book Bounce (which used the Freakonomics format), with science and then anecdote to back up theory. This can be a little fishy, as it's very easy to see only what suits your argument and disregard the rest, but Magness and Stulberg seem even handed and objective throughout. The only way it could have been better is if it had some sort of intervening through-line narrative. With that said, ...more
Kevin Reed
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good at talking about balancing work/working out to make sure you avoid burnouts.
Rachael Button
I really enjoyed this book.

"Peak Performance" opens with the stories of both Steve Magness and Brad Stulberg, two young prodigies (a distance runner and a mathematician) whose promising careers were interrupted by burnout. Although most of the book's content focused on athletes and academics who have avoided burnout, grounding the book's central question in the authors' experiences of failure really worked for me, and made me feel very invested in the authors' research from the books first
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm obsessed with the kind of articles that this book aggregates. If you are interested in reading about self improvement, read this first.
Henrik Akselsen
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
A pretty uninspired an uninspiring walk through of research that should be common knowledge for people who have read a few self help psychology books. Read the original sources instead.
Jul 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Combines a lot of content better written about elsewhere.
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“simply telling yourself “I am excited” shifts your demeanor from what they call a threat mindset (stressed out and apprehensive) to an opportunity mindset (revved up and ready to go). “Compared to those who attempt to calm down,” the authors conclude, “individuals who reappraise their anxious arousal as excitement perform better.” Put differently: The sensations you feel prior to a big event are neutral—if you view them in a positive light, they are more likely to have a positive impact on your performance. These” 4 likes
“Stress + rest = growth. This equation holds true regardless of what it is that you are trying to grow.” 4 likes
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