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

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4.17  ·  Rating details ·  5,076 ratings  ·  437 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 cov ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published June 6th 2017 by Rodale Books
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Average rating 4.17  · 
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 ·  5,076 ratings  ·  437 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:

1. SYSTEMATICALLY GROW BY ALTERNATING BETWEEN STRESS AND REST

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, dia
...more
☘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 treasured skill in
...more
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
Mehrsa
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 re ...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,
...more
Thomas
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 P
...more
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.
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 you
...more
Willian Molinari
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio, non-fiction
A great book. I felt like it's a compilation of some good books I read in the past years. It was not a life-changing book for me but it was great to review the important info I collected in the past years. I would totally recommend this book as the first book for someone looking for performance improvement.

Here are my notes about this book:

He was not going out to meet girls at night. He was not an average teenager. Of course, average teenagers don't run 4 minutes miles
Like many other good perfor
...more
Radha
May 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Everytime I read a non fiction book or self help book I start my reviews saying that I don't usually read this genre, and that most of the times what they offer is not groundbreaking, they're not reinventing the wheel, and this time is no different. But the way the content is presented, the theories, the examples and the parallels the authors construct between all different types of performance made this book particularly more interesting, memorable and digestible to me.

I really liked this litt
...more
Peggy
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.
Archit
Nov 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is a congregation of various concepts (discovered/ invented by prominent people) which have been inter-woven by the authors into a holistic life tapestry (which is their version of a productive life). Hence, there are no original concepts offered by the authors yet it makes for an interesting read. If you are in a hurry, the summary mentioned at the end of the book is more sufficient to plug the teachings from this book into your worldview.

One would also find the following books intere
...more
Hank
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.
Gavin Prior
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyed this one, learned more than I thought I was going to and I'm already applying a good amount of it.
Claire Crums
Feb 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Take all the business and scientific books (and research papers) that have been written about drive, grit, stress, sleep, time management, etc etc... Here they are condensed into one succinct book that gets to the point. A good balance of practical advice and inspiring stories from a variety of fields, from athletics to art.
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!
Franta
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Quite a useful book...
Chris Arnason
Jul 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
A very good research based book. Lots of things that anyone could apply to make a change. I highly recommend.
Josh Mason
Jul 25, 2017 rated it did not like it
I am finding it more and more shocking that editors are not monitoring misleading statements about poor science stated as fact. The scientists who are referenced in the book have received much appropriate criticism due to poor scientific rigor-Anders Ericsson, Amy Cuddy, Carol Dweck, and Angela Duckworth. For instance, by providing a platform for debunked scientists like Dr. Amy Cuddy and Dr. Angela Duckworth (among others in the book) the authors have demonstrated neither are content experts in ...more
Lance Willett
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book describes three key 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 optiona
...more
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 burno
...more
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!
J. Ryan
I wasn’t sure about this one at the start, but once I got past the introductory parts, it really took off. This is another one that I’ll want to read a few times.

Key Points:
1) Real growth requires stress and rest.
“Stress + rest = growth. This equation holds true regardless of what it is that you are trying to grow.”

2) Prime for performance
“the real secret of world-class performers is not the daily routines that they develop, but that they stick to them. That they show up, even when they don’t f
...more
Adam
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: listened
Science of performance
- How to reach peak performance while avoiding burnout?
- Currently a lot of pressure. See rise of anti-depressants in the US. And also raise of edge steroids/drugs, eg. adderall. But without proper sleep it is not sustainable.
- Typical american work week is 47 hours.
- Burnout is the reason for athletes quitting sports.

Healthy sustainable principles
- stress and rest
- seek for challanges that barely cross your boundary
- single task; always set your goals accordingly (this one
...more
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 suggestio
...more
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
...more
Nafeu
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
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45 likes · 10 comments
“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” 5 likes
“Stress + rest = growth. This equation holds true regardless of what it is that you are trying to grow.” 5 likes
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