Have you ever wanted to learn a language or pick up an instrument, only to become too daunted by the task at hand? Expert performance guru Anders Ericsson has made a career studying chess champions, violin virtuosos, star athletes, and memory mavens. Read more...
Have you ever wanted to learn a language or pick up an instrument, only to become too daunted by the task at hand? Expert performance guru Anders Ericsson has made a career studying chess champions, violin virtuosos, star athletes, and memory mavens. Peak condenses three decades of original research to introduce an incredibly powerful approach to learning that is fundamentally different from the way people traditionally think about acquiring a skill. Ericsson's findings have been lauded and debated, but never properly explained. So the idea of expertise still intimidates us -- we believe we need innate talent to excel, or think excelling seems prohibitively difficult. Peak belies both of these notions, proving that almost all of us have the seeds of excellence within us -- it's just a question of nurturing them by reducing expertise to a discrete series of attainable practices. Peak offers invaluable, often counterintuitive, advice on setting goals, getting feedback, identifying patterns, and motivating yourself. Whether you want to stand out at work, or help your kid achieve academic goals, Ericsson's revolutionary methods will show you how to master nearly anything.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-02-22
- Reviewer: Staff
Psychologist Ericsson (The Road to Excellence) and science writer Pool (Beyond Engineering) skillfully examine the eternal debate of nature vs. nurture with this thoughtful treatise supporting the latter. The authors posit that deliberate, focused practice is the key to learning and mastering any new skill, whether or not an underlying natural talent is present. “Generally the solution is not ‘try harder,’ but ‘try differently,’ ” they explain. Using such diverse examples as the prodigal young Mozart and a neophyte golfer hoping to make the PGA Tour, the authors explain the importance of “purposeful practice,” adaptability, and mental representations—defined as structures that organize one’s remembered information about an object or idea. For the truly motivated, a chapter entitled “The Road to Extraordinary” offers a step-by-step guide to acquiring new skills and “reach the frontier of human capabilities.” Throughout, the authors encourage dreaming big, even when conventional wisdom might dictate otherwise. This is an empowering, encouraging work that will challenge readers to reach for excellence. Agent: Elyse Cheney, Elyse Cheney Literary Associates. (Apr.)