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Summary

Mozart wasn't born with perfect pitch. Most athletes are not born with any natural advantage. Three world-class chess players were sisters whose success was planned by their parents before they were even born.

Anders Ericsson has spent 30 years studying the special ones - the geniuses, sports stars and musical prodigies. And his remarkable finding, revealed in Peak, is that their special abilities are acquired through training. The innate 'gift' of talent is a myth. Exceptional individuals are born with just one unique ability, shared by us all - the ability to develop our brains and bodies through our own efforts.

Anders Ericsson's research was the inspiration for the popular '10,000-hour rule', but, he tells us, this rule is only the beginning of the story. It's not just the hours that are important but how you use them. We all have the seeds of excellence within us - it's merely a question of how to make them grow.

With a bit of guidance, you'll be amazed at what the average person can achieve. The astonishing stories in Peak prove that potential is what you make it.

©2016 Anders Ericsson (P)2016 Random House Audiobooks

What listeners say about Peak

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The road is long.

Yes, the road is long, but know this: you can only improve your skills, you can never improve your self, for your self is the one who observes improvement (or the lack of it.)

Enjoy your work and redefine it as play because if you set out to improve a skill with a lot of stress and the need to improve you will enivitably contaminate all that you do and seek with negative vibes.

It is therefore wise to learn who you truly are before you learn any other subject. This may seem Needlessly esoteric but it will save you much unnecessary stress and trouble in the long run.

Peace and love.

19 people found this helpful

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Great research findings but no decent structure

What disappointed you about Peak?

The author is correct in providing many research findings and stories about how many people from a few fields achieved their "PEAKS". However, if you are not from one of these fields or are not trying to copy other peoples stories then you may struggle to find any underlying concept other than what is already obvious and you already know.In my opinion the book lacks a good structure.

At the beginning of every chapter I was excited because the author briefly explains a good concept but then rather than strengthening and guiding the listener on that concept he just keeps criss-crossing between countless examples and inside examples, he would then drill into many different concepts, terms, many many more examples in my opinion makes the reader lose contact with the original concept the chapter is meant to cover.

The author also repeats many examples many times and drills down to the same examples. Perhaps he was trying to look at them from different angles but he should have thought that listeners haven't had the same exposure to these subjects like he has so listeners would struggle to relate the information overload to their own fields, goals or even the concepts described at the beginning of the chapter/book.There were times I had to check the status of my Audible player because I felt like it has rewound to a previous chapter.

Would you ever listen to anything by Anders Ericsson again?

Yes, I have no disrespect to the author. He clearly knows what he's talking about. In my opinion, if he improves the structure with a curious but non-expert audience in mind the book will be much greater.

What about Geoffrey Beevers’s performance did you like?

Overall a very good narrator. The only (very) minor complaint is he pronounces R in some words with too much weight for my preference.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Peak?

I would improve the structure of the book with a curious but non-expert audience in mind. I would also remove repetitions of some examples and unnecessary drilling-ins into highly scientific words and reduce the number of unnecessary scientific words and lists of them that only proves the author has read a lot of books. These things have only lengthen the book because people who read a book about "Peak" wouldn't want to learn fancy scientific words or lists of fancy things that scientists do. I personally expect an author of this kind to understand the complex things and explain those in layman terms to readers like me. After-all I am not a scientific researcher.

22 people found this helpful

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A thought provoking and inspiring book

Listened to this over 8 or 9 days. It's profoundly affected my thinking and as a parent, teacher, coach, trainer and learner, I'm fizzing with enthusiasm for implementing its lessons.

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tedious and pointless

This is more of an academic study than a helpful guide. To summarise: it is easy to reach a plateau so practice and study with a goal to continually improve. That's it. A far better book is "The Practicing Mindset" which is actually applicable and much more than a pointless thesis.

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Purposeful and focused it is not

if you want a book that spends 12 hours trying to explain what an hour or two should do, then this is the book for you. Why do authors do this? Do they think they can charge more just because it is several hours longer than it should be? i feel like billing them for my time.

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These are the guys that wrote Gladwell's rhymes

Empowering. The best way to improve examined. Weakness: doesn't answer the question fully about what environmental factors supercede practice and doesn't consider the work world much. Overall worth a listen, very well read and laid out arguments in a meaningful fashion

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Deliberate practice

This book describes one of the most important insights of the last half century and provides both evidence and anecdotes that strongly support its conclusions. The narration is clear and delivered at a very comfortable pace. I have strongly recommended this book in all formats to friends and family.

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Excellent Read!

I have the book and the Audible file to listen to when driving. Provides a very good overview of the Deliberate Practice concept. A good mixture of theory and practice makes for a rewarding read and listen!

4 people found this helpful

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A life changing book. I highly recommend it

This is a life changing book that dispels many myths around talent, genius, savants and others. It has caused me to embark on a quest of self improvement with more rigour.

8 people found this helpful

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Challenging all our assumptions and beliefs

This book is intriguing, interesting and disrupts the beliefs of talent as portrayed and propagated heavily by the media. It has challenged me to consider how what I do in life and business should be improved.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Luca
  • 04-04-19

Awesome

This is one of the books which gives hope that you still can improve even you are old.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-11-18

Life changing

I loved it. I've been applying deliberate practice without knowing it in some fields, and it definitely is the best definitive way to learn stuff. Now that I consciously know about it, I've started applying it with (already) great results.
This book has really the potential to change the lens through which you see the world and I've found it greatly motivating to say the least.
The narrator is also amazing and has made the whole experience very pleasurable.

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  • Victor
  • 10-09-18

A life changing book

There are too many books out there to read in a lifetime. Everyone should find the time to read this book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Carlin Archer
  • 18-07-18

Excellent subject matter, great book

This book is a must read for anyone interested in learning how to learn. Especially recommend this title for parents.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Dennis
  • 27-02-18

disappointing

This book is far too long for it's content. At some point it just gets kind of tedious to listen to as it tries too explain the same point as before in an almost identical way without using any kind of refreshing anecdotes. The book basically stresses two points. One: you are not born with skill or talent so anyone can gain equal expertise. Two: deliberate practice is the way to achieve it. Here deliberate practice is what is sounds like: practicing with the goal to improve with clear feedback. If you accept these two points there is little left to gain from reading this book.

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  • Einar Aune
  • 23-09-17

Haven't found the secrets yet.

What was most disappointing about Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool ’s story?

This book was sold as a scroll of truth - the secrets for how to do deliberate practice. I've gotten a couple of hours into it now, and all I can see are success stories. Stories claiming that deliberate practice works, and why deliberate practice is more impactful than you might think. This is fine and for the first 30-60 minutes I really enjoyed it. But I only enjoyed it because I thought they were a pretext for the wisdom to come. How do you set up a deliberate practice session?What are the experiences of a seasoned practitioner?What are the pitfalls? What are the areas that really gives a return on your investment of time, sweat and effort?But nothing so far.I'm returning the book. A huge disappointment from someone that probably had a lot of experience to share.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Ingmar Lindström
  • 29-08-16

Great insights and grand plans

Great narrator, science backed information and visions for the future. I recommend it to anyone wishing to better themselves and the ones around them.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jude Perera
  • 15-08-20

Long but necessary...

This was a great listen!... I really learned a lot from the contents of the book... the theme is a simple one but how many of us believe it?... that, is the very reason that the authors time and again made the statement about how deliberate practice trumps talent, opportunity etc... talent is over rated... yes, the authors do talk about deliberate practice in many different variations... but that is needed... I’m truly a believer of this beautiful theme proposed by the author... and the narrator did a superb job... hats off to the team!... please read this book if you want to get a feel about how to excel in almost ANYTHING!!!

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 02-05-20

Mandatory for everyone who whiches to excel

Everybody, and especially teachers, professors and coaches should read this book. It ought to be mandatory :)

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mama
  • 26-09-19

Amazing all over

The narrator 5/5
The book 5/5
Really felt i learned a lot from this book.
Super exciting from start to end