“Most ‘important’ books aren’t much fun to read. Most fun books aren’t very important. But with Peak, Anders Ericsson (with great work from Robert Pool) has hit the daily double. After all, who among us doesn’t want to learn how to get better at life? A remarkable distillation of a remarkable lifetime of work.” —Stephen J. Dubner, coauthor of Freakonomics and Superfreakonomics
“Ericsson’s research has revolutionized how we think about human achievement. He has found that what separates the best of us from the rest is not innate talent but simply the right kind of training and practice. If everyone would take the lessons of this book to heart, it could truly change the world.” —Joshua Foer, author of Moonwalking with Einstein
“The science of excellence can be divided into two eras: before Ericsson and after Ericsson. His groundbreaking work, captured in this brilliantly useful book, provides us with a blueprint for achieving the most important and life-changing work possible: to become a little bit better each day.” —Dan Coyle, author of The Talent Code
“Wonderful. I can’t think of a better book for a popular audience written on any topic in psychology.” —Daniel Willigham, professor of psychology at the University of Virginia and author of Why Don’t Students Like School?
“[Peak] offers an optimistic anti-determinism that ought to influence how people educate children, manage employees, and spend their time. The good news is that to excel one need only look within.” – The Economist
“All good leaders want to get better, and anyone who wants to get better at anything should read [Peak]. Rest assured that the book is not mere theory. Ericsson’s research focuses on the real world, and he explains in detail, with examples, how all of us can apply the principles of great performance in our work or in any other part of our lives.” – Fortune
“This is an empowering, encouraging work that will challenge readers to reach for excellence.” —Publishers Weekly
“[Ericsson] makes a strong case that success in today’s world requires a focus on practical performance, not just the accumulation of information. Especially informative for parents and educators in preparing children for the challenges ahead.” —Kirkus Reviews
From the Inside Flap
Anders Ericsson has made a career studying chess champions, violin virtuosos, star athletes, and memory mavens. Peak distills three decades of myth-shattering research into a powerful learning strategy that is fundamentally different from the way people traditionally think about acquiring new abilities.
Ericssons findings have been lauded and debated, but never properly explained. So the idea of expertise still intimidates uswe believe we need innate talent to excel, or think excelling seems prohibitively difficult. Peak belies both of these notions, proving that virtually all of us have the seeds of excellence within usits just a question of nurturing them properly. Peak offers invaluable, often counterintuitive advice on setting goals, getting feedback, identifying patterns, and motivating yourself. Whether you want to stand out at work, improve your athletic performance, or help your child achieve academic goals, Ericssons revolutionary methods will show you how to improve almost any skill that matters to you.
Peak offers more than just practical guidance, though. It demystifies the feats of many outstanding performers, from musical virtuosos to science prodigies to brain surgeons to entrepreneurs to professional athletes. It also offers compelling evidence that our schools are taking the wrong approach to education. And it shows us a convincing new view of the enormous potential we all possess.