Robert Pool , Anders Ericsson




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Peak is the product of years of collaboration between a psychologist and a science journalist, and their conversations on the subject of excellence and intentional practice that took place over a number of years. The book explains how the idea of innate talent, strictly speaking, is only a myth; every skill, even the most peculiar, is the result of training. It is not just a case of how much time we spend practicing, but more importantly, the quality of the time spent honing a skill. Sport, music, study, work: everything can be trained and improved, and each of us is responsible for the results we obtain.

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Analysis and key concepts


Focused practice pushes you to constantly challenge your limits, and achieve goals you thought were impossible


You can take advantage of the brain's plasticity, which grows and changes in response to intense training


Mental representations help you manage information, understand it, analyse it, memorise it, and use it to make good decisions


If you want to learn how to do something well, intentional practice is the ideal learning model


You can have a "Top Gun" approach to improvement, which is to use work activities as opportunities for deliberate practice


Intentional practice is also aimed at anyone who has a dream, and wishes to take their life into their own hands


You only improve when you reject the status quo, and open yourself up to the possibility of being able to do things that, up until yesterday, seemed entirely impossible




Take-home message

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Many useful tips to:

  • Understand the argument that there is no such thing as innate talent, but that there are effective ways of developing any kind of skill.
  • Appreciate that the greatest gift we have is our body and brain’s adaptability and flexibility.
  • Acknowledge the fact that all our skills are improvable, at any age.

Robert Pool is a world-renowned author, consultant, and speaker on the subject of deliberate practice. He taught scientific writing at Johns Hopkins University, and has worked as a science journalist for the two most prestigious journals in his field, Science and Nature. He currently resides in Florida.

Anders Ericsson (1947 - 2020)was a psychologist and professor at Florida State University, internationally recognised for his research in human skills and performance. His studies were primarily focused on the world of sports, music, chess, and medicine. He dedicated his career to studying the secrets of people who achieve excellence and excel in an area.

Publishing house:

Mariner Books