Book Notes: Peak

Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise by K. Anders Ericsson, Robert Pool
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Fundamentally the book is highlighting that the people who can achieve more do so by focussing on developing skills through deliberate practice which is at odd to the more standard approach of teaching knowledge. This is because it is easier to teach and examine knowledge, however knowledge itself is not useful – the mental model so that you can perform skills are what you actually need. The book presents that the best way we know to build these mental models are through practice.

Deliberate practice is different to just doing something – just doing something longer does not automatically make you better at it. Just repeating something does not make you better and more junior people will likely have more up advanced teaching which they could be ahead of you.

Deliberate Practice is the best way to develop skills. Identifying areas you want to improve and focussing on actively getting better using measurable goals & data to provide feedback and committing regular dedicated time to the practicing pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone.

Ideally working with the best to understand their approaches will speed up your acceleration. When you hit plateaus try various techniques to try to find new mental models to go further.

Natural talent does not exist. There is no link between IQ and ability in e.g. Chess. The only places where there is a link between IQ and the result is where IQ is used as an initial filter – meaning we are missing out on people who could be very successful.

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