PEAK is a book about how expert performers reached the top. It’s author, K. Anders Ericcson, has been studying these performers for decades and this book is the culmination of that research. He explains how we get better at skills, namely with purposeful deliberate practice repeated religiously over time. More importantly, he debunks the theory of the “child prodigy”. He demonstrates how all of the most skilled performers throughout history consistently engaged in extended periods of deliberate practice prior to achieving greatness.
At its core, Goodwin Davis exists to help kids gain extensive experience with deliberate practice. Our aim is that it becomes their default method for developing any skill, especially the ones they are most passionate about. Deliberate practice is the most effective path to developing world-class talent, yet it is seldom used in our daily lives. With guidance from Ericcson, we will change that for our members.
PEAK is a terrific book from Ericcson, the premier expert in this field. For years, his work has been cited in countless books on performance and self-development, including being the source of Gladwell’s famous 10,000 hours rule. In this book, Ericcson addresses the data from the rule and explains why the conclusion is a nice soundbite, but ultimately incorrect. It’s worth reading to gain a deeper understanding of what deliberate practice is and how far it can take us.
“This is a fundamental truth about any sort of practice: If you never push yourself beyond your comfort zone, you will never improve.“
“The best way to get past any barrier is to come at it from a different direction, which is one reason it is useful to work with a teacher or coach.“
“A world in which deliberate practice is a normal part of life would be one in which people had more volition and satisfaction.”
“So here we have purposeful practice in a nutshell: Get outside your comfort zone but do it in a focused way, with clear goals, a plan for reaching those goals, and a way to monitor your progress. Oh, and figure out a way to maintain your motivation.”