Main points from Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise

It could have been much shorter

Having finished, Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise book by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool I want to provide my thoughts about it and summarize main points of the book.

Overall, I liked the book and found it very interesting if repetitive at times. The book can be distilled down to a couple of main points and, frankly speaking, it could have been presented as a short article with a number of pages. A large part of the book is dedicated to examples that Anders Ericsson drew from his or others’ research papers.

Main points

  • The brain is more flexible than it was previously thought, which means that even adults can acquire expertise in new fields.
  • Any regular person can potentially become and expert, conditioned on following advice below
  • The research into what makes people experts shows that the innate characteristics play almost no role in becoming an expert, except for sports where height and body size plays certain role.
  • People who become experts in the end, used to practice deliberately, having a clear plan consisting of clearly outlined goals, where each step is a little bit more challenging than a previous one, causing a person to get out of the comfort zone.
  • This deliberate practice when exercised develops “mental representations” in a person, helping him or her to see patterns in a field of that person’s expertise.

Let’s it. As I mentioned, most of the book is dedicated to providing supporting examples from research papers.

Well, don’t wait and deliberately practice to become one

It turns out, that becoming an expert could be achieved by anyone determined to deliberately practicing and willing to put thousands of hours of focused effort while constantly expanding one’s comfort zone.

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