This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Peak" by Anders Ericsson. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.
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Are you looking for Peak book questions? How can these questions help you learn to practice better?
Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool studied how peak performers in music, athletics, and other fields developed their abilities in their book Peak. Here are 12 Peak book questions to help you apply the lessons in the book to your own life.
Continue on for Peak book questions.
Peak Book Questions
Peak: Secrets From the New Science of Expertise explores how peak performers in music, athletics, and other fields develop their abilities. Through purposeful practice and the development of effective mental representations, nearly anyone can become an expert in whatever field they choose. The book shatters many illusions about expertise—chiefly, that it comes from genius or “natural” talent. Instead, it comes from rigorous practice and a willingness to improve slowly over time through a series of baby steps. By embracing these principles, you can become whatever it is you wish to be. Your future is entirely in your hands.
Below are Peak book questions to deepen your understand of the book.
Think about how to improve your performance with better practice.
- Have you ever trained for a long period of time to achieve a particular milestone? Describe the situation in a few sentences.
- What methods did you use to try to improve? How did you practice? Explain how effective (or ineffective) you found these methods to be.
- Based on what you’ve read, how would you have restructured your practice routine to achieve more significant progress? (Remember the keys to purposeful practice: 1) well-defined, specific goals, 2) complete focus, 3) feedback, 4) stepping out of your comfort zone.)
- Today, to what skill are you most interested in applying purposeful practice? How would you change what you’re currently doing to practice better?
Setting Up Deliberate Practice
Think about how you can more effectively use the principles of deliberate practice.
- What are your biggest sources of distraction when you’re trying to practice?
- Based on what you’ve read, what strategies can you employ to block out these distractions and maintain focus on your practice?
- What is your biggest motivator as you pursue your goals?
- Knowing what you now know about deliberate practice, what changes can you make in your life to ensure that you receive more of the reinforcement and motivation that is most effective for you?
Questions on Takeaways From Peak
Think about the main takeaways from Peak.
- Briefly explain why the belief in “natural talent” can be destructive and harmful.
- How does deliberate practice differ from what most people think of as “practice?”
- Have you ever been told you couldn’t do something because you weren’t talented enough? Briefly describe the situation.
- Based on what you’ve read, do you accept the idea that you lack the talent to do something you want to do? Explain why or why not.
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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Anders Ericsson's "Peak" at Shortform .
Here's what you'll find in our full Peak summary :
- How to become an expert in any field you choose
- Why practice isn't enough because you need to change how you practice
- Why natural talent isn't enough and practice is more important