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Review: Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success

Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of SuccessPeak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success by Brad Stulberg
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In an age of “Fitspiration”—YouTube and Instagram personalities talking about their 3 and 4 am wakeup calls for their workout and/or business routine—Peak Performance serves as a straightforward and refreshing reminder that long-term success does not come from missing sleep in pursuit of your goals. Quite the opposite actually.

Authors Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness, a health and science writer and running performance coach, respectively, have compiled the science on what research has shown us about people who have achieved long-term success in their fields. This is a thoughtful, well-written book starts off with the stories of two young hotshots and their punishing routines: early wakeups, practicing several times a day, foregoing socializing, and even breaking up with a girlfriend to better focus on their goals. These are the sacrifices some entrepreneurs and get-rich-quick gurus say come standard with success. But those two young hotshots peaked at 24 and 18, both just starting out in the world. Both burned out.

I read the audiobook version and it’s a quick, straightforward listen. Though if you have one lick of common sense, I’m not sure the title’s claim of any “new” science can be backed up. We all know it’s best not to drive yourself into the dirt to pursue a long-term goal, but to illustrate the path to greatness, the authors break it down into three sections based on their key principles of:

• The Growth Equation (stress + rest = growth)
• Priming - the power of developing optimal routines and designing your day
• Purpose - to keep you focused and motivated

If you like self-help without the woo and motivation without the get-rich-quick scheme, it’s a good way to spend a few hours.


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