Top positive review
Awesome Reference Book
March 8, 2018
I approached this book without high expectation, and I was very pleasantly surprised. I liked almost everything about it. I got more than a few "aha!" moments, and I expect to extract value 1,000% higher than the price of the book.
However, let's traditionally start from some cons:
1. Not Enough How-to.
This is a great reference book, but there are few actionable steps included to make you more productive. Well, the title says "The Science of Performance" not "The Practice of High Performance." You cannot complain that the book doesn't contain a lot of facts and research about high performance, but it could've used more step-by-step explanations on how to implement all of this wisdom in your life.
2. Not Personal.
I don't like self-published books where you cannot get more than a glimpse of an author. Som shares a few personal insights, but I feel he could give more examples from his experience. Most of the book contains someone else's experiences, not the author's.
This is a shame. What's the benefit of self-publishing, if you don't put into the book something that a publisher would not?
1. Great References.
I'm amazed how much stuff Som was able to pack in such a short book. He quotes scientists, authors and entrepreneurs, left and right. I highlighted many fragments in the book. After reading this short work, I felt like I've felt after reading 5 thick volumes.
The author has read a lot and condensed it to a bare minimum, so I didn't need to spend hours on studying the source materials.
2. Concise Format.
There is very little fluff in this book. It's short and to the point. I read it in about an hour (or less). Apart from the fiction story of J at the beginning, I cannot think of an unnecessary element in "The Science of High Performance." And, I guess, the story was a necessary trick to draw readers further into the book.
My two biggest takeaways from the book are mindfulness and flow. I kind of knew about the impact of both to performance, but this book drove the points home.
By the way, this is another strong point of this book:
4. Awesome Reminders.
By some standards, I'm a high performer (starting a writing career next to my day job, writing over 1.7 million words, publishing 15 books, etc.), yet, time after time, some words of wisdom hit me like a ton of bricks and reminded me about what I'd already known.
I was reminded of the importance of consistency for high performance, how self-image determines my performance, how self-talk is the main drawback to my performance, etc. Som has a gift of words, and those little reminders had a really huge impact in penetrating my comfort zone.
5. Actionable Tidbits.
Among all those wonderful references, there are hidden some little nuggets of advice that can have enormous impact on your performance.
Again, I attribute this more to Som's talent with words than to any methodical approach to how you should implement this sea of knowledge.
Sometimes, an enlightenment was only systematizing what I already knew and even applied:
"Purposeful practice requires feedback."
I never understood the difference between purposeful practice versus normal practice, and that deliberate practice requires coaching or mentoring.
Another tidbit provided a way to save my willpower -- or rather, to apply it with a laser-focused precision:
"Willpower depletes by vague directions."
The potential of implementation of this simple rule makes me pumped with excitement. Now I can do so much more with my time! I think that this one piece of data will result in the increase of my personal productivity worth thousands of dollars.
I'm a bookworm, and I love tidbits and references. I'm not much into out-of-the-box step-by-step plans. Thus, I give "The Science of High Performance" 5 stars. For people who would prefer more explicit guidelines, it may be a less valuable position.