Bounce

Mozart, Federer, Picasso, Beckham, and the Science of Success
by Matthew Syed | 336 pages

What do you think about excellence? Do you think it’s primarily driven by natural, inborn talent? Or, do you think that it’s primarily driven by effort? Matthew Syed tells us that’s a very important decision that has a broad impact on how we show up and shows us how to Bounce into our highest potential. Big Ideas we explore include: the iceberg illusion, 1 million balls, doublethink and the importance of purposeful practice + the growth mindset.


“Now think about how often you have heard people dismiss their own potential with statements like ‘I am not a natural linguist’ or ‘I don’t have the brain for numbers’ or ‘I lack the coordination for sports.’ Where is the evidence for such pessimism? Often it is based upon nothing more than a few weeks or a few months of halfhearted effort. What the science is telling us is that many thousands of hours of practice are necessary to break into the realm of excellence.

Before going on, it’s worth emphasizing something about the upcoming chapters: the truth of the arguments will have urgent implications for the way we choose to live our lives. If we believe that attaining excellence hinges on talent, we are likely to give up if we show insufficient early promise. And this will be perfectly rational, given the premise.

If, on the other hand, we believe that talent is not (or only marginally) implicated in our future achievements, we are likely to persevere. Moreover, we will be inclined to move heaven and earth to get the right opportunities for ourselves and our families: the right teacher, access to decent facilities; the entire coalition of factors that lead us to the top. And, if we are right, we will eventually excel. What we decide about the nature of talent, then, could scarcely be more important.”

~ Matthew Syed from Bounce

What do you think about excellence?

Do you think it’s primarily driven by natural, inborn talent? Or, do you think that it’s primarily driven by effort?

It’s a very important decision that has a broad impact on how we show up. So, let’s choose wisely. (Hint: Think: EFFORT!!)

Matthew Syed is a brilliant, award-winning writer who also happens to be a former Olympic table-tennis player—the top-ranked English player for a decade.

He brings his big brain and high-level sports experience to this book, helping us understand, as the sub-title suggests, “Mozart, Federer, Picasso, Beckham, and the Science of Success.”

It’s a fascinating, quick-reading look at how greatness really grows. I read it in a day (after finishing Syed’s newest book Black Box Thinking the day before) and, if you’re into this sort of thing, I think you’ll love it. (Get the book here.)

The book is packed with Big Ideas and I’m excited to share some of my favorites we can apply TODAY so let’s jump straight in!

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About the author

Authors

Matthew Syed

Journalist, author, broadcaster, and speaker.