Josh Waitzkin was a child prodigy chess player, and an international In The Art of Learning, which is part memoir, part instructional book. The Art of Learning has ratings and reviews. V. said: Clearly as a Josh Waitzkin knows what it means to be at the top of his game. A public figure. The Art of Learning summary. In-depth, chapter-by-chapter summary of The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin.
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The Art of Learning: A Journey in the Pursuit of Excellence by Josh Waitzkin
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A public figure since winning his first National Chess Championship at the age of nine, Waitzkin was catapulted into a media whirlwind as a teenager when his father’s book “Searching for Bobby Fischer” was made into a major motion picture. After dominating the scholastic chess world for ten years, Waitzkin exp Josh Waitzkin knows what it means to be at the top of his game. After dominating the scholastic chess world for ten years, Waitzkin expanded his horizons, taking on the martial art Tai Chi Chuan and ultimately earning the title of World Champion.
How was he able to reach the waitzin of two disciplines that on the surface seem so different? With a narrative that combines heart-stopping martial arts wars and tense chess face-offs with life lessons that speak to all of us, “The Wairzkin of Learning” takes readers through Waitzkin’s unique journey to excellence.
He explains in clear detail how a well-thought-out, principled approach to learning is what separates success from failure. Waitzkin believes that achievement, even at the championship level, is a function of a lifestyle that fuels waitzkim creative, resilient growth process. Rather than focusing on climactic wins, Waitzkin learinng the inner workings of his everyday learnnig, from systematically triggering intuitive breakthroughs, to honing leagning into states of remarkable potency, to mastering the art of performance psychology.
Through his own example, Waitzkin explains how to embrace defeat and make mistakes work for you. Does your opponent make you angry? Waitzkin describes how to channel emotions into creative fuel.
As learnin explains it, obstacles are not obstacles but challenges to overcome, to spur the growth process by turning weaknesses into strengths.
He illustrates the exact routines that he has used in all of his competitions, whether mental or physical, so that you too can achieve your peak performance zone in any competitive or professional circumstance. In stories ranging from his early years taking on chess hustlers as a seven year old in New York City’s Washington Square Park, to dealing with the pressures of having a film made about his life, to International Chess Championships in India, Hungary, and Brazil, to gripping battles against powerhouse fighters in Taiwan in the Push Hands World Championships, “The Art of Learning” encapsulates an extraordinary competitor’s life lessons in a page-turning narrative.
Published May 8th by Free Press first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Art of Learningplease sign up. Lists with This Book. Jan 09, V. Clearly as a chess waitakin and a martial artist, Josh is an accomplished and well regarded expert. He goes to the Tai Chi Chuan Pushing hands World Championships in Taiwan their national sport and xrt hard work and an obsessive pursuit of excellence, he becomes World Champion despite cheating and rule bending by the Taiwanese.
Only, he never considers that this small nation has hardly anything else learnong call their own. And with their huge Imperia Clearly as a chess player and a martial artist, Josh is an accomplished and well regarded expert. So, anyway, the book is about learning, and there are a couple of useful ideas here, particularly in the third section. But a lot of it is to do with focus and training. A lot of the book is more memoir than insight, and pretty dull.
Another example of his spectacularly selective self awareness: In the chess section he describes how he was an attacking player, but as he got older teachers tried to teach him the Karpov way, more defensive etc, but it turned him off the game. Learning is about going with your natural flow, he waitzki us. Later when training in Tai Chi, he discovers opponents who are stronger and faster, what to do? Whatever works seems to be the lesson.
Win at all costs. If you can fool your opponent, who cares how you do it. He claims to have a natural gift for learning, which I think is true, but sadly not for teaching.
View all 25 comments. If in doubt, try it! They’re quite similar but polar opposites in terms of the authors’ narcissism.
Jan 07, Timothy Chklovski rated it it was amazing. Very good book about achieving world-class mastery of a skill and the attendant phenomena like slowing down time. Feb 12, Riku Sayuj att it liked it Shelves: A good look into what goes on in the minds of high-performance athletes at the top of their game. A bit spiritualized and fuzzy here and there, but I kept thinking that we are lucky to have this rare athlete writing to us, who combines the qualities of high performance, intense self-observation, intellectualization of development and finally communication of that entire learning experience waitzkln the normal people who might go through their entire lives never stretching themselves to those extreme l A good look into what goes on in the minds of high-performance athletes at the top of their game.
A bit spiritualized and fuzzy here and there, but I kept wajtzkin that we are lucky to have this rare athlete writing to us, who combines the qualities of high performance, intense self-observation, intellectualization of development and finally communication of that entire learning experience to the normal people who might go through their entire lives never stretching themselves to those extreme limits where such discoveries about learning and performance always seem to lie.
Jul 21, Ruzz rated it it was amazing Shelves: You can survey top performers, and many have, and most won’t have a concrete framework of thought behind that performance and most of it is intuitive. Josh Waitzkin has performed at high levels both mentally through world class junior chess and physically through it’s unaccountably rare to find someone who can perform at the highest levels of human capacity mentally or physically who can articulate much meaningfully about how they do it.
Josh Waitzkin has performed at high levels both mentally through world class junior chess and physically through world class martial arts competition and has systemized his process and has a very clear understanding of how he’s achieved the things he has. He does a fairly kf job of communicating this to readers. I say fairly effective because quite honestly some of the conceptual stuff is pretty difficult to translate.
The Art of Learning: The Tool of Choice for Top Athletes, Traders, and Creatives
How would you go about explaining a highly advanced concept built on the backs of hundreds of other highly advanced concepts to someone at the starting point? You will come away understanding only the parts you are ready to understand despite the possibility there’s a dearth of additional information there. And quite possibly that insight may bring light to a question some of carry about why some people seem to be so much more productive apparently naturally than the average.
It also challenges the belief some people are just “better” at something than others. Watizkin makes plain, despite a mild stink of self congratulatory biography, that the thing that separates the best from the rest is generally speaking how serious one takes their pursuit and how agt they are in improvement.
There’s a conception out there that time and experience will trump most everything. Simply enduring and spending large blocks of time specialized in a particular area will separate you from the pack and in some sense this is true.
Drawing on my own experience as a programmer I see this at play every day where junior developers make core mistakes because the way the conceptualize problems suffers from a lack of experience.
I have an edge there through experience. However, the order of difference between the work i do and the work people who are changing the programming world do is dramatic, and those inexperience developers will catch up to me and surpass me in time. It’s unlikely lf of us will catch up to or surpass those few top programmers because we’re playing an entirely different game. One topic that never comes up is how Josh is able to devote himself so entirely to his particular goals without concern for money or facing the distractions and constraints of normal existence costs.
And it’s an important thing to consider, and an important thing to jsoh out.
The Art of Learning — Josh Waitzkin
Most of us have obligations that supersede our own focus. On the whole, the book was insightful and challenging.
In interesting look into the motivations, thought processes and experiences of a top level performer, but i fear much of the book is abstract, and impractical for those of us trying to earn our daily bread while improving our selves.
Whether I can or want to realistically integrate much of that insight into my own life remains unclear. The inertia of personality, and habit are great and trying to motivate oneself on rewards that are hard to internalize but easy to imagine is slippery ground. Josh had the benefit of beginning living his life in a micro to macro focus from very early on and developed strong habits and techniques as a young chess champion that define his expectations of experience.
For those of us with a more normal upbringing and more normal expectation there is the added requirement of throwing off years of habit, experience and perhaps greatest expectation about what a day may contain to qualify as a good day. But these are real problems for people who want to take anything from what he’s shared and neglecting them makes the book less vital and less engaged to it’s own purpose. May 27, Rob rated it liked it Shelves: I picked up this book because it was recommended by Tim Ferriss, who described Josh as the “metalearner’s metalearner”.
A man who had risen to the peak of his field in the world in TWO highly competitive disciplines: I was expecting a book that spends a tremendous amount of time on philosophies about learning with examples from his life and others.
There are some thoughts about learning, but they feel more reflective than prescriptive, since this book is rea I picked up this book because it was recommended by Tim Ferriss, who described Josh as the “metalearner’s metalearner”.
There are some thoughts about learning, but they feel more reflective than prescriptive, since this book is really a memoir. He goes through great pains in his own life to separate ego from failure, and treats failure as an essential srt of the learning process vs. He even goes so far as to push this as a life philosophy it’s the journey not the destination that is life kind of thingwhich I joshh agree with. All of this is part of the incremental theory of learning, which is very simple but powerful, and he spends very little of the book talking about it.
I really enjoyed reading about his tournaments in both chess and Tai Chi, but here’s the problem about using those examples on how to learn. Both of his careers were illustrative of what happens if you take incremental learning to its absolute limit for example, chess is what he did with the vast majority saitzkin his time for more than a decade, and then Tai Chi is what he rat with his time.
Most of us have jobs, kids, key relationships to nurture, etc.
Just a personal style as I’d rather do 20 things pretty well than 1 thing world class. May 28, Maxim rated it it was ok. If you’re interested in gaining insight into the mind of a child chess prodigy turned adult martial arts champion, this is a decent book. It’s reasonably readable and has a lot of learnnig stories about the author’s chess and marital arts careers. As an inspirational or how-to book, though, it falls short. Maybe it would be helpful if you’re interested in single-minded, highly-focused training in jowh, martial arts, or another highly technical, subtle, and competitive pursuit.
But, despite h If you’re interested learnung gaining insight into the mind of a child chess prodigy turned adult martial arts champion, this is a decent book.