The Art of Learning A Journey in the Pursuit of Excellence review õ 104

The Art of Learning A Journey in the Pursuit of Excellence

Free download The Art of Learning A Journey in the Pursuit of Excellence

In his riveting new book The Art of Learning Waitzkin tells his remarkable story of personal achievement and shares the principles of learning and performance that have propelled him to the top twiceJosh Waitzkin knows what it means to be at the top of his game 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 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 pinnacle of two disciplines that on the surface seem so different “I’ve come to realize that what I am best at is not Tai Chi and it is not chess” he says “What I am. Clearly as a chess player and a martial artist Josh

Free download ä PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook æ Josh Waitzkin

Make you angry Waitzkin describes how to channel emotions into creative fuel As he 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 Suare 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 narrativ. Around 10 years ago i've read a book by Polish auth

Josh Waitzkin æ 4 review

Best at is the art of learning” 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 Art of Learning takes readers through Waitzkin’s uniue 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 a creative resilient growth process Rather than focusing on climactic wins Waitzkin reveals the inner workings of his everyday method from systematically triggering intuitive breakthroughs to honing techniues 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. it's unaccountably rare to find someone who can per The Complete Idiot's Guide to Elance the art of learning” With a narrative The Complete Idiot's Guide to Fondues and Hot Dips that combines heart stopping martial arts wars and The No Time to Cook! Book tense chess face offs with life lessons The Flower Book that speak Heart of Coal to all of us The Art of Learning Heartland takes readers Ad Women: How They Impact What We Need, Want, and Buy through Waitzkin’s uniue journey Screw You Dolores to excellence He explains in clear detail how a well Finding Tom Connor thought out principled approach Pete the Bushman to learning is what separates success from failure Waitzkin believes The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Gnostic Gospels that achievement even at The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Gnostic Gospels the championship level is a function of a lifestyle Walking in Light that fuels a creative resilient growth process Rather Heart to Start than focusing on climactic wins Waitzkin reveals Stand by Me the inner workings of his everyday method from systematically Stand By Me: Helping your teen through tough times triggering intuitive breakthroughs Toilet Trivia (Dk) to honing The Infinite Air techniues into states of remarkable potency Three by Atiq Rahimi: Earth and Ashes, A Thousand Rooms of Dream and Fear, The Patience Stone to mastering Lacanian Psychotherapy with Children: The Broken Piano (The Lacanian Clinical Field) (The Lacanian Clinical Field) the art of performance psychology Through his own example Waitzkin explains how Idiot's Guides: The Cosmos to embrace defeat and make mistakes work for you Does your opponent. it's unaccountably rare That Risen Snow: Snow White & Zombies to find someone who can per


10 thoughts on “The Art of Learning A Journey in the Pursuit of Excellence

  1. says:

    Clearly as a chess player and a martial artist Josh is an accomplished and well regarded expert As a human being however he’s a bit of a dickHe goes to the Tai Chi Chuan Pushing hands World Championships in Taiwan their national sport and through hard work and an obsessive pursuit of excellence he becomes World Champion despite cheating and rule bending by the TaiwaneseOnly he never considers that this small nation has hardly anything else to call their own And with their huge Imperial neighbour suashing their every attempt at a cultural identity to have their beloved sport taken from them by a cocky privileged American who’s never done a real job not surprising they try to cheatIn fact I was in their corner shouting ‘Sweep the leg’He’s so competitive and so self unaware that the irony of doing a martial art about balance and tranuillity and using it to go to an incredibly unhinged extreme completely passes him bySo 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 Something that comes easy if you’re insanely competitive to an autistic level like the author And if you aren’t it’s hard to motivate yourself to do the things he suggests Like most books of this nature if you have the ability to be as single minded as you need to be you probably don’t need to read the book and if you don’t have it the book won’t really helpA lot of the book is memoir than insight and pretty dull But then I found the memoir parts of Stephen King’s On Writing pretty dull too although the bits on writing were greatSo I’d say this book is vaguely interesting and you might pick up an idea or two but that’s about itAnother 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 defensive etc but it turned him off the game Learning is about going with your natural flow he tells us Later when training in Tai Chi he discovers opponents who are stronger and faster what to do? The Karpov Way Never occurs to him he’s going against what he said earlier Whatever works seems to be the lesson Win at all costs If you can fool your opponent who cares how you do itThe thing is he’s clearly a bright focused young man but natural abilities aren’t as easily transferred as this book might suggest He claims to have a natural gift for learning which I think is true but sadly not for teaching And he’s so full of himself it’s astonishing If there’s a chapter where he doesn’t mention there was a film made about him then I must have missed it Now he’s taken up Brazilian jiu jitsu and I can only hope someone gives him the sound thrashing he so richly deserves


  2. says:

    Very good book about achieving world class mastery of a skill and the attendant phenomena like slowing down timeit teeters on mysticism early on but if you get past that there are rewards in sound arguments and interesting observationsSome key highlights using simplifiedlimiting drills to understand key concepts deeplyfluently a very compelling model of skill acuisition as layering one pass at a time your conscious understanding on top of automatic mastery and turning the learned into the automatic the concept of making smaller circles ie mastering something in its slowed down simplified form superimportance of the right coachesenvironment importance of finding new challenge new depth in perfecting the basic skills clear examples of perfecting a throw or chess intuition extreme examples of attention management slowing down time possible example of constraints being liberating making the best of a broken arm to learn to deflect with one and later attack with another great example of ethos of picking the biggest challenge toughest opponent


  3. says:

    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 ualities 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


  4. says:

    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 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 the underlying principals are essentially a mystery 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 effective job of communicating this to readers I say fairly effective because uite honestly some of the conceptual stuff is pretty difficult to translate 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? in much the same way you can read a book one year and get one subset of points from it that resonate with you then read it again the next and get a secondary set despite the content remaining unchanged so it is with explaining intricate conceptual information You will come away understanding only the parts you are ready to understand despite the possibility there's a dearth of additional information there on that front i recommend you read the book and see what you come away with however what i think most people will universally come away with is a strong sense that people like Waitzkin are operating on an entirely different plane of experience than most of us the level of attention to detail discipline commitment and just plain work is far beyond that of the average person and it seems to catapult them to positions where the difference between first place and third is roughly eual to that of third place and not entering a competition skill wise all the advanced conceptual stuff aside it's very hard to come away from this book feeling you've been taking anything at all seriously in your entire life And uite possibly that insight may bring light to a uestion some of carry about why some people seem to be so much productive apparently naturally than the average It also challenges the belief some people are just better at something than others likely some people are focused and committed playing the game whatever game that is on a level that makes 99% of the population look like dilettantes this isn't about type 'A' anality and drive it's about engagement and devotion of the self to some particular thing consistently over long spans of time it's not about working yourself to death in the pursuit of something or labouring endlessly toward a particular deadline or goal it's about an intense fundamental focus on minute but critical parts of process which can elevate one person's performance heads above another 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 engaged 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 they see the problem wrong from the outset because they've not enough experience with problems in general to unify common structural elements and avoid those problems implicitly 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 either 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 leave out Most of us have obligations that supersede our own focus many of us are obligated by the constraints of reality to put our focus in a particular place which may or may not enhance us whether we want to or not because the conseuences of not are felt in very concrete financial terms 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 if i took nothing else away from the book I took a subtle understanding of the mental dynamics involved in being a top level performer which i previously had little insight into 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 techniues as a young chess champion that define his expectations of experience For those of us with a normal upbringing and normal expectation there is the added reuirement of throwing off years of habit experience and perhaps greatest expectation about what a day may contain to ualify as a good day none of this was addressed and perhaps he didn't need to address it 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


  5. says:

    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 interesting 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 chess martial arts or another highly technical subtle and competitive pursuit But despite his claims that his road map for learning can be applied to any discipline the author is unable to illustrate his ideas with examples from outside his own two fields He also does a poor job of pulling the ideas together into specific actionable advice Instead he goes on at length about the philosophy and abstract principles and how they helped him achieve his chess and martial arts goals I kept reading hoping it would get better but it never did Overall a disappointment


  6. says:

    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 chess and push hands martial Tai ChiI was expecting a book that spends a tremendous amount of time on philosophies about learning with examples from his life and othersThere are some thoughts about learning but they feel reflective than prescriptive since this book is really a memoirFrankly the only real think he says about learning is to do so incrementally and to encourage students to think about it as an incremental process vs something that works because either you're good or bad at it He goes through great pains in his own life to separate ego from failure and treats failure as an essential part of the learning process vs a problem in itself 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 thing which I completely agree withAll 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 itHowever he has a lot to say about what it means to become exportworld class at a thing and he says those things while basically giving his life story to age 29 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 learnBoth 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 of his time for than a decade and then Tai Chi is what he did with his time Most of us have jobs kids key relationships to nurture etc that together preclude spending many hours a day on any one thingIn general I'm much much interested in Tim Ferriss's minimum effective dose 8020 fast path to success style than to Waitzkin's obsessive singleminded one thing for years at a time depth Just a personal style as I'd rather do 20 things pretty well than 1 thing world class It's fun


  7. says:

    Most people seem to love this book It was enjoyable but it felt like an autobiography than a book about the learning process You could essentially break his points down into a uick reference card and have just as much scientificanalytic support for them


  8. says:

    Part I The FoundationChapter 1 Innocent MoviesJosh discovers chess in the park Lessons with Bruce first lessons establish camaraderieChapter 2 Losing to WinLoses first nat'l championship Summertime is off to the sea the little breaks from competition are important for success since they allow a new perspective and new energyBack to life he's a mess Bruce realizes he needs fun than chess Wins national tournamentChapter 3 Two Approaches to LearningEntity theorists innate ability skill can't evolve vs incremental theorists hard work Josh began by focusing on endgame first focus king pawn vs king opponents on opening variations winning fast and easily entity theorists big fish in small pond afraid of breaking illusion of excellence Analogy if gymnast always thinks that must have perfect body ready for performance how to handle injuries or life after gymnastics career?Chapter 4 Losing the GameStyle on chessboard is direct expression of personalityChapter 5 The Soft Zone Lose YourselfEarthuake in the zonehigher state of consciousness He starts looking at nuance pyschology or how to trigger states of creative flow His first step is learning to avoid getting districted by random eventsChapter 6 The Downward SpiralDon't let mistakes end up in a spiral of Chapter 7 Changing VoiceStarted training with a new teacher who wanted him to become conservative After tournaments where he had positions he didn't understand or where he made mistakes he'd enter the moves into a computer note thought processes and emotions at the time and analyze these positionsChapter 8 Breaking StallionsChild has no fear if you fall off just get back on AS you get older fear of injury falls are humiliating Key to high level learning is a resilient awareness that is the older conscious embodiment of a child's playful obliviousnessRelationship to your pursuit must stay in harmony with your disposition Parallel how for lifetime rock guitarist to learn classical music? 1 From classical composer who despises rock n' roll or 2 ex rocker who fell inn love w classical music? Mind defines things in relation to 1 another eg what's light wo dark??Part IIChapter 9 Beginner's MindReads On the Road The Dharma Bums meditation Tao Te Ching Tai Chi Push HandsChapter 10 Investment in LossI have long believed that if a student of virtually any discipline could avoid ever repeating the same mistake twice both technical and psychological he or she would skyrocket to the top of their field Of course such a feat is impossible we are bound to repeat thematic errors if only because many themes are elusive and difficult to pinpoint For example in my chess career I didn't realize I was faltering in transitional moments until many months of study brought the pattern to light So the aim is to minimize repetition as much as possible by having an eye for consistent psychological and technical themes of errorAllow yourself not to be at peak performance so that you can learntry new things to improveChapter 11 Making Smaller CirclesDepth breadth Complete mastery of basic skill setChapter 12 Using AdversityBreaks right hand forced to cultivate weaker sideChapter 13 Slowing Down TimeImportance of really knowing the fundamentals to internalize them as building blocksChapter 14 The Illusion of the MysticalPsychological manipulationbattles You can take advantage of your opponents' blinks eg by noticing perhaps subconsciously that his cheek twitches before he blinksPart III Bringing it all TogetherChapter 15 The Power of PresenceAlways be clearheadedChapter 16 Searching for the ZoneLearns how to maintain long term healthy self sustaining peak performance Don't have to hold state of feverish concentration every second of chess game renewed energy Just need brief recovery periodimprove ability to recoverStress recovery Interval workChapter 17 Building Your TriggerBeing able to trigger moments of intense concentrationperformanceChapter 18 Making SandalsConvert passionsanger into fuelChapter 19 Bringing it all TogetherAt the highest levels of any competitive discipline everyone is great So you need to take advantage of your uniue specialtiesChapter 20 TaiwanCompetition details


  9. says:

    Around 10 years ago i've read a book by Polish author Jacek Santorski It was called Humans against humans I vaguely recall it now but one idea stuck with me throughout the yearsHe digressed into it by saying i'm paraphrasing that economic reserves in developed countries are shrinking so there will be less room to manouver for people that are focused on experiencing without contribution The rest of us will have to embrace something he called The way of the Samurai with much uncertainty and performance expectations for business executives that were reserved to top athlethes The book was published in 1997 That's impressive foresightThis thought came back to me multiple times when i've read Waitzkin's book It was one of my most meta readings in recent years Waitzkin is trying to synthesise his competition and performance experience from Chess and Martial Arts so that it becomes universal and applicable to other areas of life in which we need to perform on highest levels He knows what he is talking about He was among the best in the world in both those areasIf you are just starting out this is probably not the right time to read this book But if you have 3510 years of experience and looking for new frames on how you can be better at what you do this is the right book for you I bet that people who are into chess or martial arts i'm not would get even value and fun out of it Thank you Bartek Pucek for recommending me this one


  10. says:

    As someone who has been seriously involved in a highly mental competitive sport since the age of nine I deeply related to so many of Josh Waitzkin's experiences and mental strategies he's developed While the level of fame I have realized so far? is very small when compared to Josh's and only exists within a small circle of competitors and enthusiasts my struggle to excel in competition parallels so much of what Josh describes from the mistake of denying emotions completely leading to collapse of techniue under pressure to breakthroughs of thought when success feels easy There is a dynamic flow of energy emotion and thoughts that one becomes very aware of when involved in high level competition and is very difficult if possible to ever master It is a skill that reuires constant evaluation and effort to move toward the focus and confidence that will allow a competitor to win This book provides excellent stories and philosophical tools that will assist one's progress on that endless path of learning any skill by learning about yourself and improving your ability to win It doesn't matter whether it's in chess and Tai Chi like Waitzkin or anything else competitive in your life I believe this is a highly worthwhile read


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