The Art of Learning

The Art of Learning

A Journey in the Pursuit of Excellence

Book - 2007
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Baker & Taylor
A child chess champion and Tai Chi Chuan world champion describes his journies to the top, sharing the lessons he has learned and identifying key principles about learning and performance that readers can apply to their life goals.

& Taylor

An eight-time national chess champion and world champion martial artist shares the lessons he has learned from two very different competitive arenas, identifying key principles about learning and performance that readers can apply to their life goals. 50,000 first printing.

Simon and Schuster
Josh 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 best at is the art of learning."

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 -- twice.

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 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 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 techniques 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 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 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.

Publisher: New York : Free Press, c2007
ISBN: 9780743277457
Branch Call Number: 613.7148 WAI
Characteristics: xix, 265 p. : ill. ; 24 cm


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Oct 24, 2018

"The best ideas are other people's!"

Learn the art of learning from a genius kid who's mastered it.
This is not just a biographical account of a youthful chess master.
It is detailed insight into THE ART OF LEARNING itself, and an excellent
reference book for anyone dedicated to personal achievement at a
high level. Learn how to learn better!

A superbly well-written book by an extraordinary individual - should
be read and reread several times a year.

Jul 17, 2018

What a fantastic book. Really, this should be rebranded as a sports book with in-depth analysis along the way, like watching a journey to greatness and principles to help you achieve that greatness given enough hard work. The championship match at the end is nothing short of amazing and reminds me of Rocky battling Creed at the end of the movie Rocky. Read it if you love chess, martial arts, sports, determination, or sheer human excellence.

Nov 08, 2017

Interesting read of this man's life and the learning techniques that allowed him to grow in two somewhat disparate fields. Definitely a couple of techniques that I will see if I can implement into my own learning.

Jun 19, 2015

The most important insight I gathered from this book was the idea of "making small circles." This means going deep on a specific skill or topic that provides insight into the whole domain. This is consistent with my own experience in learning and is a great description that makes it easy to remember.


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