Have you ever wondered what goes on in the mind of an elite performer? Waitzkin, an international chess master at 16, is able to describe in fascinating detail and clarity how the mind of a Grandmaster works, and even more impressively, how the thinking of a Grandmaster differs from that of a mere expert.
Through careful introspection and valuable coaching, Josh grew up internalizing not just the skills of playing chess, but the skills of learning itself. At the age of 16 he was an international master and one of the most well-known chess players in the world. You might recognize the first chapter in his life from the movie Searching For Bobby Fischer. The popularity he gained helped alienate him in a way from the game he had devoted his life to up to this point, and he retired.
After spending time abroad and considering his next move, he joined a Tai Chi martial arts school and after just a couple years of training, he advanced from a beginner to winning a 2004 world championship title in Thailand, where he was faced with intense competition and unethical judges determined to prevent foreigners from victory. He later earned a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Marcelo Garcia.
Waitzkin gives us an introspective analysis of his performance ability and mindset growing up, and his theories on learning are woven neatly with the narrative of his life growing up in competitive sports. Discover what was going on in his mind as an eleven year old boy, sitting across from one of the greatest chess players of all time, as he fought to harness his emotions, flow with the distractions all around him, and persevere through hours of intense concentration and mind games. Learn how he was able to take the skills he honed in chess translate them directly into martial arts, an emphasis on the importance of learning as a the ultimate and fundamental meta skill.
The Art of Learning fundamentally changed my perspective on learning. On a broader level, the book helped inspire and motivate me to take greater responsibility and ownership of my life.
If you are interested in how the mind of an elite performer works, and want to unlock your own potential to compete at a higher level, check it out.