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  • The Art of Learning

  • An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance
  • By: Josh Waitzkin
  • Narrated by: Josh Waitzkin
  • Length: 7 hrs and 55 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (766 ratings)

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The Art of Learning cover art

The Art of Learning

By: Josh Waitzkin
Narrated by: Josh Waitzkin
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Summary

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."

The Art of Learning takes listeners 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.

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 pause-resisting narrative.

©2007 Josh Waitzkin LLC (P)2014 Tim Ferriss

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What listeners say about The Art of Learning

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Good content

Would you listen to The Art of Learning again? Why?

The key content is interspersed throughout a long book. I'd want to listen again and take notes at key points.

Any additional comments?

The book tells the story of Josh's life, focusing on his mastery of chess and taichi.
It's a really inspiring and interesting life story. His perspective is fascinating to hear, he works incredibly hard at things and then deconstructs why he failed\succeeded at them so he can perform better the next time round. He approaches it with an analytical mindset, but also has an appreciation for meditation and eastern philosophy.

The minor negative to this book is that the information is not always explicitly stated, it's interspersed throughout a very long story, so while I enjoyed the book, I will need to listen again and make notes to recount the key points he mentions and actually make sure to focus on them in my life.

If you're a fan of Tim Ferriss you will likely appreciate this book. The last hour of the recording also has a podcast where Josh is being interviewed by Tim.

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6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Intriguing

Really enjoyed the book and found every chapter engrossing. only slight issue was that I found myself switching off for moments when it came over a bit too hippyish for me. This is probably more of a character flaw of my own though as I learnt (while thinking about this book so maybe it actually deserves 6 stars) that it's simply another way of viewing things. Recommend highly

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Life improving

Awesome story of Josh's life. Full of potentially life-improving lessons. A must listen. I'll be listening to it again to take it all in.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

brilliant book

Great book really enjoyed it found it very griping and insightful podcast at end is very good too took some real gems of advice

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Gem of a book. I really loved this.

I’ve given this the full 5 stars which I don’t often do. It has such a nice original style and is a lovely example of a man’s deeply interesting life and lessons learned put down on paper. This book is simple in its telling but so deep in its message. I love personal development and this is my new favourite. Go listen or read

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

brilliant a great insight to chess and the martial

a great insight to chess and the martial arts
enjoy the listen and make a change

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing book

What made the experience of listening to The Art of Learning the most enjoyable?

The way the book followed, tips and tricks, interesting stories

What did you like best about this story?

The concept of mastering anything you set your mind too

Which character – as performed by Josh Waitzkin – was your favourite?

Josh

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

method of learning and the tools and techniques used

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I loved it

If you really sit with this book... You'll grow exponentially. Highly recommended, well worth the read

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Deeply inspiring and thought provoking.

Josh is not only a brilliant chess player and tai chi master but, as it turns out, an excellent writer (and reader) too. This book blends a gripping true story (not unlike The Karate Kid) but an inspiring guide for improving your own approach to learning. Great stuff. One of the best books I've read this year.

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3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Brilliant

Excellent book gives a great insight to what is going on in his head and what it takes to become the best at something

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1 person found this helpful