July 1, 2017

The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin

The Big Idea: focus on fundamental principles and foundational movements until they are unconscious.

  • Tao Te Ching is a life changer.
  • I’ve been keeping journals of my chess study since I was twelve.
  • Eventually, the foundation is so deeply internalized that it’s no longer conscious.
  • The boating life has also been a wonderful training ground for performance psychology.
  • Carol Dweck says that winners have a growth mindset, vs a fixed mindset.
  • The risk of a process-first mentality is no importance placed on the outcome at all.
  • A man wants to walk across the land, but the earth is covered with thorns.  He has two options – one is to pave his road, to tame all of nature into compliance. The other is to make sandals.
  • Become at peace with noise and distraction.
  • Beginners who memorize moves lose their composure under adversity.
  • Leave numbers to numbers. Learn the fundamentals and then strive to make them unconscious.
  • Learn to meditate.  Study Qigong.
  • Have a beginner’s mind and be willing to invest in loss.
  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
  • Learn the micro to understand the macro.
  • Common beginner mistake: taking on too much at once.
  • It can take months or years to perfect the right straight punch.
  • Depth beats breadth.
  • Embrace adversity (injury, loss) as an opportunity for improvement.
  • The Grandmaster looks at less, not more. He is aware of more, but focused on less.
  • With training and experience, you will learn to anticipate your opponent’s moves.
  • Interval training (sprint + recovery) is a critical building block to peak performance.
  • Create a trigger that will put you in a state of high performance.  (Music, food, warmups)
  • Instead of trying to block out emotions in the heat of battle, just be comfortable with them.
  • Record and watch yourself on video.