The Art of Learning

An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance

    • 4.4 • 267 Ratings
    • $13.99
    • $13.99

Publisher Description

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.

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.”

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.

Biographies & Memoirs
May 8
Free Press

Customer Reviews

JvtheSWEET ,

Suspenseful and inspiring

This is truly a masterpiece! A journey through trials and triumph that not only drives your attention but drives you to become better at your craft. Loved it!

Aalush ,

Pure Inspiration

Like a compass towards excellence, this book illustrates the secrets of mastery while providing a unique glimpse into the the worlds of mental and martial arts. By revealing the underlining themes of learning, practice, and presence this book becomes an inspiring reference manual to anyone seeking to pursue greatness.

stevenstanley33 ,

The Fundamentals

Joshua Waitzkins book, The Art of Learning is a very well written book that allows readers to discover the fundamental principles that govern learning. Josh shows how to internalize these principles and apply them in reaching the top of virtually any field. I recommend this book to anyone with the drive to get better, and find happiness in the quest for that perfection that is truly never ending.

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