The Art of Learning

The Art of Learning - by Josh Waitzkin #

Date Read: 2019-01-09 #

Notes #

Fame = emptiness

Unhindered by internal conflict - develop your technical skills in a way that fits your disposition

Confidence is critical for a great competitor, but overconfidence is brittle.

all situations can be handled as long as presence of mind is maintained.

respond to heartbreak with hard work - self motivation with a powerful resolve. (passion for the game > fear of failure)

resilience, ability to make connections between diverse pursuits, and day-to-day enjoyment of the process.

“entity theorists” vs “learning theorists” “entity theorists” - “I am good at this”, ability is unalterable “learning theorists” - “I got it because I worked very hard”, difficult material can be grasped incrementally

“entity theorists” - far more brittle, vulnerable to being helpless because of a need to live up to a perfectionist image (that is easily and inevitably shattered).

The key to pursuing excellence is to embrace a organic, long-term learning process, and not to live in a shell of static, safe mediocrity.

In the long run, painful losses prove much more valuable than wins - with a healthy attitude and able to draw wisdom from every experience good or bad

Study and master a simplified end-game with fewer components before adding complexity of more pieces.

You have to put yourself on the line to improve, where it feels uncomfortable, where you do not know all the answers. At the same time, win enough to maintain confidence. But don’t push yourself so hard that you break down.

not denying your emotions in the moment.

mentally reset to stop spiraling down.

Find what puts you in the zone and build a ritual to enter it.

Faster recovery - doing HIIT

Being so good that you can be aware of more things in the moment. By building up your mental map of the place based on mastery of fundamentals. Be wary of fanciful techniques.

When you have “won”, recognize that the beauty of those roses lies in their transience. Eventually, everything will feel “normal”

High performance - can you be playful like a child yet have resilient awareness?

When in a period of flux, growth, allow yourself periods for cultivation.

Be aware, be humble and open to learn. Have to not be afraid that people are watching

When searching for the top, you need a searching engaged mind, making obstacles to spur you to creative new angles in the learning process. Be wary of going through the motions

“Soon enough, learning becomes unlearning. The stronger chess player is often the one who is less attached to a dogmatic interpretation of the principles.” “Learning chess at this level becomes sitting with paradox, being at peace with and navigating the tension of competing truths, letting go any notion of solidity.”

Becoming a master in solitary pursuits (e.g. writing) is even harder, without the constant external reinforcement.

Learn to flow with distraction -> learn to recreate inspiring settings internally