- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 7 hours and 55 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Tim Ferriss
- Audible.com Release Date: April 1, 2014
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00JE2WEEK
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance Audible – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
You may recall that Josh Waitzkin was the main character in the best selling book and popular movie, "Searching for Bobby Fischer." As a chess prodigy, he received intense publicity and attention, which wore thin on him as he progressed into his late teens and early 20s. Even though he was a top level chess player, the pace of his progression did not advance to the point where he was challenging Garry Kasparov or anyone else for the world championship. Being under the microscope became tiring, so he shifted his focus into tai chi.
This book is an unusual and difficult one to categorize. It is part autobiography, part chess memoir, part martial arts philosophy. Essentially, Waitzkin offers his own approach to becoming a student and applying certain disciplines and habits toward learning and eventually mastering any skill. Your mileage may vary, but for a 29 year old, Waitzkin's insights seem mature beyond his years. It is almost unfair for a young person to be so accomplished and insightful, and I mean that as a complement.
In many ways, "The Art of Learning" reminded me of "Flow" by Mihaly Csiksentmihaly. Focusing on the task and hand in getting better at it rather than obsessing over results and outcomes can be a liberating experience, paving the way toward learning and eventual mastery.
Whether you are a chess player or martial arts practitioner, "The Art of Learning" is a very effective study in one approach to building your skills in any realm. The book could have benefited from both an index and bullet-point suggestions for the reader, but these are minor quibbles regarding what is an excellent book.
“Not only do we have to be good at waiting, we have to love it. Because waiting is not waiting, it is life.”
Things I did not enjoy much, his disdainful criticism of Mark Dvoretsky (a giant chess trainer) and sometimes his elaboration on personal details that do not serve a clear purpose in the scope of this presentation. I found describing Mark’s habits of eating and talking is very disrespectful and does not serve the context at all.
Overall I recommend reading this book for those who want to learn something about fruitful living of life.