One of the best books on the art of learning I’ve read is, well, The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin.
Josh is a champion in two distinct sports – chess and martial arts. He is an eight-time US national chess champion, thirteen-time Tai Chi Chuan push hands national champion, and two-time Tai Chi Chuan push hands world champion.
In his book, Josh recounts his experiences and shares his insights and approaches on how you can learn and excel in your own life’s passion, using examples from his personal life. Through stories of martial arts wars and tense chess face-offs, Josh reveals the inner workings of his everyday methods, cultivating the most powerful techniques in any field, and mastering the psychology of peak performance.
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One of my favourite chapters from Josh’s book is titled – Making Smaller Circles – which stresses on the fact that it’s rarely a mysterious technique that drives us to the top, but rather a profound mastery of what may well be a basic skillset.
Josh starts this chapter with the story of the protagonist in Robert Pirsig’s book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. This man is Phaedrus, a teacher, who in this particular scene is reaching out to his student who is all jammed up when given the assignment to write a five-hundred-word story about her town, Bozeman.[Read more…] about Small Circles: The Theory of Mastery in the Art of Learning and Investing