The Art of Learning — Summary and Application

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Q1: Why did the author write this book?

“What I have realized is that what I am best at is not Tai Chi, and it is not chess — what I am best at is the art of learning. This book is the story of my method.” –Josh Waitzkin

“It is my hope that you, the reader, emerge from this book inspired and perhaps a bit more enabled to follow your dreams in a manner that is consistent with the unique gifts you bring to the table.” –Josh Waitzkin

Q2: What are the main ideas for teachers?

“Champions are specialists who styles emerge from profound awareness of their unique strengths, and who are exceedingly skilled at guiding the battle in that direction” –Josh Waitzkin

Q3: What are the main ideas for learners?

“Tactics come easy once principles are in the blood.” –Josh Waitzkin

“If you’ve ever watched some of the most explosive hitters in the boxing world, for instance Mike Tyson or Muhammad Ali, you’ve seen fights where knockouts look completely unrealistic. Sometimes you have to watch in slow motion, over and over again, to see any punch at all.” –Josh Waitzkin

“Investment in loss is giving yourself to the learning process.” –Josh Waitzkin

“Growth comes at the expense of previous comfort or safety.” –Josh Waitzkin

“The Soft Zone is resilient, like a flexible blade of grass that can move with and survive hurricane-force winds.” –Josh Waitzkin

“The point to this system of creating your own trigger is that a physiological connection is formed between the routine and the activity it precedes. Dennis was always present when playing ball with his son, so all we had to do was set up a routine that become linked to that state of mind…Once the routine is internalized, it can be used before any activity and a similar state of mind will emerge.” — Josh Waitzkin

“In virtually every discipline, one of the most telling features of a dominant performer is the routine use of recovery periods. People who are able to relax in brief moments of inactivity are almost always the ones who end up coming through when the game is on the line.” –Josh Waitzkin

“If you are at work and find yourself running out of mental stamina, take a break, wash your face, and come back renewed.” –Josh Waitzkin

“Handling dirty tricks is a part of the game.” –Josh Waitzkin

Q4: How have I applied this book in my life?

Q5: What is my opinion of the book?

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