Tyson Strauser's Reviews > The Art of Learning: A Journey in the Pursuit of Excellence

The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin
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's review
Nov 03, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: behavioral, investing, strategy, process

Waitzkin provides the reader with a better understanding of how to create an environment for peak performance in stressful, competitive situations.

I found the discussion around creating a trigger insightful. Josh teaches us to prepare for competition with a routine that puts us in the optimal mindset to perform well.

He teaches us how to use emotionally charged situations to sharpen our awareness under intense pressure. He reminds us that we need to practice organizing information mentally so we can be comfortable living in the middle of chaotic situations.

He tells us "the key to pursuing excellence is to embrace an organic, long-term learning process, and not to live in a shell of static, safe mediocrity. Usually growth comes at the expense of previous comfort or safety."

He argues that depth of understanding will serve us better than breadth during competition. While having a wide range of skills is useful, he argues that intense, creative, unconscious insight evolves from a state of deep understanding of the fundamentals of the competitive landscape we are engaging.

He stresses that, between activities, top performers are able to release tension and relax so that they can quickly rejuvenate for the next battle.

Above all, he teaches the principle of "flow" through the study of "numbers to leave numbers." His fundamental principle is that we must ingrain the systems and structure, the essence of the problem we are trying to solve, into intuition through constant, repetitive practice of our craft. Over time, the constant flow becomes a part of our nature so that stepping up in critical moments is a natural process.

Very deep thinking, this is a must read for those interested in improving sustainable concentration during competition.

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