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Discover ‘The Art of Learning’
‘The Art of Learning’ A Child Prodigy Rethinks Success
This is a book about a journey. It chronicles a life of international chess tournaments, high-stakes martial arts competitions, a boy who found too much success, and the man who had to relearn everything because of it. Yes, “The Art of Learning” reads like a gripping, emotional memoir, but make no mistake — Josh Waitzkin’s work doubles as an effective guide for business owners striving to attain perfection in their fields. Josh Waitzkin’s name will be familiar to longtime chess fans and movie buffs alike. As a child prodigy, Waitzkin won his first national chess title at age 9, which quickly made him an international sensation. His father, Fred Waitzkin, wrote the renowned book “Searching for Bobby Fischer,” chronicling his young son’s journey into the world of chess. This then inspired the movie of the same name. Now, one does not normally think of child prodigies as being great sources of insight into finding success. By definition, prodigies are exceptional — exceptions who operate on a different playing field than most. But Waitzkin firmly positions his journey through the chess world as the antithesis of what he calls “the art of learning.” As the author states, “The moment we believe that success is determined by an ingrained level of ability as opposed to resilience
and hard work, we will be brittle in the face of
adversity.” Waitzkin was very gifted at chess, and he didn’t have to push himself early on, but by the time he did find challenging opponents, he found loss and adaptation impossible to handle. It wasn’t until he stepped out of the rigid grids of chess and into the flowing movements of tai chi that Waitzkin was able to formulate a guide to success.
Appropriately subtitled “An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance,” Waitzkin’s story of grappling with childhood stardom and climbing the brackets of the tai chi chuan circuit is full of wisdom applicable to anyone looking to achieve mastery in their field. With compelling personal anecdotes and a unique perspective on what success really looks like, “The Art of Learning” is a fresh, vibrant addition to the personal development genre.
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