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The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance [Paperback]

Josh Waitzkin
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 6.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

18 July 2008
In THE ART OF LEARNING, Waitzkin offers an inside look at two of the world's most intense subcultures while also sharing the principles at the core of his success. One must focus on long-term goals, Waitzkin argues, instead of the immediate thrill of victory or crush of defeat, enduring the difficult periods that result in growth to reach higher levels of achievement. As the details of his life are unfolding, Waitzkin explains how these principles apply to his own story, creating a narrative that is as inspiring and instructional as it is gripping.

Frequently Bought Together

The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance + The Obstacle is the Way: The Ancient Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage + Daily Rituals: How Great Minds Make Time, Find Inspiration, and Get to Work
Price For All Three: 22.02

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: The Free Press; Reprint edition (18 July 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743277465
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743277464
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14.2 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"This is a really superb book, one I wish someone had given to me long ago. The title is accurate -- at a profound level, it's about real learning from hard conflict rather than from disinterested textbooks. It will take a ferocious interruption to make you put this book down." -- Robert Pirsig, author of "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintainance"

About the Author

Josh Waitzkin, an 8-time National Chess Champion in his youth, was the subject of the book and movie, Searching for Bobby Fischer. At 18, he published his first book, Josh Waitzkin's Attacking Chess. Since the age of 20, he has developed and been spokesperson for Chessmaster, the largest computer chess program in the world, currently in its 10th edition. Now a martial arts champion, he holds a combined 21 National Championship

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A fun read, but probably not a life changer. 20 Jun 2008
Format:Paperback
I should start off by saying that I quite liked this book, but that it's probably not one I'd return to again and again.

Firstly, the good: the book is very well written; Waitzkin comes across as a likable character, and quite humble for someone who has so obviously been a high achiever in his chosen field. He does offer some good insights, in terms of being aware of the individual's underlying nature when learning and not trying to force onself down a path that contradicts that. Plus, the stories used to illustrate his points are largely engaging.

Where I think the book was disappointing, for me at least, was that a great deal of the observations about what makes a top performer (learning from mistakes, concentrating on gaining a deep understanding etc.) are, if not self-evident, then at least variations on things that have been written about elsewhere.

nevertheless, definitely worth a look.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book for re-reading 11 Jun 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
One day I somehow stumbled upon a video on youtube where Josh Waitzkin mentioned some ideas, that are explained in more detail in the book. That was a very happy moment - the depth of thought made me realize how much there is for me to learn, how little I know - that’s like someone would come to me and say - hey, let’s have this amazing journey, that you haven't been yet and you didn’t know about.
At that moment I immediately knew that I am going to need to read this book. And so, I have read it now.
The book is personal story of Josh Waitzkin’s experience becoming a champ is chess and Tai Chi. While reading this story I was able to take many notes on the learning process and find personal advice in exploring my strengths and weaknesses. The book is also very inspirational.
The story is easy to read (english is not my first language) and easy enough to comprehend. It is exciting to read, it is exciting to talk about, and it will be exciting to read it again - I will read this book again, I might have missed something.
The book isn’t an easy answer to complex question - if you are looking for a book that gives an advice like, “how to become a millionaire with no effort”, you will be disappointed. But this book is much better choice.
I would suggest this book to everyone in competitive fields (sports, business), to everyone in creative professions, and also to every parent and teacher.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Easy read but not that enlightening 25 Sep 2008
A Kid's Review
Format:Paperback
Josh Waitzkin's The Art of Learning is an easy book to read. Waitzkin writes with a fluent style and fills his pages with anecdotes. What the book lacks however is true insight into the learning process. There are no real concrete actions a reader can take to become a better learner, it all just remains fuzzy and vague and never truly coalesces into a coherent vision.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Makes you think about how you learn 16 July 2013
By Wizzle
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Others have criticised this book as being more of a biography than a book which tells you how to learn. Although the book is presented in the narrative of the authors life, I think anyone who has attempted to learn a particular game or skill can very much relate to what the author is saying, its very easy to draw parallels between what is described in the book and your attempts to get good at something.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended for anyone 27 Jun 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Brilliant book in the way of mental training intertwined with Waitzkin's exceptional life story. Echoing others, I can see why anyone who "competes" in anything, or anyone at all, would gain anything from reading it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing read!!! Was not what I expected! 21 Mar 2010
By Ekowi
Format:Paperback
This my first review ever on Amazon after probably almost a decade as a customer and dozens of books. I saw this recommended to be read by beginners to financial trading. I couldnt see the connection but it appeared to be an interesting book and I had a 16 hour return flight coming up.

I'm not going to wax lyrical about the content because other reviews have done that already. Suffice to say that if there is a discipline, job, or art that you are really keen to excel in and are truly drawn to - you will begin to see a clear road to achieving your goal and start to be much more aware of your innate powerful abilities. And be wonderfully entertained while your subconscious is being reprogrammed!

I plan to re-read it several times.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By Rolf Dobelli TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Author Josh Waitzkin has mastered two complex, esoteric disciplines: chess and tai chi, a martial art. He won national chess titles as a youth, and national and world championships in "push hands," or partner tai chi. In this book he presents his theories about learning and high level performance, using as a case study his own rise to excellence in highly competitive sports. Even without the theoretical speculation his story is engaging - but his theories make the book useful to anyone trying to learn a new skill. getAbstract recommends it to those who wish to raise their level of performance, find out about mind-body connections or enjoy a good story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 6 July 2014
By ALdR
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent story and a good tips to learn new skills
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good. I advise you to read
Good . I advise you to read it
Published 11 days ago by Abdullah .j. Almogherag
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Another pressy.
Published 21 days ago by Lynette Birch
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENCE
An excellent book on the subject of excellence and peak performance, viewed through the prism of Waitzkin's own experiences and achievements. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jet Lagged
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating insight into elite level thinking
whilst delving into complex topics the book never feels cumbersome or like dredging through a work book. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Samantha Fowler
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
Very good book about learning in general. Found the book difficult to put down and really found it helpful in my learning also as it really simplified the process.
Published 4 months ago by Rhys Henson
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book!
This is a well written and fascinating book, chronicling one man's journey of learning and how we can potentially all do a more effective and efficient job of pursuing excellence... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This is one of the most important books I have read. However to fully appreciate it you need to give yourself time to read it slowly and think about what you just read. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Maciej
2.0 out of 5 stars overrated boo
this book is over rated.

really be careful and think twice before buying it, you will not get such incredible benefits to be honest...
Published 9 months ago by jacopo
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book, but not a favourite!
I found the book fairly interesting as a reflection from a chess and tai-chi champion on the journey it takes to master a field of knowledge or expertise. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Ponchito Tello
5.0 out of 5 stars Great autobiography
This book is about self development and teaches us the way to improve ourselves through what matters to us. I love (auto)biographies in general and truly enjoyed reading this book.
Published 15 months ago by olivier sainson
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