Monday, 29 October 2007

The Art of Learning

My last entry was inspired by an observation I heard Stephen Pierce make about playing the game of tic tac toe or noughts and crosses, as we call the game here in the UK. No sooner had I posted the article than I received an invitation from Dave Lakhani, author of "Persuasion: The Art of Getting What You Want" to listen to an interview he was hosting with international Chess Master, Josh Waitzkin. Coincidence? There's been a lot of that happening in my life recently. Anyway, I digress.

I'm almost ashamed to admit that I'd never heard of Josh Waitzkin but after listening to the interview I certainly want to get inside his head. It was an excellent interview and one of the subjects it focused was the importance of the lessons learnt from our mistakes, and the bigger the mistake the bigger the opportunity for learning.

He also talked about transferring knowledge from one area to another which, on the surface, may seem completely unrelated. It's that ability to see the inter-connectivity of life. For instance, he is also a Tai Chi Chuan champion and he described how he used the lesson he learnt from what was, at the time, a devastating defeat in a chess championship to win a Tai Chi Chuan championship with a broken hand and against an opponent who was 70 pounds heavier than he.

He also discusses the importance of focusing in on one or two key elements at a time and mastering these rather trying to cope with too many things. Something we know intellectually but something we don't always stick too. I can't do the interview justice here so please listen to it for yourself.

You can check out the interview at the link below this blog. Be sure to give it your undivided attention.

Josh Waitzkin's latest book is called "The Art of Learning: A Journey in the Pursuit of Excellence". Of course, I haven't read it as yet and so I'm not in a position to recommend it personally but it's certainly going onto my 'must-read' list. However, Dave Lakhani rates this book highly and said he has given away about 50 copies.

Again do listen to the interview it truly contains some gems of wisdom that will help you to enhance your learning and your journey to greatness.

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