I recently attended The Big Read in Barcelona and we read The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin. Ironically, I found that the art of learning from this book was attending a book club where I read it separately and then discussed with the others. Getting different perspectives and live experiences enhanced what I took from the book.
In his book he details his journey from world chess champion at a young age to becoming a world champion in Tai Chi Chuan. His book describes his experiences and how he has developed his mind and body to peak performance in two seemingly unrelated disciplines.
The author has had a very interesting life and I enjoyed reading about his accomplishments and experiences in the competitive worlds of Chess and Tai Chi. I wasn´t sure that I could relate to his experiences and put his style of learning into my own life, however, after meeting with the book club and discussing the book with others I left with a different perspective.
An important skill that the author has been able to master is how to keep calm under stressful conditions. If we can prevent ourselves from being thrown off by our emotions and learn to flow with them, the physiological responses they produce in us can help us defeat obstacles. He did this by observing, understanding and developing a tolerance for inner turmoil and using it to his advantage.
Being able to handle life´s upsets without losing our joy and enthusiasm for learning and achievement is something that everyone can apply to their daily life and learn from this book.
Linda Monetta, April 30th, 2013