Josh Waitzkin

Type :

25/03/2020, 11:01:36

Interview 'how to cram 2 months of learning into 1 day'

MIQ stands for Most Important Question training.

Ever night before going to bed think about a problem that's really important, write it down; don't do this right before bed do it a little before, go to sleep without stressing about it; the next moorning, pre-input (so before any kind of external stimulation) try solve the problem. Hemmingway would be doing some creative writing and then let go of it.

Before you go to the bathroom ask yourself a question (in the mirror) - the most important one. Then just take a shit without looking at your phone and then get back to the question.

29/03/2020, 13:58:42

the art of learning

I felt as though I had transferred the essence of my chess understanding into my Tai Chi practice. But this didn’t make much sense, especially outside of my own head.

Transfer learning

A chess student must initially become immersed in the fundamentals in order to have any potential to reach a high level of skill. He or she will learn the principles of endgame, middlegame, and opening play. Initially one or two critical themes will be considered at once, but over time the intuition learns to integrate more and more principles into a sense of flow. Eventually the foundation is so deeply internalized that it is no longer consciously considered, but is lived. This process continuously cycles along as deeper layers of the art are soaked in.

Okay fine but how am I suppose to do that !

In order to write for beginners, I had to break down my chess knowledge incrementally, whereas for years I had been cultivating a seamless integration of the critical information.

Okay this gives me more confidence that I'd quite like to teach math after undergrad.

Over time I began to see the principles that have been silently guiding me, and a systematic methodology of learning emerged.

Yes there is a method but it's alot easier to have walked it than to walk it, like with hindsight my migranes were a fun learning expeirence but in the moment it was just pain.

A lifetime of competition has not cooled my ardor to win, but I have grown to love the study and training above all else. After so many years of big games, performing under pressure has become a way of life. Presence under fire hardly feels different from the presence I feel sitting at my computer, typing these sentences.

Okay if I can achieve this sense of presence then I can do my undergrad easy without freaking out. "performing under pressure" is what I want to get good at, by this I just mean study normally with the normal pressures of every-day university life. Perhaps the answer is just that I need to accept that there will be losses and that they will string, but like the migranes they might come back, pain is made to be experienced fully, think of your anscestors who would live in the cold and in pain etc. What I need above all else is to accept that the future is gonna be hard and challenging, accept that and this will give me strength, that's not to say it'll be bad, but that whatever happens even if I am highly successful, in fact even if I am highly successful whatever success is there will always be self doubt and and all of the other shit!

29/03/2020, 15:09:58

He had to teach me to be more disciplined without dampening my love for chess or suppressing my natural voice. Many teachers have no feel for this balance and try to force their students into cookie-cutter molds. I have run into quite a few egomaniacal instructors like this over the years and have come to believe that their method is profoundly destructive for students in the long run

Fortunately, Bruce’s educational philosophy fit my character perfectly. He didn’t present himself as omniscient, and he handled himself as more of a guide in my development than as an authority. If I disagreed with him, we would have a discussion, not a lecture.

so bruce understands these things and is a masterful negotiator - this is what eq is.

Perhaps the most decisive element of my game was the way my style on the board was completely in synch with my personality as a child. I was unhindered by internal conflict—a state of being that I have come to see as fundamental to the learning process.

Confidence is critical for a great competitor, but overconfidence is brittle.

I wonder how to cultivate a deep sense of confidence that is at once realistic and ambitious.

I have come to understand that these little breaks from the competitive intensity of my life have been and still are an integral part of my success. Times at sea are periods of renewal, coming together with family, being with nature, putting things back in perspective. I am able to let my conscious mind move away from my training, and to gain creative new angles on the next steps of my growth.

There have been many years when leaving my New York life felt like career suicide—my chess rivals were taking lessons and competing in every weekend tournament while I was on a boat crashing through big waves. But I would come back with new ideas and a full tank of energy and determination.

These are gumption renewing intervals. This is what scouts did for me.

chapter three : two approaches to learning

29/03/2020, 15:44:39

Two questions arise. First, what is the difference that allows some to fit into that narrow window to the top? And second, what is the point? If ambition spells probable disappointment, why pursue excellence? In my opinion, the answer to both questions lies in a well-thought-out approach that inspires resilience, the ability to make connections between diverse pursuits, and day-to-day enjoyment of the process. The vast majority of motivated people, young and old, make terrible mistakes in their approach to learning. They fall frustrated by the wayside while those on the road to success keep steady on their paths.

Fundamentally. 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.

Well that's definitley what I want to do, so how do I do it already! Let think a little. Embrace an organic, long-term learning process... Organic, how can I turn my classes at McGill which are the oposite of organic, they are structured, the only organic aspect of university comes from personal projects and interactions with teachers during office hours. I have had this idea in the back of my mind which is extremely ambitious and so-far has not been working: to use each class as a kind of seed for organic learning. As much as possible already I think I try to learn organically, so I do the problems that interest me at my own pace practically always, however I am lagging behind in QM for instance and kind of all around the board. I want to be more independent and be able to do some actual good learning ON MY OWN, for this it is crucial that I find ways of teaching myself that do not rely on the shit being shoved down my throat.

Tomer Moran has impressed me with his ability to read the books instead of going to lecture when he sees that the lectures are not as instructive as they ought to be... He is also vegan. This gives me confidence that I will be able to go keto while learning all this stuff. In fact taking on a challenging diet may actually help.

What is my goal? Psychological fulfilment, which can be seperated into intelectual fulfilment and emotional fulfilment. ... I'm just gonna keep reading...

The setbacks taught me how to succeed

12/07/2020, 16:59:22 Chapter 4:

This issue of process vs. goal is very delicate, and I want to carefully define how I feel the question should be navigated.

It would be easy to read about the studies on entity vs. incremental theories of intelligence and come to the conclusion that a child should never win or lose. I don’t believe this is the case. If that child discovers any ambition to pursue excellence in a given field later in life, he or she may lack the toughness to handle inevitable obstacles. While a fixation on results is certainly unhealthy, short-term goals can be useful developmental tools if they are balanced within a nurturing long-term philosophy. Too much sheltering from results can be stunting. The road to success is not easy or else everyone would be the greatest at what they do—we need to be psychologically prepared to face the unavoidable challenges along our way, and when it comes down to it, the only way to learn how to swim is by getting in the water.