“From my perspective, the goal is unobstructed self-expression.”
— Josh Waitzkin
Josh Waitzkin, author of The Art of Learning, is an eight-time US National Chess Champion, a two-time World Champion in Tai Chi Chuan Push Hands, and the first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt under nine-time World Champion Marcelo Garcia.
For the past 12 years, Josh has been channeling his passion for the outer limits of the learning process toward training elite mental performers in business and finance, and to revolutionizing the education system through his nonprofit foundation, The Art of Learning Project. Josh is currently in the process of taking on his fourth and fifth disciplines, paddle surfing and foiling, and is an all-in father and husband.
The audio and video were recorded at The Sohn Investment Conference in the David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.
The Sohn Conference Foundation is dedicated to supporting innovative initiatives to cure and treat pediatric cancer. The Sohn Conference Foundation raises its funds through a unique strategy: Wall Street’s most successful investors offer their expertise on stage and inspire large audiences to give to the foundation’s cause. You can learn more about it at sohnconference.org.
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Want to hear another conversation with Josh Waitzkin? — In this episode (the second ever on The Tim Ferriss Show), we discuss The Art of Learning, what separates elite performers, and strategies for peak productivity. (Stream below or right-click here to download):
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QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.
Scroll below for links and show notes…
SELECTED LINKS FROM THE EPISODE
- Connect with Josh Waitzkin:
- Josh’s first, second, and third appearances on this show.
- The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance by Josh Waitzkin
- The Sohn Conference
- David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York City
- Macho Duck, Mickey Mouse Disco
- Lose Yourself by Eminem
- Josh Waitzkin’s Push Hands Videos, Content Galaxy
- Onewheel Electric Skateboards
- Learning How to SUP Surf, Adventure Sports Network
- Lift eFoil Mini Documentary
- eFoil, Lift
- The Matrix
- Heart Rate Variability: A New Way to Track Well-Being, Harvard Health Publishing
- Resonant Frequency Training in Elite Sport: A Case Study Example, Journal of Sport Psychology in Action
- Building Your Trigger, The Art of Learning Project
- The Relationship Between Mental and Somatic Practices and Wisdom, PLoS One
- Dom D’Agostino on Fasting, Ketosis, and the End of Cancer, The Tim Ferriss Show #117
- Abbott Precision Xtra Glucose Monitor
- Molar Concentration, Wikipedia
- A New Theory of Distraction, The New Yorker
- Daniel Pink — How to Make Better Decisions and Be More Creative, The Tim Ferriss Show #305
- Making Smaller Circles, The Art of Learning Project
- Seven Tips From Ernest Hemingway on How to Write Fiction, Open Culture
- Marcelo Garcia Academy, New York City
- 20 Years of Mundial, BJJ Heroes
- This is Water by David Foster Wallace
- What song makes Josh ready to fight 10 dudes, and how did it become such a powerful trigger? [05:18]
- Why — and how — does Josh lately feel like he’s cramming two months of learning into each day? It all started with a desire to surf in New York City. [06:45]
- How foiling allows Josh to deliberately practice surfing in ways regular surfing can’t. [10:09]
- Deliberate practice and the harnessing of unconscious learning: what did Olympic skier Billy Kidd consider the three most important turns of a ski run — and why? [12:15]
- What types of biomarkers does Josh track in his coaching clients? [14:01]
- What is a resonant frequency? [16:00]
- What is trigger work, and how did has it helped Josh enter peak performance in the space of a breath? [16:43]
- What tools does Josh use for tracking HRV? [18:04]
- How might HRV training help someone attune their senses in a non-athletic capacity? [18:39]
- Though he tailors his coaching for each individual, Josh has these suggestions for people who are looking to better structure their days looking toward higher performance. [21:05]
- How do people identify their peak energy? Josh details one of his most important activities for ending the day and beginning the next. [24:29]
- How might this exercise differ between individuals for more personalized results? [25:55]
- One of the most important things a decision-maker can do. [26:58]
- How can someone find their MIQ (most important question) if they’re struggling to identify one? How might an otherwise great thinker use this tool to move through something that gets them stuck? [28:45]
- What Ernest Hemingway’s writing process and Marcelo Garcia’s pre-match naps can teach us about the timely art of letting go. [30:50]
- Why being able to go from a relaxed zero to an intense 10 is better than existing at a constant, simmering six. [32:40]
- As someone who’s moved his family away from the city noises of bustling Manhattan to a remote, coastal jungle in Latin America, how would Josh convince an always-on, FOMO-addled client of the benefits to similarly unplugging and learning to say no? [34:18]
- Josh says your ability to determine what matters most is affected by your ability to identify your zone of genius. How does he recommend finding that zone? [38:00]
- Final thoughts and thanks. [41:52]