Learning to learn

How do we actually learn?

Our world has been increasingly headed towards knowledge work, ever since the past century. The need to learn right and well is also increasingly in demand. Unfortunately, this subject is so little discussed.
Josh Waitzkin has led a full life as a chess master and international martial arts champion Also is the subject for the movie “Searching for Bobby Fischer”. In his book The Art Of Learning, Josh describes his personal journey to optimal performance.

Key Essences:
    • The only way to learn how to swim is by getting into the water.
    • Focus on the fundamentals: It is futile to start approaching complex problems and techniques. A better strategy is to focus on the basics until it is fully ingrained in the subconscious. Only then you can add more complex layers to the learning process.
    • He described this process as “Making smaller circles“, to keep deconstructing the skill or whatever you want to learn until each element is mastered and eventually converted to a feeling.
    • Growth comes at the point of resistance: Pushing yourself to find what lies at the reaches of your abilities.
    • Use consciousness to unleash your subconscious: Your consciousness is relatively slow, you can direct your attention to a limited input. You can systematically train your mind, to chunk up condensed information in your memory, and then use your consciousness to notice the “keys” so that your subconscious flow freely.
    • Use the randomness to your advantage: It is almost impossible that everything goes as planned. Train to perform under distractions, emotional storms. Be at peace with the noise.
    • Keep your natural voice: It will have a balancing gravity for new obstacles. Sharpen your intuition.
    • Form to unform: Based on Taoist philosophy. To understand attacking, often you need to understand defending. To understand something, think also to understand its counter.
    • Recovery: Increase your recovery time by paying attention to it. Notice your thought process if it’s relatively ineffective, and recharge – the faster you notice and recharge the better. Also, recommend mind-body connection, If your body recovers fast from physical activity it also helps the mind to do the same.
    • Investment in loss: Train in “failing” or losing in a specific area. Better words – Lose your ego to learn.
    • Aspire for presence: Presence must be like breathing – Everything is always on the line.
    • Disconnect: Since childhood, school/parents emphasize the importance of concentration, so the child unconsciously learns that to wander or not to concentrate is “bad”. A psychological meltdown might occur during stressful times. Disconnect from time to time- find relaxation in small things.

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