Josh Waitzkin Quotes
Best 49 Quotes by Josh Waitzkin – Page 1 of 2
“In chess you might find a good move. Then you might find a better move. But take your time. Find the best move.”
“There will be nothing learned from any challenge in which we don't try our hardest.”
The Art of Learning Quotes
“A key component of high-level learning is cultivating a resilient awareness that is the older, conscious embodiment of a child’s playful obliviousness.”
“As with all skills, the most sophisticated techniques tend to have their foundation in the simplest of principles.”
“At the highest levels of any kind of competitive discipline, everyone is great. At this point the decisive factor is rarely who knows more, but who dictates the tone of the battle.
For this reason, almost without exception, champions are specialists whose styles emerge from profound awareness of their unique strengths, and who are exceedingly skilled at guiding the battle in that direction.”
“Everyone at a high level has a huge amount of chess understanding, and much of what separates the great from the very good is deep presence, relaxation of the conscious mind, which allows the unconscious to flow unhindered.”
“Great ones are willing to get burned time and again as they sharpen their swords in the fire.”
“Growth comes at the point of resistance. We learn by pushing ourselves and finding what really lies at the outer reaches of our abilities.”
“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—in any case, it certainly would not have worked with me.”
“I believe that one of the most critical factors in the transition to becoming a conscious high performer is the degree to which your relationship to your pursuit stays in harmony with your unique disposition.
There will inevitably be times when we need to try new ideas, release our current knowledge to take in new information – but it is critical to integrate this new information in a manner that does not violate who we are.
By taking away our natural voice, we leave ourselves without a center of gravity to balance us as we navigate the countless obstacles along our way.”
“I found myself calculating less and feeling more,”
“I knew how to block out my issues in a sprint, but in marathons I ran out of gas. Consistency became a critical problem. On days that I was inspired, I was unstoppable. But other days I would play bad chess.
The time had come for me to learn the science of long-term, healthy, self-sustaining peak performance.”
“I was unhindered by internal conflict — a state of being that I have come to see as fundamental to the learning process.”
“I would take in vast amounts of technical information that my brain somehow put together into bursts of insight that felt more like music or wind than mathematical combinations.
Increasingly, I had the sense that the key to these leaps was interconnectedness — some part of my being was harmonizing all my relevant knowledge, making it gel into one potent eruption, and suddenly the enigmatic was crystal-clear. But what was really happening?”
“If I have learned anything over my first twenty-nine years, it is that we cannot calculate our important contests, adventures, and great loves to the end. The only thing we can really count on is getting surprised.
No matter how much preparation we do, in the real tests of our lives, we’ll be in unfamiliar terrain. Conditions might not be calm or reasonable. It may feel as though the whole world is stacked against us. This is when we have to perform better than we ever conceived of performing.
I believe the key is to have prepared in a manner that allows for inspiration, to have laid the foundation for us to create under the wildest pressures we ever imagined.”
“If I want to be the best, I have to take risks others would avoid, always optimizing the learning potential of the moment and turning adversity to my advantage.”
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“At most puppy mills, they pack the dogs into wire cages, usually for the entirety of their lives, often in pitch-black conditions. There are waste collection trays beneath these cages, but they’re rarely emptied. Flies are a constant. With no air-conditioning in the summer and no heat in the winter, dogs freeze to death or die from heatstroke with regularity. During the hottest months, when the cage metal heats up, puppies have been known to cook on the wires. The food is poor and veterinary care infrequent. Open sores, tissue damage, blindness, deafness, ulcers, tooth decay — even rotting jaws because the tooth decay has gotten so bad — are more the rule than the exception.”
“In every discipline, the ability to be clearheaded, present, cool under fire is much of what separates the best from the mediocre.”
“In my experience, successful people shoot for the stars, put their hearts on the line in every battle, and ultimately discover that the lessons learned from the pursuit of excellence mean much more than the immediate trophies and glory.”
“In performance training, first we learn to flow with whatever comes. Then we learn to use whatever comes to our advantage.
Finally, we learn to be completely self-sufficient and create our own earthquakes, so our mental process feeds itself explosive inspirations without the need for outside stimulus. The”
“In the end, mastery involves discovering the most resonant information and integrating it so deeply and fully it disappears and allows us to fly free.”
“In the long run, painful losses may prove much more valuable than wins — those who are armed with a healthy attitude and are able to draw wisdom from every experience, 'good' or 'bad', are the ones who make it down the road. They are also the ones who are happier along the way.
Of course the real challenge is to stay in range of this long-term perspective when you are under fire and hurting in the middle of the war. This, maybe our biggest hurdle, is at the core of the art of learning.”
“Instead of running from our emotions or being swept away by their initial gusts, we should learn to sit with them, become at peace with their unique flavors, and ultimately discover deep pools of inspiration.”
“It is rarely a mysterious technique that drives us to the top, but rather a profound mastery of what may well be a basic skill set.
Depth beats breadth any day of the week, because it opens a channel for the intangible, unconscious, creative components of our hidden potential.”
“Just as the yin-yang symbol possesses a kernel of light in the dark, and of dark in the light, creative leaps are grounded in a technical foundation.”
“Mental resilience is arguably the most critical trait of a world-class performer, and it should be nurtured continuously.”
“Musicians, actors, athletes, philosophers, scientists, writers understand that brilliant creations are often born of small errors.”
“My chess rivals were taking lessons, competing at 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. The ocean has always healed me…”
“My instinct is always to seek out challenges as opposed to avoiding them.”
“Not only do we have to be good at waiting, we have to love it. Because waiting is not waiting, it is life.
Too many of us live without fully engaging our minds, waiting for that moment when our real lives begin.”
“Of course there were plateaus, periods when my results leveled off while I internalized the information necessary for my next growth spurt, but I didn’t mind.”
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“Do what Steve Jobs did, not what he said. If a young Steve Jobs had taken his own advice and decided to only pursue work he loved, we would probably find him today as one of the Los Altos Zen Center’s most popular teachers.”
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