I first heard of Josh Waitzkin after he was an interview subject on Tim Ferriss’ podcast. I listened to the 2nd ever Tim Ferriss show about 12 months ago and more recently heard the second podcast with Josh.
Today I’m listening to Tim and Sebastian Junger speaking and Josh is mentioned again. Tonight, I decided to listen/watch more about Josh, and came across this interview with him. My highlights are:
- We see teachers who try to fit students into a cookie cutter mould…a teacher knows how to create someone in his own image and try to fit the student into the mould, good for himself and bad for the student
- A student would do much better to have a teacher who was open to bringing out that students natural shine, their natural strengths
- We need to be true to our natural strengths and be aware of our natural talents
- An artist needs to be unobstructed as possible the way the express themselves.
One of the more interesting, endearing moments, however comes just after a question is asked about the movie The Search for Bobby Fischer (the story is about Josh’s chess career) where Josh breaks into laughter about something off-camera, and breaks into smiling and laughter, at a time I felt the conversation was about to get deep and serious.
Other points of note re: learning (specifically related to transitioning from Chess into Tai Chi):
- Be wide open to every last bit of information; hold no ego about being wrong
- You need to want to be moulded
- Changing your perceptual patterns at will (in relation to understanding time moves at different speeds)
As always, the challenge is adopting these principles into our own lives and coming up with a way to embed them in our lives.