“I cultivate empty space as a way of life for the creative process.”
– Josh Waitzkin
He was the basis for the book and movie Searching for Bobby Fischer. Considered a chess prodigy, Josh has perfected learning strategies that can be applied to anything, including his other loves of Brazilian jiu-jitsu (he’s a black belt under phenom Marcelo Garcia) and Tai Chi push hands (he’s a world champion). These days, he spends his time coaching the world’s top athletes and investors, working to revolutionize education, and tackling his new passion for paddle surfing (and nearly killing me in the process).
This episode is a highlight reel of sorts — lessons I’ve learned from Josh and shared in my new book Tools of Titans. Please enjoy!
Want to hear another Tools of Titans preview? — Listen to this podcast with Derek Sivers. In this episode, I share my thoughts on Derek’s life philosophy, his marketing strategy, decision-making, and much, much more (stream below or right-click here to download):
This podcast is brought to you by Four Sigmatic. I reached out to these Finnish entrepreneurs after a very talented acrobat introduced me to one of their products, which blew my mind (in the best way possible). It is mushroom coffee featuring chaga. It tastes like coffee, but there are only 40 milligrams of caffeine, so it has less than half of what you would find in a regular cup of coffee. I do not get any jitters, acid reflux, or any type of stomach burn. It put me on fire for an entire day, and I only had half of the packet.
People are always asking me what I use for cognitive enhancement right now, this is the answer. You can try it right now by going to foursigmatic.com/tim and using the code Tim to get 20 percent off your first order. If you are in the experimental mindset, I do not think you’ll be disappointed.
This podcast is also brought to you by Wealthfront. Wealthfront is a massively disruptive (in a good way) set-it-and-forget-it investing service led by technologists from places like Apple. It has exploded in popularity in the last two years and now has more than $2.5B under management. Why? Because you can get services previously limited to the ultra-wealthy and only pay pennies on the dollar for them, and it’s all through smarter software instead of retail locations and bloated sales teams.
Check out wealthfront.com/tim, take their risk assessment quiz, which only takes 2-5 minutes, and they’ll show you for free the exact portfolio they’d put you in. If you want to just take their advice and do it yourself, you can. Well worth a few minutes to explore: wealthfront.com/tim.
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:
- Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Timothy Ferriss
- Josh’s first and second appearances on this show.
- The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance by Josh Waitzkin
- Searching for Bobby Fischer: The Father of a Prodigy Observes the World of Chess by Fred Waitzkin
- What is zugzwang?
- Grandmaster Maurice Ashley plays NYC Trash Talker — The Tim Ferriss Experiment
- Marcelo Garcia Academy, New York City
- The importance of empty space: minimizing input to maximize output. [06:15]
- Learning the macro from the micro — focusing on depth over breadth by studying in reverse. [07:07]
- What I learned from Marcelo Garcia about sharing secrets with competitors. [09:33]
- Why ending a training or work session on a good “rep” helps internalize quality overnight. [12:32]
- To turn it on, learn to turn it off (and vice versa). [15:10]
- The little things are the big things. [15:50]
- Encountering an obstacle in unfamiliar territory? Take a principle from one thing and apply it to another to “just go around.” [16:30]
- Learning to embrace your funk. [17:37]
- What do you pick when your ego seems threatened? [18:18]
- The importance of language on a rainy day. [18:39]
- Bobby Fischer
- Marcelo Garcia
- Rick Rubin
- Bruce Pandolfini
- Mike Tyson
- Wayne Gretzky
- Michael Jordan
- Billy Kidd
- Jason Nemer
- Christopher Sommer
- Ernest Hemingway
- Graham Duncan
The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.