“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):
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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:
- 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
Posted on: November 27, 2016.
Please check out Tribe of Mentors, my newest book, which shares short, tactical life advice from 100+ world-class performers. Many of the world's most famous entrepreneurs, athletes, investors, poker players, and artists are part of the book. The tips and strategies in Tribe of Mentors have already changed my life, and I hope the same for you. Click here for a sample chapter and full details. Roughly 90% of the guests have never appeared on my podcast.
Who was interviewed? Here's a very partial list: tech icons (founders of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Craigslist, Pinterest, Spotify, Salesforce, Dropbox, and more), Jimmy Fallon, Arianna Huffington, Brandon Stanton (Humans of New York), Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ben Stiller, Maurice Ashley (first African-American Grandmaster of chess), Brené Brown (researcher and bestselling author), Rick Rubin (legendary music producer), Temple Grandin (animal behavior expert and autism activist), Franklin Leonard (The Black List), Dara Torres (12-time Olympic medalist in swimming), David Lynch (director), Kelly Slater (surfing legend), Bozoma Saint John (Beats/Apple/Uber), Lewis Cantley (famed cancer researcher), Maria Sharapova, Chris Anderson (curator of TED), Terry Crews, Greg Norman (golf icon), Vitalik Buterin (creator of Ethereum), and nearly 100 more. Check it all out by clicking here.