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Themes that arise in one area of our personal lives will also surface in other areas—all aspects of life are interconnected. The ability to learn and perform in consistently effectual ways is therefore impacted by our general state of mind. It is vital that we unearth the psychological patterns and emotional responses that get in the way of our successes and take our weaknesses on. By bringing awareness to the threads connecting mind and action, we can break down the walls between the disparate parts of our lives that we have mentally built up and take corrective steps to transform all our weaknesses into strengths

In Josh’s Words:

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Once I recognized that deeply buried secrets in a competitor tend to surface under intense pressure, my study of chess became a form of psychoanalysis. I unearthed my subtlest foibles through chess, and the link between my personal and artistic sides was undeniable. The psychological theme could range from transitions to resilient concentration, fluidity of mind, control, leaps into the unknown, sitting with tension, the downward spiral, being at peace with discomfort, giving into fatigue, emotional turbulence, and invariably the chess moves paralleled the life moment. Whenever I noticed a weakness, I took it on.
p. 76

Further reading: Chapter 7: Changing Voice, Chapter 18: Making Sandals

While I learned with open pores- no ego in the way- it seemed that many other students were frozen in place, repeating the errors over and over, unable to improve because of a fear of releasing old habits. When Chen made suggestions, they would explain their thinking in an attempt to justify themselves. They were locked up by the need to be correct.
p. 107-108

Further reading: Chapter 9: Beginner’s Mind, Chapter 10: Investment in Loss, Chapter 18: Making Sandals

Once I recognized that deeply buried secrets in a competitor tend to surface under intense pressure, my study of chess became a form of psychoanalysis. I unearthed my subtlest foibles through chess, and the link between my personal and artistic sides was undeniable…
p. 76

Further reading: Chapter 7: Changing Voice, Chapter 18: Making Sandals

From THE ART OF LEARNING by Josh Waitzkin. Copyright © 2007 by Josh Waitzkin LLC.
Reprinted by permission of Free Press, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc

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