Thoughts on “How to Learn” from The 4-Hour Chef by Timothy Ferris

In The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good fhc-bookcover-frontLife, Timothy Ferris says a lot about how to learn – how to learn most anything.

He includes two especially key, insightful quotes:

“Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.” – Bruce Lee.


“Take risks and you’ll get the payoff. Learn from your mistakes until you succeed. It’s that simple.” – Bobby Flay.

So, I am reading this book (not necessarily to learn how to cook, by the way…), right after I finished giving my synopsis of Peak: The New Science of Expertise by Anders Ericcson and Robert pool. And I am asking myself these questions:

  • What do I need to learn next?
  • And, how well have I learned how to learn? (my answer: maybe not all that well).

Timothy Ferris has made a reputation by writing about learning and working quickly. But, I think what he is really saying is this: tackle something, something specific, get to it, do it in a smart way, and keep at it until you’ve got it.

So, how are you doing? Do you learn well? Do you learn from your mistakes? Until you succeed?

Good reminders for tackling pretty much anything – any skill, any task – for all of us.


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