I just opened my new copy of Tim Ferriss’s latest book 4 Hour Chef. The first chapter is about META-Learning — how to become world class in a chosen discipline and learn anything faster. Flipping pages I was surprised to come across a familiar image — a screen shot of Shinji’s #1 Youtube video, and one of Michael Phelps’s #2 video .
The heading of this section is
BEING the Best Vs. BECOMING the Best.
Here’s what Ferriss wrote:
“As I write this the two most-viewed swimming videos in the world are of:
1. Shinji Takeuchi
2. Michael Phelps.
Phelps makes sense but . . . who the hell is Shinji Takeuchi?
Phelps learned to swim at the tender age of seven. Shinji learned to swim well at the well-ripened age of 37. More interesting to me. Shinji learned by doing practically the opposite of Phelps.
Phelps looks like he’s attached to an outboard motor. It’s a heroic output of horsepower.
Shinji has been watched millions of times because he offers the flipside–effortless propulsion.
So who would you rather have as a teacher: Phelps or Shinji?”
Tim devoted one full chapter to TI in his last book, 4 Hour Body. In interviews after its publication, he was asked what was the most satisfying thing he learned in pursuing dozens of different self-improvement disciplines. He said that learning to swim for distance in open water via TI was his favorite experience.
While their topics have been different, 4HB and 4HC have both really been about the same thing — the Art of META-Learning, or how to attain mastery in anything by ‘cracking its code.’ When you crack the code on becoming a World Class Learner, you have an invaluable skill that can be applied to anything.
TI is known best for turning strugglers into skilled swimmers. But our higher purpose is to teach the Art of META-Learning.