Archive: undefined/2010

Countdown: 1 Day

So it looks like me trying to finish Basic Techniques of Go is going to be overly ambitious, but that’s okay. I think I’m in good shape to finish up the other two by tomorrow, and I’m happy with that result. I know that there are those who were skeptical of my one week hiatus since the number one advice for improving (in general) is getting experience by playing games.

My reason for going against that advice is that Zhang Yunqi once said that go required “the tactic of the soldier, the exactness of the mathematician, the imagination of the artist, the inspiration of the poet, the calm of the philosopher, and the greatest of intelligence.” In other literature I’ve read, I’ve also heard that Go is 98% patience.

Over this week, I’ve spent a lot of time working on my “calm of the philosopher.” I know that it’s not a simple project that can be perfected in a short amount of time, but I think that I’ve gotten somewhere. In addition to the reading and training I’ve been doing, I’ve done a lot of introspection and meditation as well. I know people may think that this may seem a bit much for “a game,” but one of the most attractive points about Go is the fact that it is a game about self-improvement.

A person never truly stands still. We either move forward or move backward, like a raft trying to work its way upstream. I believe I can find the way to my own growth through this game, and I will use my utmost efforts in that pursuit.

Weighing Your Priorities

Priorities by xkcd

So as someone who has officially left the comfort zone of school (I don’t consider grad school an umbrella to hide under anymore), one of the questions I’m hit the hardest with deals with whether or not I’m going to end up becoming a “Go junkie.”

The deal is: I see Go as a pillar to understanding fundamental principles in life. It’s true. Go may not be the most ideal way to sustain yourself, but the life lessons that a person can derive from it is worth far more in my opinion. That is not to say that Go will be the sole focus of my life however. I’m going to job hunt, focus on spending time with people important to me, and expand other job-related skills since I’m hoping to open a business someday. Go is just something I view as critical to self-growth, so it does rank high in my priorities; but I won’t let it consume my life.

For all those who are striving to live in reality right now, weigh your priorities as well. I am one of the most enthusiastic players that would encourage people using go as a tool to learning life lessons and self-improvement. However, if it gets to the point that it is damaging other portions of your life, it may be time where you ask yourself whether or not you are falling into the folly of focusing on the local battle of the board.

Don’t forget that the Go board is often reflective of your life. Focusing on go alone while letting the rest of your framework go to hell will only come to haunt you later on. No different from trying to control a single corner while letting your opponent consume the rest of the board.