the way of go

about half a decade or so ago i read a book called the way of go. it’s a weird self-help kind of book, in the vein of 48 Laws of Power or something like that. The book breaks down the ancient eastern game called Go, which when described seems easy, but is difficult to master. In doing so, the author translates the basic codes of the game into a series of tenets to live one’s life by. Since you fucks don’t read, I’ll paraphrase them here. Enjoy the book if you like what you read. I refer to this list quite often when I am searching for insight or reflecting on my journey to achieving my goals.

 

Go (n) –  a philosophy built on duality, that to give you must take, to win you must lose, to live you must die.

 

1. Global vs. Local –  is about balancing focus, the focus on the big picture more vs. the focus on the moment and temporary. When you focus on the local, day-to-day issues/moments, only spend time concerning yourself with the issues/moments that have long-term significance. Focus on the moment, and temporary issues when doing spot checks because the current status is depict able of the overall homeostasis. Balance this focus on global vs. local according circumstances and the immediate needs of the situation.
2. Owe vs. Save-  is a balance of risk and safety. If you have played it safe, for example, it might be wise to take a calculated risk to leap bounds. As well, if you are in debt, you must shore up, tie up loose ends, and build a nest to move to the attack. You have to pay dues first, but once paid, it might be wise to take calculated gambles to make big gains.

 

3. Slack vs. Taut – is based on how loosely or how ferociously you play the game. Gauge the situation. If Chamberlain played Hitler tight in 1936, there certainly would have been no WWII a handful of years later. Kill a great attacker succinctly. Rightly so, if you have a novice, learn your opponent. Back off and watch where to lay your traps. Keep your enemies close to defeat them.

 

4. Reverse vs. Forward  – Most people plan forward and reminisce backwards. Learn to plan in reverse and learn to foresee the future instead. Foresight is often cited as a number one quality in overachiever in regards to goal setting. To plan backwards, start by achieving the goal and plan the exact steps backwards needed to get there, starting with the last step before achieving the goal, and ending with the first step. Foresee the future by forecasting the day ahead and what your mind state will be when you get there. This will help to calm you and prepare you when the moments you planned in reverse arrive.
5. Us vs. Them – Who am I? Who is my foe? Now what are my foes weaknesses? What weaknesses does he see in me? Its better to defend, but the attacker has the gift of surprise, so know the enemy and yourself before the battle.

 

6. Lead vs. Follow – Its great to dictate but learn to follow or be submissive. Never act neutral, because you can’t be neutral on a moving train. Either lead or follow, but decide. Learn when to lead and when to follow.

 

7. Expand vs. Focus – Thing big. Stretch. When you focus on details spread to thin, you find yourself weak and overworked, but when you focus on details to tightly, or singularly, you might miss opportunities.

 

8. Sorry there are no rules that apply.

 

Measure yourself in Strength vs. Weakness, Opportunity vs. Threat in all things you want to improve in and you will better be able to say what your true goals are. Once you have your goals set, plan a way to carry them out. The Way of Go is a philosophy, a way of looking at things and critically breaking down how to react to situations, that arise in life. Most of the bulletin points above come directly from the book. I am sure I might have used some of the explanations verbatim (the notes for this are from a real diary post I wrote as a sophomore in high school. I found an old book bag, etc., hence, etc.). Please forgive me for plagiarism. If you like the notions above, I suggest you read the book. You may not play Go (I tried for one summer), but you will definitely change points of view from wisdom that you can apply to all aspects of your life.

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