I’m perpetually on-again, off-again with the sharing of links that I find interesting. I am currently in ON mode.
procrastinate more effectively
|[ TIME ] [ PHOTO ESSAY ] [ WARNING: SITE HAS POP-UP ADS (HOW LAME) ]|
|Hungry Planet: What The World Eats, Part I|
|Family’s one-week food expenditure in different countries around the world.|
|Hungry Planet: What The World Eats, Part II|
|Fascinated by the last entry? See more…|
|What I Eat: A Worldwide Day’s Worth of Food|
|One-day calorie consumption for a variety of people across the globe.|
Each grain of rice = one person and you are invited to compare the one grain that is you to the millions that are not. Over a period of days a team of performers carefully weigh out quantities of rice to represent a host of human statistics.
Because it hasn’t ceased to be funny to me, yet, and I know plenty of you will want to read it again.
|“yeah that’s not what I was looking for at all.”|
this past weekend...
…I played in a tournament. Here’s what happened.
- win (by forfeit)
I have nothing to write about the matches.
Let’s face it: most of the stuff I write is fluff. (That rhymes!) Every once in a while, I do write about topics that are somewhat more thought-provoking than usual (more often than not due to a catastrophic combination of white mochas, potato chips, and insomnia). Today, I shall ramble on about semantics and how they relate to my pool game.
I am motivated to play pool because I enjoy it. It’s a nice, quiet, peaceful game that suits my introverted nature as I can play it by myself. I enjoy pocketing balls aimlessly in different ways just to see what will happen. I might improve slowly over time, but progress is not significant.
Should someone come up to me while I am idly poking balls into pockets and ask me, “What is the purpose of you idly poking balls into pockets?”, I would probably say offhandedly, “Oh, I don’t know. To get better, I suppose.” Then I would return to idly poking balls into pockets.
This is because I am motivated to play, but I have no purpose to play. Motivation is general. Purpose is more specific. Given a purpose, the idly poking of balls into pockets becomes less idle. Let’s say I decide I want to get better and I want to see results in a certain amount of time.
Purpose now becomes general (“to get better”) and a goal (“win piss-ant weekly tournament”) is more specific. If I want to win, I will have to practice. There is no more idle poking of balls into pockets. Now, I do drills. I shoot the same shot over and over again for the purpose of getting better and the goal of winning a piss-ant weekly tournament. In practice and in play, focus is key. Every shot and even every movement has a purpose and builds towards the achieving of a goal.
Is this shit amorphous and abstract enough for you yet? If not, this final section will either make everything clear or confuse you further. It’s a win-win situation!
It’s time to do some math. Not real math, because I am a mutant — I’m an Asian that can’t do math with numbers. Anyways, here’s the equation:
motivation + purpose + goal(n) = drive
Let me sit down and recover for a second from all that letter-crunching.
Those, uh — numbers — in that equation are all self-explanatory, except for n. In my (admittedly screwy) equation, n is the difficulty of your goal. Difficulty is subjective for everyone, of course, so I’ll use my own experiences as an example.
At its simplest, let’s say a handicapped, four-player beginner’s tournament wherein I am underrated has a value of 2. Actually, let’s make the other three players hamsters. Three-legged hamsters. This goal has a difficulty of 1 (no, it can never be negative, lowest value is 0 — which might mean I’m dead). I am motivated to play, I have a purpose (win the tournament), and the goal is first place. This situation doesn’t make me very driven since it’s not very difficult and achieving it, to me, has low value (maybe not to the hamsters).
No drive, in its simplest form to me, means no practice.
Let’s change it up, then, and use my trip to Turning Stone a while back as the next example. This is where I can break down n into further factors including:
- a field of 128 players (probably all better than me)
- $200 entry fee (that’s a lot of ramen)
- high cost of travel (hotel, airfare to Syracuse)
- 66-hour Greyhound trip back to the west coast (so I could afford to go at all)
All these factors added up to one helluva value for n, especially since the most basic, uncomplicated value for n for me is simply to win the whole thing, be it gambling, pride, or tournament. My drive to succeed in this tournament was insanely high.
For a few, short, blissful months back then, I had access to free table time. I was driven to drill and practice every day. Every free moment was spent towards reaching this goal. That meant hours upon hours of shooting one shot. And the next day, it would be hours upon hours of a slightly different shot. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
The great thing about drive for me is that once in motion, it doesn’t just apply to practice, but to all aspects of life. I go into a certain mode when I want to accomplish something. In this mode, decisions are simplified. Do I want to go out with my friends or do I want to win? I want to win. Then I don’t go out with my friends. Do I want to have a nice dinner or do I want to win? I want to win. Then it’s ramen for dinner. When people tell me they can’t imagine doing the things I do in the name of achieving a goal, I always tell them to same thing: when you want something bad enough, it’s not suffering — it’s just what has to be done.
At Turning Stone, I won one match and lost two.
I’ve had people tell me I went through a lot to go 1-2, to which I would respond, not at all — it was completely worth it. I did not come in last, and that’s worth something to me, even though I did not come remotely close to accomplishing what I set out to do. Then these people go, well, you won’t be trying THAT again, right? Actually, the second I was knocked out of the tournament, I’d already started the whole cycle over again.
I have no idea what I’m talking about and if I did, it’d probably only apply to my situation. If you learned something from this post, spiffy. If you didn’t, well, at least you’re that much closer to the weekend. If you want your money back, there are no refunds. If you go off and win a bunch of money after reading this, I’ll take 10%.