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 Post subject: Importance of a goal?
Post #1 Posted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:30 pm 
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I've never had an identifiable goal as a go player, beyond a vague desire to be better than I was during my last game. On the other hand, I can understand the rationale of using a goal to drive your own growth as a player. My question is this; Is having a goal worth the risk of losing what you strive for?

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Post #2 Posted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:52 pm 
Honinbo

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yes, of course

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 Post subject: Re: Importance of a goal?
Post #3 Posted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:01 pm 
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on the other hand

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Post #4 Posted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:55 pm 
Honinbo
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 Post subject: Re: Importance of a goal?
Post #5 Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:40 am 
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This one's geared more for fiction writers, but it should be still worth a glimpse:

https://kriswrites.com/2010/02/18/freel ... nd-dreams/

Now, I'm mixing this article with her nonfiction writing on the subject, but there are 3 kinds of future wishes: short term goals, long term goals and dreams. Each one is farther than the rest, and you have to be careful of choosing the right item for each. Dreams, specially: they can't seem impossible, but they can't be easy to reach either. Also, you have to be prepared to switch them if the time comes when you DO reach them, otherwise you might feel yourself without wind in your sails. She also comments on what is a valid goal / dream and what not, and it's based on measurability and agency, mostly.

Regarding Go, one possible hierarchy:

short term goal: play a real time game against humans every day on weekends and holidays.
long term goal: understand Taisha joseki
dream: reach a specific level

The short term goal is something you can do now (or almost); ideally, it's not ticked "away" and substituted until it's something of a habit. Long term goal requires more work, more stepping stones on the way (in fact, Taisha might be a bit too much for an example). Both are under your control, however. Barring curve balls, YOU do them or you don't.

A dream... it's not even quite in your hands. You might do everything right and, for whatever reason, not reach that dream. That's part of the trick: both not reaching a dream and finally reaching it indeed are dangerous. A lot of people set up a dream, treat it as a goal and become frustrated. And a lot of people reach a dream and lose any attachment they had to the activity.

So... "choose wisely"

Take care.

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Post #6 Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:00 am 
Honinbo
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Quote:
A dream... it's not even quite in your hands.
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 Post subject: Re: Importance of a goal?
Post #7 Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:28 am 
Gosei
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I believe this is from Antoine de St-Exupery: "A goal without a plan is just a wish".

Good goals are challenging but also achievable, as you want to have positive feedback soon.
Good plans are those which are clearly related to the goal. One rant of mine is that many people want to win more games, but they then study all kinds of things which have a very speculative effect on winning, and keep doing things which have a clear detrimental effect on winning (playing blitz while being tired, for example).

Then again, there is this quote from John Cleese: "Life is what happens while you are making plans."

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Post #8 Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:25 am 
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I go therefore I am.

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 Post subject: Re: Importance of a goal?
Post #9 Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:29 am 
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Gomoto wrote:
I go therefore I am.


Aka. Gokishi ergo sum in Osaka Latin dialect.

Take care

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Post #10 Posted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:32 pm 
Gosei
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Ryukai wrote:
I've never had an identifiable goal as a go player, beyond a vague desire to be better than I was during my last game. On the other hand, I can understand the rationale of using a goal to drive your own growth as a player. My question is this; Is having a goal worth the risk of losing what you strive for?

I think it depends on the goal.

From my experience, here are some pointers.
#1. look at it as a series of stepping stones rather than one big goal
#2. make each stepping stone something you can actually reach
#3. be ready to have other stones lined up after you rich one
#4. don't think in terms of rank, think in terms of skill and growth
#5. it is ok to have a long-term big overarching goal - as long as you don't break when you realize that you might never reach it

About #4:
An example of such goals can be: think more before each move, break a bad habit, learn to play more aggressively/defensively, learn to play a new fuseki, utilize more joseki in your game, beat/surpass a specific player (figure out weaknesses in his/her game and target those better), etc. I think these are pretty worthy - even if they might not immediately translate to rank increase. Sometimes they might cause rank decrease. But long term they will benefit you. Just look at your game, see what is missing or broken, and try to fix it.

In general - absorbing and internalizing new ideas often results in temporarily lowering your rank. This is why I personally do not like to use rank as a goal. But whatever makes your world spin - its just an advice.

About #5:
Many players attempt to 'become a pro' or 'win a world championship' or some such. All good goals, but for most they are never reached. If this is all you are chasing, you might run out of steam when you realize that after a few years you are seemingly no closer. There is no real problem with having such dreams, but it helps to have smaller goals (stepping stones) to have a solid measure of progress and satisfaction from reaching them. This keeps you motivated.

That's all I've got. ;)

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