WARNING: This information is really of no interest to the vast majority of people. If you have no interest in my goal of becoming a top ranking professional go player in the Kansai Ki-in, don't read this. If you just saw this on the recent changes page and thought to yourself "I wonder what this is?" or "This looks interesting.", don't read it, it will only bore you and make you upset with me for "wasting your time". If you got here from the random page link, just hit it again.
This is a page to explain why I state my goal as I do, why it is my goal, and why I've made my goal and my progress towards it public. I've made this page so that anybody who wants to know more about my goal can just read this page and not bother me, because talking about my goal doesn't help me achieve it, and I'd much rather talk about go than myself.
My reason for stating my goal as "Become a top ranking professional go player in the Kansai Ki-in" is because I like saving myself from unnecessary conversations, and I imagined a conversation like the following would take place at some point. This was also part of my thought process when I came up with my goal.
Me: My goal is to become good at go.
Hypothetical other person(Hot, aren't acronyms fun?): How good do you want to become?
Me: Very good.
Hot: Could you be more specific?
Me: I want to become one of the best players in the world.
Hot: You'd have to be a pro to become that good.
Me: Fine, then I'll become a pro.
Hot: It's hard to say how well the new US pro system will work out, but I'm pretty sure you'd have a much better chance of becoming "one of the best players in the world" if you became a pro in China, Korea, or Japan.
Me: Fine, I guess I'll do that. I hear that it's so hard to become a pro in Korea that some Korean inseis that fail to become pros go to China or Japan, so Korea is out. I admit I'm not much of an expert on politics or China, but I don't like what little I know about the Chinese government. I've always loved amine and I've studied Japanese culture because of that, so Japan seems like the best choice.
Hot: So let's say you become a Japanese pro, you're still worse than all the 2-9 dans, you haven't actually reached your goal.
Me: Fine then I'll become a 9-dan, and maybe win a title or two. I guess a better way to phrase my goal is "I want to become a top ranking professional go player in the Kansai Ki-in".
Hot: Maybe you should have just said that in the first place.
Me: From now on, I will.
Now for a fake FAQ (None of these questions are asked frequently, and some of them have never been asked of me)
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What about that stuff you said about cutting your budget to get money for go, or moving to a city with a more active go community?
First and foremost it takes becoming very good at go. Then I take a special foreigner’s test at the Kansai Ki-in, which involves beating 2 1 dan pro players as black without komi. Ref.
I suppose the simple answer is by devoting most of my spare time, money, and energy into getting stronger at go.
It's the answer that was simple, not the process. My page /MyStudyPlan goes into more detail about what I'm currently doing. I have a list of things I plan to do eventually, like spend 6+ months each studying go in China, Korea, and Japan. I won't post it because it just reads like a crazy wishlist. I'll also keep changing my study plan as I adjust to the workload and my circumstances change, as examples, I'd like to get to the point where I can play at least 1 face to face and online game per day, and have enough go problems for 3 hours per day.
The about of time I spend writing about it is trivial, especially if you consider the fact that I spent a month working towards it before writing anything about it. Despite the triviality of the time I spend writing about my goal, I've created this page to futher reduce that time. From now on I'll almost never respond to any comments, questions, or complaints about my goal or documenting of my goal, since people can just read this page.
The mere existence of these pages actually helps me. They act as one of the many things helping me stay motivated, the biggest of these being that I enjoy getting better at go. Since these pages are here, I know that if I quit people will call me a quitter, which in and of itself doesn't bother me because I don't value other people's opinions of me very much. What would bother me is they would be right, and they would constantly remind me of my failure. Though the motivation loss prevention is the tertiary reason for these pages. The primary reason, is so if I achieve my goal there will be a chronicle of how I did so. The secondary reason is to solicit easy advice; normally one must know who and what to ask to get advice, but by posting these pages and simply saying I want advice, I can get advice I didn't know I needed from people I've never heard of.
I really shouldn't answer this. Any answer I give would just be empty words, so I'll let my actions (and ratings) speak for themselves.
Part of the reason is that it's just a means to an end. My real goal is to become one of the best go players in history, but that sounds far loftier than my stated goal, so you can see why I don't say it often.
That's a bit more complicated. Basically my reasons are best summarized by the following quotes.
"Tragedy lies not in setting your goals too high and failing. True tragedy lies in setting your goals too low, and achieving them."-origin unknown
"Anything worth doing is worth doing well."-origin unknown
"Life without a purpose is a languid, drifting thing; every day we ought to review our purpose, saying to ourselves, 'This day let me make a sound beginning, for what we have hitherto done is naught!'"-Thomas Kempis
"It is one of the strange ironies of this strange life that those who work the hardest, who subject themselves to the strictest discipline, who give up certain pleasurable things in order to achieve a goal, are the happiest men. When you see 20 or 30 men line up for a distance race in some meet, don't pity them, don't feel sorry for them. Better envy them instead."-Brutus Hamilton
I've always enjoyed strategy games; I've been playing Checkers, Chess, Chinese Checkers and others since I could pick up the pieces without trying to eat them. I've liked go since I first found out about it, but I never really understood the game and had nobody to play it with. That was until April 2012 when I read a bunch of Sensei's Library articles and watched some commentary on famous games, that was when I developed a deeper understanding of the game and really fell in love with it. I've also tried to become things before because being that thing sounded great. It took me til now to realize that I should do something I want to do rather than try to become something I think I'd like to be.
No, I realize that failure is a very real option, but if I enjoy the journey, then never reaching the destination isn't a real tragedy(I wish I had a quote for that). In fact, I realize that I am far more likely to fail than succeed. I may even give up before I achieve my goal; my priorities may change and I may have to settle on being a strong amateur player.
That was pretty bad wording. I meant that I plan on spending the majority of my extra time and money on improving at go. My definition of "extra" may be different from some people's. I don't mean any time or money I'm not spending on absolute necessities, I mean any time or money I spend on things I really don't care much about, things like video games or my many hobbies and pastimes that I'm not really that invested in. For example, I don't consider money/time spent on/with my friends or dates to be "extra". I still have plenty of things in my life aside from go, I merely try to cram as much go into my already busy schedule as possible, and cut out crap that I don't really care about. A more concise answer would be that I'm not derailing my life to get strong at go, I just put it higher on my priorities than a bunch of trivial stuff I used to waste hours on.
I'm cutting fluff out of my budget. My apartment was too big, I bought too much expensive food, and wasted money other ways too. I'm not cutting anything important out of my budget; I'm not going to take less classes to have more money for go, for example. I plan on moving to a city with a more active go community because I need to move to go to a university after I finish my associates degree at the community college. It doesn't really matter which university I go to, so I'm picking one that has an active go community nearby.
There is a distinct possibility that I am insane, but if that's the worst that can be said of me, then I'm fine with that. Though I hope now that this page has been rewritten to sound less crazy, I won't come off as quite so crazy any more.
I'm very bad at communication, so if somebody says something that perfectly matches my feeling on the subject and is phrased better than I could ever phrase it, then I see no problem in using the quote.
Because I really hate having to explain things more than once. Now I will never have to respond to anybody in regards to my goal again. In the long run, this is actually a time saver.
I don't know. I also don't know why anybody would want to tell me my goal is crazy rather than just shake their head and ignore me, but that doesn't stop people from doing it. Nobody forced you to read this, if you don't want to, (expletive) off and don't bug me!