Single Player Mindset

The Beauty of the 6-CD Changer – Lessons in Refinement, Self-Discovery, and a Happier Life

 

I’ve always been the type that tries to efficiently tackle problems, but I’ve had even more focus on optimization in 2017 while at work as well as in finances. One of my latest optimization efforts was an update on something that’s been going on for as long as I’ve been driving: recompiling the music setlist for my car’s 6-CD changer.

What’s a CD again?

For readers who might not be aware: a Compact Disc (CD) is a round plastic object with fine micro-grooves etched onto one side. A CD player rotates this disc in a tray while it optically reads and interprets the micro-grooves peaks and valleys as data, and an attached speaker system plays back this data as music to listen to.

The major difference between a CD and more modern DVD’s and Blu-Rays, is the amount of data that can be stored on any one plastic saucer. And to add to this picture, many CD players require music to be stored as an “audio CD” instead of an ordinary “data CD”.

What this all boils down to is that each CD can store roughly 80 minutes of music. My car’s 6-CD changer can play back 480 minutes of music. If we assume on average each song is 4 minutes long, that’s a cap of 120 songs to listen to every 8 hours of driving.

I’m a music glut. I would estimate my entire music collection is closer to a magnitude of 12,000 songs instead of 120 songs. Many of you readers probably have my number beat another 100-fold.

Could you cut down your music collection to 1% or 480 minutes and listen to that on repeat for your (driving) lifetime?

This was the question I’ve been asking and answering myself for many years now. And every year I think I’ve tried and answered this question, I’ve always seen this answer change the next year. And the next year. And maybe after discovering something new or going to a new concert, my answer changes yet again. Did my mood or outlook on life change? Well then that’s another (usually cyclical) change in my answer.

Some songs and music artists have stuck around through the ebbs and flows of my auditory desires. Some have come and gone, from once being single-song-repeat-worthy to never-again-heard.

Some people have recommended that I just change out my 6-CD changer to something that can play data discs or an MP3 player which could store all of my music collection plus more. Sure, cutting down to 480 minutes of music is a tough task for a music glut like myself. Sure, my music sometimes skips for a few seconds when I drive over an especially deep pothole. Sure, the process of burning 6 read-only CD’s each year usually means I have to discard my previous 6-pack.

But my answer each and every time, to everyone that have asked and may ask in the future, is still a big NO THANK YOU.

Some people see limitations; I see refinement.

Some people think that I am missing out; I know that I have been granted something beautiful.

The 6-CD changer is an opportunity for self-discovery.

There is a saying in the culinary world along the lines like: “Show me what you eat and I’ll show you what you are.” As representative as food can be, I think music can be even more defining. While food satisfies physical hunger, music the spirit sate. People can live without music, sure, but are they really Living?

The process of cutting down to 6-CD’s-worth of music is like cutting out extraneous niceties in your life and instead refocusing on what makes you most happy. We can have anything we want, we just can’t have everything we want. What’s true in economic terms seems also true in musical terms.

Along with the final products, the value gained through this optimization process are at least six-fold:

  1. Project and time management skills when making sure you meet the constraints of your stakeholders: yourself, the CD’s, and the CD player.
  2. A discerning auditory palate when selecting live performances based on how they’re executed at different venues on different dates on different tours during different periods of a musical artist’s career.
  3. Exposure to and experience of the hard work put in by artists who have exerted themselves while perfecting their craft, especially as they sing their hearts out at their Last Live.
  4. Technical computer skills in trimming down file durations while adding non-obtrusive fades to intros and outros of clips, all with an attention to detail when timestamping songs in long concert files so that you can extract “just enough” song.
  5. An overall appreciation of humanity’s control over locomotion by rotating a plastic disc at between 200-500 rpm while rotating your vehicle’s tires at up to 1100-1200 rpm.
  6. And an improved ability to drive smoothly, as if you couldn’t let water spill out of a cup in your cup holder, so that you don’t cause your CD player to skip and stutter while you sing along to the chorus of your favorite anthems.

Oh how beautiful you are, my 6-CD changer!

So let’s make more space and time to focus on what makes us most happy. That is my goal, in this Single Player Life, in all aspects of life to optimize. So please don’t try to take away my 6-CD changer. These 6 CD’s are disc images of who I am (as of May 2017, and somewhat tailored to “drivable” music). Each CD could be the soundtrack to an arc of my Audial Novel life. Listen to them, and you will have a window into Six Degrees From My Soul.

I’ll show you mine; will you show me yours?

My 6-CD Changer (2017)
Six Degrees From My Soul
CD Music Artists Thema
1 FAKE?, Supercar A Journey into Sound
2 capsule, REOL Flash Back to Back
3 Perfume Perfume World
4 Otsuka Ai What Comes After And
5 μ’s Music Forever
6 Hiroyuki Sawano Unlimited Vocal Works

(Following links are as close as I could quickly find available in public. Maybe I’ll upload my actual files and share sometime.)

(CD1) A Journey into Sound
Selection of live performances from two of my favorite J-Rock bands: FAKE? and Supercar.
Artist Song Title Concert Song Duration
FAKE? Classic Final Shibuya-AX Live 0:04:17
FAKE? Everglow Final Zepp Tokyo Live 0:04:13
FAKE? Further Away Final Zepp Tokyo Live 0:03:09
FAKE? Snow Final Shibuya-AX Live 0:05:27
FAKE? Here We Go Final Shibuya-AX Live 0:05:41
FAKE? Praise Final Shibuya-AX Live 0:05:53
FAKE? Dreamcatcher Final Shibuya-AX Live 0:03:56
FAKE? Someday Final Shibuya-AX Live 0:03:29
FAKE? Taste Maximum Final Shibuya-AX Live 0:04:10
Supercar White Surf style 5. Last Live 0:04:04
Supercar FAIR WAY Last Live 0:04:22
Supercar YUMEGIWA LAST BOY Last Live 0:05:00
Supercar cream soda Last Live 0:03:24
Supercar Hello Last Live 0:03:32
Supercar Free Your Soul Last Live 0:04:30
Supercar STORYWRITER Last Live 0:03:34
Supercar Karma Last Live 0:10:52
1:19:33

(CD2) Flash Back to Back
Selection of songs from my favorite electronic composer Yasutaka Nakata and his music through capsule, as well as a more recent addition to my electronic palate in REOL.
Artist Song Title Album / Single Song Duration
capsule Flash Back FLASH BACK 0:04:40
capsule World of Fantasy WORLD OF FANTASY 0:06:11
capsule Starry Sky Sugarless Girl 0:05:40
capsule Lounge Designers Killer Capsule Remix 0:04:08
capsule swing 54321 phony phonic 0:03:57
capsule edit More! More! More! 0:06:00
capsule Player Player 0:07:30
capsule All The Way STEREO WORXXX 0:05:14
capsule White as Snow WAVE RUNNER 0:04:11
capsule Control CAPS LOCK 0:04:36
REOL Hibikase No title- 0:04:11
REOL Assymmetry No title- 0:04:16
REOL Give Me a Break Stop Now SIGMA 0:03:42
REOL Yoyoi Konkon SIGMA 0:04:18
REOL Chiru Chiru SIGMA 0:03:18
REOL Okochama Sensou Gokusaishoku ~Koku Hen~ 0:03:33
REOL Flash Back Gokusaishoku ~Irodori Hen~ 0:04:19
1:19:44

(CD3) Perfume World
Selection of songs from my favorite electro-pop dancing trio and music group of all: Perfume.
Artist Song Title Album / Single Song Duration
Perfume Enter the Sphere LEVEL3 0:03:36
Perfume Party Maker LEVEL3 0:07:21
Perfume Spending All My Time LEVEL3 0:04:02
Perfume computer city Perfume Complete Best 0:04:45
Perfume electroworld Perfume Complete Best 0:04:20
Perfume Polyrhythm Polyrhythm 0:03:40
Perfume GAME GAME 0:05:06
Perfume Take off Triangle 0:00:49
Perfume Dream Fighter Triangle 0:04:53
Perfume edge Triangle 0:08:43
Perfume GLITTER JPN 0:05:41
Perfume FAKE IT Nee 0:04:10
Perfume Navigate COSMIC EXPLORER 0:01:19
Perfume Cosmic Explorer COSMIC EXPLORER 0:05:22
Perfume STORY COSMIC EXPLORER 0:05:44
Perfume FLASH COSMIC EXPLORER 0:04:34
Perfume STAR TRAIN COSMIC EXPLORER 0:04:42
1:18:47

(CD4) What Comes After And
Selection of live performances from my favorite solo vocalist and songstress: Otsuka Ai.
Artist Song Title Concert Song Duration
Otsuka Ai I’m Lonely Love Tricky Tour 0:06:35
Otsuka Ai Yumekui Love Tricky Tour 0:04:52
Otsuka Ai Laugh Love Tricky Tour 0:04:37
Otsuka Ai Affair Love Tricky Tour 0:03:49
Otsuka Ai Haneari Tamago Love Tricky Tour 0:05:16
Otsuka Ai Is Love Tricky Tour 0:05:37
Otsuka Ai 5:09am Love Tricky Tour 0:04:15
Otsuka Ai Sakuranbo Love Tricky Tour 0:03:18
Otsuka Ai Mirai taxi Love Tricky Tour 0:04:20
Otsuka Ai Time machine Love Tricky Tour 0:05:15
Otsuka Ai End and and ~10000~hearts Love Tricky Tour 0:09:00
Otsuka Ai Kumuriuta Love is Born 2015 0:05:23
Otsuka Ai Daisuki da yo Love is Born 2006 0:04:37
Otsuka Ai Renai Shashin Love is Born 2006 0:04:55
Otsuka Ai I Love xxx Love is Born 2010 0:07:57
1:19:46

(CD5) Music Forever
Selection of live performances from my favorite 9-member school-idol / voice actress group: μ’s.
Artist Song Title Concert Song Duration
μ’s Bokura wa Ima no Naka de μ’s – 3rd Love Live 0:05:37
μ’s Bokura no Live kimi to no Life μ’s – 3rd Love Live 0:05:22
μ’s Sore wa Bokutachi no Kiseki μ’s – 5th Love Live, Day 1 0:04:10
HonoKotoUmi Susume Tomorrow μ’s – 6th Love Live, Day 1 0:02:06
HonoKotoUmi Start: Dash! μ’s – 3rd Love Live 0:03:03
KotoPana Suki desu ga Suki desu ka μ’s – 5th Love Live, Day 2 0:04:47
NicoRinPana After School Navigators μ’s – 2nd Love Live 0:04:51
NicoRinPana Listen to My Heart μ’s – 2nd Love Live 0:04:34
BiBi Psychic Fire μ’s – 6th Love Live, Day 2 0:03:39
μ’s Wonderful Rush μ’s – 3rd Love Live 0:04:34
μ’s Natsuiro egao de 1,2 jump μ’s – 3rd Love Live 0:04:28
μ’s Loneliest Baby μ’s – 4th Love Live, Day 1 0:05:09
μ’s Kaguya no Shiro de Odoritai μ’s – 4th Love Live, Day 1 0:04:46
μ’s Mermaid Festa Vol 1 μ’s – 4th Love Live, Day 2 0:03:57
μ’s No Brand Girls μ’s – 4th Love Live, Day 2 0:04:57
μ’s Snow Halation μ’s – 6th Love Live, Day 2 0:04:18
μ’s Donna Toki mo Zutto μ’s – 6th Love Live, Day 2 0:04:36
μ’s Bokutachi wa Hitotsu no Hikari μ’s – 6th Love Live, Day 2 0:04:52
1:19:46

(CD6) Unlimited Vocal Works
Selection of songs from one my favorite composers for original soundtracks: Hiroyuki Sawano.
Artist Song Title Source Soundtrack For: Song Duration
Hiroyuki Sawano (egoist) Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress Koutetsujou no Kabaneri 0:01:31
Hiroyuki Sawano (Aimer) Through My Blood <AM> Koutetsujou no Kabaneri 0:04:04
Hiroyuki Sawano (Aimer) ninelie <cry-v> Koutetsujou no Kabaneri 0:05:06
Hiroyuki Sawano (Kalafina) heavenly blue ~TV size~ Aldnoah Zero 0:01:31
Hiroyuki Sawano (mizuki) A/Z Aldnoah Zero 0:05:17
Hiroyuki Sawano (Kobayashi Mika) Keep on keeping on Aldnoah Zero 0:03:51
Hiroyuki Sawano (mizuki) aLIEz Aldnoah Zero 0:04:28
Hiroyuki Sawano (Kobayashi Mika) BRE@TH//LESS Aldnoah Zero 0:04:01
Hiroyuki Sawano &Z (TV Size) Aldnoah Zero 0:01:33
Hiroyuki Sawano (Amamiya Sora) Harmonious -Short Ver.- Aldnoah Zero 0:01:31
Hiroyuki Sawano (Aimer) Song of .. Aldnoah Zero 0:04:19
Hiroyuki Sawano (Kobayashi Mika) Grey to Blue Mare 0:04:13
Hiroyuki Sawano (mpi) The Reluctant Heroes Shingeki no Kyojin 0:04:25
Hiroyuki Sawano (Aimee Blackschleger) No differences Aldnoah Zero 0:04:37
Hiroyuki Sawano (Aimee Blackschleger) DOA Shingeki no Kyojin 0:03:26
Hiroyuki Sawano (Kobayashi Mika) Bauklotze Shingeki no Kyojin 0:03:56
Hiroyuki Sawano (mpi & CASG) Call your name Shingeki no Kyojin 0:04:28
Hiroyuki Sawano (gemie) X.U. (TV size) Owari no Seraph 0:01:32
Hiroyuki Sawano (Kobayashi Mika) ThreeFiveNineFourε 3594ε 0:04:04
Hiroyuki Sawano (Kobayashi Mika) Before my body is dry Kill la Kill 0:04:06
Hiroyuki Sawano (Cyua) Blumenkranz Kill la Kill 0:04:18
Hiroyuki Sawano (Kobayashi Mika) BIOS-D Guilty Crown 0:02:35
1:18:52

Dealing with Resistance to Change

“If anything, people should be afraid of lack of change.”

Not every change is an improvement, but every improvement is necessarily a change. When I am trying to introduce change in a workplace, I will inherently meet resistance to that change, regardless of whether the change will be an improvement or not. Justifying that the change is in fact an improvement does not even seem to satisfy those resisters. The resistance instead shifts to another topic of: “Well you might have grand ideas of this, but what happens after you win the lottery and leave, or you are promoted and someone else takes over, or you are hit by a bus and someone else takes your place?” How do I deal with this resistance to change? Even if I manage to satisfy these questions with improvement plans and ways to sustain the gains, will they just shift to endless other points of resistance?

Why do you believe what you believe? Are you just arguing from the Bottom Line, a fixed conclusion of not wanting to change, that no matter what counterarguments and weight of evidence against your position, that you still Won’t Change Your Mind on the matter?

If I accept that nothing else will change unless I do it, then what is it that I am agreeing to in the future?

The idea of “Managing Change” in the workplace seems to build up a negative stigma about any change, whether they be improvements or not. The Expressed Culture propagated when we are coached to “Manage Change” results in an environment which is inherently resistant to change. Instead of building this aversion to the progress necessary for improvement, I think it would be much more meaningful to teach a culture of Continuous Improvement. The comfort of constance, whether it be at the workplace or in our own personal endeavors, is a Habit to be Broken.

From a Position of Strength

As a successful Single Player, you will be able to live and thrive on your own, for yourself. It is from this Position of Strength, where you can better show compassion and live for others. When we try to show compassion without strength, is where we might have others applaud our efforts because we are showing that we care; but we are not really helping.

For others will have to help us. For others will have to take care of us. For others will have to save us when we are over-committed and under-resourced.

“But how can you say that, you monster!” you might tell me.

Why aren’t I handing out money or food to every helpless person I see? Why aren’t I putting in all my extra time at charities? Why aren’t I helping others not starve?

I am not ready yet.

I am not yet in a position of strength. If I were to slow down now, I would be that much weaker when the time comes where I truly need this strength. But the very real concern here is – What happens in the interim? What happens in the transition period, the growing time towards that Single Player Strength?

I cannot save everybody. You (probably) cannot save everybody (yet).

But we can, first and foremost, save ourselves. If everyone saves themselves, then there would be no need to save others. But even if more people were to save themselves, then we would be able to save more. If we try to affect and help those within our circle of influence, from a position of strength, then we are doing more than our share already, for our only responsibility should be for ourselves. Anything beyond the goal of becoming a strong Single Player is already us showing compassion.

Be mindful of who you help, too. Some people thrive under adversity. Some people need no help, or only a minimal push. Blanketing everyone we see with the same kind of compassion is not good, even though it might sound good. It might trigger Applause Lights. It might win the audience. But it is not good.

Build your strength for yourself first. Then, if you wish, appropriately help those around you to also become strong. Do not deprive others from growing their own strength. But also, watch out for those who really do need your strength. If you can help them directly, then do so if you wish. If you can’t help them directly, then you might have to let them go. You can grow yourself, and you can help grow those around you. Eventually, a future world with more stronger players may be able to help everybody; in the interim, we cannot.

Is it frustrating? Is it monstrous? Is it sad?

We must work quicker.

In Defense of the Meek, the Timid, and the Quiet

There is a difference between self-confidence and exhibited confidence. One appears inwardly, only seen by the actor. The other appears outwardly, observed and interpreted by those around the actor. Do not confuse someone’s exhibited confidence for their self-confidence. The exhibited confidence is a function of many factors, including other’s interpretation of such confidence. The self-confidence is usually harder to observe, but it is more meaningful and better representative of someone’s beliefs and actions.

When people say that you should be more confident, they usually mean that they want you to appear more confident. This is like saying to someone who looks like they weigh 250 pounds, “I want you to look like you weigh 150 pounds”. There is a lifestyle behind that 250 pounds. You cannot just expect someone to immediately change the surface-level observation of their final weight. You would expect there to be some period of time with deep internal change, like a change in diet, increased physical activity, or name your other weight-loss activity.

“I want you to be more confident.” There is a reason someone exhibits such outward confidence (which may or may not be an indicator of their self-confidence). We shouldn’t just shoehorn everybody into Type A personalities. It’s everyone’s accountability – everyone’s responsibility – to see people for who they are, and learn how to better understand and communicate with them. In doing so, we would be better able to gauge each individual’s self-confidence about their beliefs and actions.

It might be easier to treat everyone as the same foundational being, with their actions interpretable with the same lens across the entire human species. It’s easier, but it’s just wrong.

When our workplaces or other communities say they are seeking Diversity and Inclusion, are they asking for everyone to speak up? Or are they asking everyone to listen carefully to each member? Do we expect everyone else to communicate the same way that we communicate? Or do we start from ourselves, as Single Players, to become better listeners?

Judging and ranking people’s ideas by their voice’s decibel level seems like a silly idea; isn’t it just as silly to treat people who are assertive, charismatic, and loud as being more important than people who are meek, timid, and quiet? What are some examples of less-silly ways of comparing the beliefs and actions of Person Type-A and Person Type-B?

Running Away from Words

“Don’t call it a failure, call it a learning opportunity.”

“Why are you so negative? Instead of saying they lost, say that they almost won.”

“Instead of saying we can’t do something now, say that we might be able to do it later.”

I don’t consider these cases of being pessimistic vs optimistic. No new information is gained when saying these things one way over the other. So why do we sometimes run away from one version of these statements? I think we should let words describe, as close as possible, the real Simple TruthIn cases we win, let us say we win. And in cases we lose, let us say we lose.

Human language is just a medium for communication. It can be manipulated and misconstrued, to sway yourself and your audience. But truth is stubborn. True things stay, regardless if we believe them to be. That which can be destroyed by the truth should be

Let’s learn to face the truth, and also face the words which describe the truth. Let’s learn to use the truth, and also use the words which describe the truth. If our actions are aligned with winning, our words can just describe that truth. If our actions are not aligned with winning, our wordplay can’t make up for running away from that truth.

Of Two Minds, but One Body

“If I were to grab her hand, would she hold it against me? Would I know where I stand?”

Once this trip ends, things will go back to normal. We'll go back to our peaceful, lonely lives. ~ If only we would never arrive there. ~

Once this trip ends, things will go back to normal. We’ll go back to our peaceful, lonely lives.
~ If only we would never arrive there. ~

Different people can have different perspectives, different mindsets. We are just one person. People hold us to a certain image, with certain habits and a certain history. Sometimes we just want to change it. Sometimes we just want to try something else. Sometimes we change our mind and form new beliefs. But we are held to the same image by others, and sometimes restricted even by our own selves. We’ve acted this way up until now; it’s common to have an urge to remain consistent. There could also be a fear of admitting that we may have been wrong.

What if we could live out two (or more) minds? What if we were not restricted to one image, contained in one body? I think we would be able to commit more of ourselves to those different minds. I think we would have a better chance to actually, really see those beliefs in action, and experience what goes on in that mindset of thinking. And then we would be able to better figure out which one we prefer. Which one results in a lifestyle we like? Which one results in ideas closer to what happens in reality?

We could try an image reset by moving, by abandoning the relations we have. Would we also have to wipe our own memories? Or at least repress the past image? In games, we can sort of accomplish this, by creating a new character, a new name. With a new class, different skills and specializations. And we can try role-playing to fit those different minds, those different playstyles. Can we reroll our own selves?

Refresh, Reset, Re:Zero

What would we do when given a chance to start over? Are we afraid of starting over? Do we not want to feel like a Beginner again?

The same job, but with a new manager, new expectations, new cubicle. It’s not really the same job anymore. The manager in mind whose volition was understood, is now a different entity with different desires.

To win, to forget, to remember, to try to win again, and to forget again.

The 12 year old me –  how did they feel? What was it like to want to never lose?

Could I return to that 12 year old mindset? If I could commit a self to that mindset, and compare with my current mindset, which would I choose to continue with?

Single Players for Humanity

We are the good news we want to hear and see. We are also the bad news we tire of. We are the silliness, the lightness, and the positivity in the world. We are also its seriousness, heaviness, and negativity.

We are inherently attracted to drama, rubbernecking and gossiping. We are by nature political creatures, arguing to win, not necessarily to be on the side of the Simple Truth. These traits reflect us in how we talk, what we listen to, what we learn, how we relate, and how we feel.

So let us today begin and continue to make a conscious effort:

Let us be silly, light, and positive. We must turn away from spreading negativity, not because we are trying to forget and be ignorant of it, but because someone must be the healing for it. In this digital world, we are even more connected at the keyboard and through the camera. We can share our pain, but let us also share our healing. We can share our despair, but let us also share our hope. We can share our sadness, but let us also share our happiness. Though we might die, let us also remember that we must live.

For humanity is but a collection of single player life. A single light shining brightly can lead others through the darkness. Let us be and share that single light. Let us live, let live, and love live.

Play Your Game

People might distract you from what you are doing. It’s important to know how to play your game, even when others might criticize, prod, or make fun of how you play.

There is a fine line between stubbornness and conviction, a difference between playing and winning despite, not because ofFirst of all, play for yourself, with your interests in mind. Do not expect others to play for you. It’s only after you can consistently and reliably win for yourself, that you might consider if you’d also like to play for others.

You should expect that when your play-style clashes with another’s, that questioning will arise. “Why aren’t you doing what they’re doing?” One side might be asking this question. Both sides might be asking this question.

You can respond to that question in different ways: self-judgment, judging the other, hating, mocking, adjusting, maintaining, ignoring. Whatever the response is, it should be in deference to the art and goal of Winning.

Play your Game. If it needs to change, then change it. If it needs to stay the same, then keep playing that way. See you at the finish line.

Winning with a Line of Retreat

On my path towards Winning, I think it is important to leave a Line of Retreat.

For firefighters entering a burning building, it’s important to make sure they have a path to escape in case the fire spreads too much. For employees preparing in case of a natural disaster or other emergency, it’s important to remember evacuation plans and assembly areas. For poker players seeing a good hand, it’s important to be able to figure out when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em. For rationalists trying to find the Truth, it’s important to identify what they believe, why they believe that, and if they should continue to believe that. For us Single Players trying to Win, it’s important to recognize when our thought processes and actions are actually leading us to Lose.

As a matter of self-respect you should try to believe the truth no matter how uncomfortable it is.”

As we build our beliefs about truth up, like laying bricks on other bricks, we must be able to see which beliefs are dependent on other beliefs, and which beliefs are strong enough to form a solid foundation. We shouldn’t overly favor or ignore certain beliefs; each brick should be inspected and evaluated fairly for their truth-iness.

“Be a true coward, and plan out your retreat in detail—visualize every step—preferably before you first come to the battlefield.”

As we build these beliefs up, we must also be ready to trace back and remove these bricks in case we laid them incorrectly. We may believe Y, which depends on belief X. If we later see fault in belief X, then it only makes sense to re-examine belief Y as well.

“You must at least be able to admit to yourself which ideas scare you, and which ideas you are attached to.”

Humans are not wired to be complete rationalists. We have biases and calculation errors. We may have our pet theories and hidden lies. The better we are at not lying to ourselves, the better off we will be at finding and building upon the right beliefs.

“What is true is already so; owning up to it doesn’t make it worse.  You shouldn’t be afraid to just visualize a world you fear.  If that world is already actual, visualizing it won’t make it worse; and if it is not actual, visualizing it will do no harm.”

Winning is the ultimate judge. Whether our theorycrafting or strategizing leads us to approach Winning a certain way, in whatever forum we are trying to Win, the world does not care how much time we devoted or how much sweat we put in. After acting, we will either have Won the way we wanted to Win, or we will have Lost.

While trying to Win, we should also recognize how we might Lose. While walking down our paths towards Victory, we should also be preparing a Line of Retreat.

Taichi on Winning

I don’t simply want to be granted victory. I want to have not run away.

I won’t be happy with just being at the top. I want to have earned my way there.

I can’t let the success of others distract me from pursuing my own success. I want to have won my way, for me.

Winning is not just about receiving a prize. It’s about learning how to face yourself, and to bring that self to the Win.

“Rather than just being promoted to A-class, I want to be someone who didn’t run away.”

Taichi Mashima, Chihayafuru, Season 1 Episode 20 (~19 minute mark)