Sunday, May 19, 2013

Autopilot Disease Part 2

Once again I begin to write an article that will captivate, nay capture, your hearts, minds, souls etc...
"What's that you say?"
"We're broadcasting already?"
"Well why didn't you say so?"
"Never mind that we've got a show to run!"

Welcome folks to part two of the ongoing series on playing in Autopilot mode. Now that we've covered what Autopilot in part one looks like let's go over some of the reasons people play that way.

Number 1: Stress
When something goes wrong in your life, whether the car breaking down, or your mother's unreasonable complaints that you're 30 years old and that you need a job, The stress can put you into autopilot mode.

Number 2: The Desire to rank up
Paradoxically, the harder you try to get that rank to go up the more difficulties you run into on the way.

Number 3: Impatience
This kind of goes back to No 2. but, when you are in a hurry to win, you don't take the time to think.

On further consideration, the possibilities for going into autopilot mode seem quite extensive and I'd like to take this moment to show the common denominator behind all these causes.

When you push harder you lose the subtlety.
Try balancing a piece of paper on your hand. Now add a pen. You can feel the difference in weight easily.
Now try balancing a bowling ball on your hand. Now add a pen. It doesn't really feel much different.
The less you carry, the more easily you can feel.

Applying this to Go, simply don't focus so intently on winning. Enjoy the game and experiment. If Go feels like work instead of play, your brain just shuts up and relies on what it already knows.

Remember when you were practicing piano as a youngster. When you played your piece at home from the comfort of your living room, it sounded perfect, but when you played at the recital, you failed miserably.
It felt so difficult to do what was normally an enjoyable activity.

Loosen up! try less and achieve more!


  1. Interesting approach. So based on what you're saying, the focus on winning causes a person to tense up. And since his/her mind is consumed with the idea of winning or ranking up, he/she is unable to be more creative and see better moves.

    Do I have that right?

  2. Yes, I admit that is a pretty good summary of what I said. Wanting to win too much causes fear of any other alternative, and while afraid we lock up into autopilot mode; We rely on what we already know, lose our playfulness, and get set in our ways.