What I Learned From the World Pool Championships 2007

Nov 8, 2007

I’ve been watching the World Pool Championships 2007 today. And as always, there’s a lot of things that I think can be learned from it.

I mentioned 9 ball a while back, and the lesson on positioning that it thought me. But today, I want to focus more on the trends in the tournament.

Soft breaks are a lot more common now, it seems. A few years ago, everyone was breaking really hard, just hitting it and hoping for a good spread. But now, it’s a lot more controlled, and almost everyone is going for a soft break. The first lesson it shows is something that I’ve written about before: control. Sometimes, holding back is better, because it allows you to have more control over the results.

Something interesting from the commentators as well. One commentator talked about how because the soft break gives less spread (the balls don’t fly around the table as much), there tends to be more clusters of balls, and could create more trouble. A while later, I heard another comment, this time saying how the balls are closer together after a soft break, thus the cue doesn’t need to travel as far, making run outs easier. Just goes to show how everything is a matter of perspective. The same soft break, the same result (less spread of balls), but two completely different conclusions.

A third lesson that watching this has taught me is that everyone has an equal chance, and it’s all about taking your opportunities. I’ve seen so many upsets, with the supposed underdogs pouncing on one mistake. And especially with the winner-break format, they can easily string a run of racks together to win. Lesson here – even if nobody expects you to win, you can. All you have to do is maintain your mental strength, and wait for your chance. Then make the most of it. No matter how much the odds are stacked against you, you will get your chance (I don’t think I’ve seen ANYBODY break and run out the whole match).

So there it is. 3 lessons from watching the world pool championships. The value of holding back – the control it gives, the importance of perspective and what a huge difference it can make, and how no matter how unlikely it seems, opportunities to succeed (in whatever you’re doing) will come, it’s up to you to make the most of them.

This is written as an entry to this month’s “What I Learned From…” group writing project.

Think Different: At Home in The Universe

Nov 5, 2007

While, I was away, I recently got tagged for two different “challenges”. And as I thought about it, I thought I could combine the two into one post. This isn’t me trying to slack off, but I do think that they can relate.

Jean Browman wrote a really thought-provoking post, At Home In the Universe, and encouraged me to participate.

He asks, “Does this picture resonate with you at all? For instance, have you ever felt you looked at things differently from other people…that a part of you was alone in the universe? If so, what was your reaction? Were you frightened… depressed… exhilarated… lonely? What did you do?”

Well, I think most people reading this blog know that I value being able to “look at things differently from other people”. But yes, on the other hand, it can be a daunting prospect. Sometimes, you do feel alone.

After looking at the photo for a while, I started trying to think differently about it. If you read this blog, you should know, it’s kind of a normal thing for me to do that. So it basically evolved into the second challenge: The Think Different Challenge, started by Peter. I was tagged by Peter himself, as well as Tristan Loo (links to their posts on the challenge – check them out).

So, back to topic. Look at the photo, what do you see? At first glance, yes, I notice the loneliness and all. But thinking differently about it, I started focusing on the space around, and just the environment. And I think that’s the key to overcoming the loneliness.

From my own life, quitting school was one of the major things. After quitting, I was a lot less involved in the social circle of my peers for obvious reasons. It’s harder to keep in touch, we see each other less, etc. And it did make me feel lonely. But over time, I’ve met new people and formed new relationships. The freedom opened up a new circle, and that really helped to overcome the loneliness.

Yes, in the picture, the astronaut might be alone. But it’s because of where he is, isn’t it? He could easily be among the others, in the crowd, if he’s down, on earth. But he’s not. He’s up, above the earth. Up in space. And that’s why he’s alone. If you think about it, there’s so much opportunity there. There’s so much space around him. So much to explore. So much opportunity to bring others up to where he is. And that vast opportunity is what we should be focusing on.

What’s my point? That maybe loneliness isn’t that bad. Loneliness probably means you’re at a place where others aren’t. So you have the opportunity to bring them there. And you have the opportunity to be the first.

And that’s also my suggestions for overcoming it. See it as an opportunity. An opportunity to explore the unknown – to make new friends or meet new people. An opportunity to bring your old friends up to where you are and expose them to a new, different experience.

I don’t really know who to tag on this, so if you’re interested, just consider yourself tagged by me.