This blog post was brought to you by the generosity of AJATT's patrons!

If you would like to support the continuing production of AJATT content, please consider making a monthly donation through Patreon.

Right there ↑ . Go on. Click on it. Patrons get goodies like early access to content (days, weeks, months and even YEARS before everyone else), mutlimedia stuff and other goodies!

HABU Yoshiharu’s “The Big Picture”, Part 2: Never Perfection, Always Improvement

OK, so, just so we’re on the same page, this is the book we’re talking about: [大局観 自分と闘って負けない心 (角川oneテーマ21) | 羽生 善治 |本 | 通販 | Amazon], and the unofficial English title we’re giving it is The Big Picture: How to Face Yourself and Win.

Go back up through the series if you need a refresher on what we’re even talking about. Cool? Cool.

Right. Brass tacks time!

  • 将棋であれ、スポーツであれ、ビジネスであれ、「勝負にはミスが付き物」と言っていいと思う。勿論、誰だってミスをする積もりなど微塵も無いけれど、パーフェクトなパフォーマンスを実現するのは至難の業だ。《中略》「今日の将棋は完璧だった、ミスも無く、百点満点のパーフォーマンスだった」と思える事は、私には殆ど無い。一、二年に一度、あるかどうかだ。
  • Whether in shogi, sports, or business, I think that making mistakes is a normal part of any game. Of course, nobody deliberately intends to make mistakes, but perfect performance is virtually impossible…It virtually never happens that I can think “I played a 100% perfect game of shogi today and made zero mistakes”, except for maybe once every couple of years, if that.
  • 将棋=しょうぎ
  • 勿論=もちろん
  • 微塵=みじん
  • 至難の業=しなんのわざ
  • 百点満点=ひゃくてんまんてん
  • 中略=ちゅうりゃく
  • 思う=おもう
  • 無い=ない
  • 殆ど=ほとんど

It’s one thing for your mate, Todd, the pothead with a hoarding problem and illegitimate children he never sees (lol) to tell you to chill and that “making mistakes is…normal”; it’s another thing altogether for the greatest shogi player of all time to say it. 1 You’d think that a 9×9 board would be small enough of a world that you could reliably experience some perfection, but it isn’t and you don’t — not even if you’re the GOAT. Not even if you’re the Japanese GOAT of a Japanese game. No perfection soup for you!

You cannot dependably produce perfection, but you can dependably produce improvement. And I only keep telling you this because I need to hear it myself; it’s a lesson I keep “teaching” because it’s a lesson I need to keep learning. If perfectionism is a disease, then…you know, I mean, first of all, ewww gross (lol). Secondly, it needs to be handled with ruthless efficiency — failing to prevent it or leaving it untreated is even grosser than having it, just like failing to clean dirty toilets is even grosser than having them dirty. 2

Aaaand, that’s all for now. I was gonna go longer, but I figure it’s better to keep these parts short and frequent, rather than force you to wait indeterminate amounts of time for one big, long, dump 3.

Take care and bye for now!

Series Navigation


  1. I assign different weights to the opinions of different people and so should you! lol
  2. Dood, how ironic would it be to be a perfectionist about preventing perfectionism? Stranger things have happened…
  3. There’s a vegan/paleo diet joke in here somewhere but I can’t be bothered to go fish it out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *