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HABU Yoshiharu’s “The Big Picture”, Part 4: Don’t Overthink It

  • 「如何に深く考えるか」よりも、「如何に上手く見切るか」
  • [I think that there are many times when] it’s more important to just give up and let go gracefully than it is to think deeply
  • 如何に=いかに
  • 深い=ふかい
  • 考える=かんがえる
  • 上手い=うまい
  • 見切る=みきる
  • “to abandon;  to give up;  → みかぎる【見限る】 to sell at a loss;  to sell off” [見切る · Tangorin Japanese Dictionary]
  • “みきる【見切る】 ⇒みきり(見切り) 1 〔見限る〕give up ((on)); abandon; ((文)) forsake; ((口)) ditch 2 〔安く売る〕sell a thing at a loss; sell off” [見切るの英語・英訳 – goo辞書 英和和英]

Is Yoshihabs preaching fatalism here? Is that what it’s come to? No. Not at all. He’s talking about timeboxing. Sometimes, you think and think and think and think and still can’t come to a decision. So what do you do? Well, if you’re smart and sensitive person, you curl up into a ball and fester in a state of permanent indecision that morphs into a multi-year bout of clinical depression. But if you’re even smarter and wiser than that, you cut your losses and make a decision anyhow. The GOAT of shogi does not waste his time overthinking. Which is not to say that he doesn’t think at all. He just doesn’t get lost in a thought quagmire. He doesn’t get embroiled in mental Vietnam/Afghanistan. He gets the heck out and moves the heck on.

Don’t overthink. Set a cut-off point. Let life go on (it will anyway, but you need to let it go on for yourself as well, innit). Make the game winnable, that is, make it finite; give it many internal end-points 1 and “save-points”. Let there be an end to your fussin’, and let yourself be the one to decide that end: give yourself that authority.


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  1. again, timeboxing is a great way to do this

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