The power of learning strategy. Play the board game “GO!”

Go Game BoardIsn’t there a saying that if we think about something enough we will attract it to ourselves?  Well, that’s what happened to me yesterday. I’ve been wanting to see and learn how this Asian board game is played. I walked in the coffee shop and there were two guys playing the game.  Wow – I was over there in a micro-second.

You see, I have watched some Asian historical dramas. In those movies the Emperor plays this board game with his Advisor. The Emperor always plays with intensity and strategic thinking. It’s clear that he uses this game as a way to help him think “real war strategy.” As I read the book, “The Art of War,” I wanted to learn about this game too.

These fellas were very welcoming. They told me the board game is called, “GO!”  The object of the game is to get as much territory as possible. As you surround your opponent’s stone(s) with your color of stone, you can take his stone(s) off the board. In the photo, you can see that the gentleman on the right is pointing to the white stones… he was showing me that he was “losing,” and needed to “focus” more.

If you’ve been wanting to learn about this game, I hope this post encourages you to give it a try. I know I’m going to try and play. Wikipedia’s article, “Go (game),” says this board game was created in ancient China 2,500 years ago and it is the oldest board game still played in its original form. The article also gives more information on the history of the game and how/why it tests your thinking and strategic skills.

If you are on the fence about playing, see American Go Association’s website where they list the “Top Ten Reasons to Play Go.”

If you like to think and to conquer, THIS GAME will challenge YOU!

 

Need motivation? Then it’s time for Sun Tzu’s, “The Art of War”

sun-tzu-statue

Statue of Sun Tzu in Yurihama, Tottori, in Japan

I’m not sure how I heard about Sun Tzu’s, “The Art of War,” but it piqued my interest as a book I needed to read.

Sun Tzu was a Chinese military general known to be a great war leader and strategist. His goal was always to try and win a battle without fighting and if he did have to fight, to win the easiest battles first. If you read his book, you’ll find that his war strategies apply to business as well.

When I was in Singapore, I was determined to visit a bookstore and find Sun Tzu’s book. I also wanted to explore “other” interesting books that I might not find back home. The bookstore, of course, had a variety of books from Asian authors (Chinese, Japanese, Korean), a great Supply Chain section and a big area for best selling American novels as well.

image1Being the popular book that it is, the bookstore was out of Sun Tzu’s, “The Art of War;” however, they had a business version called, “Sun Tzu for Success: How to Use The Art of War to Master Challenges and Accomplish the Important Goals in Your life,” by Gerald Michaelson with Steven Michaelson.

As I started flipping through the pages, I was hooked. Michaelson takes Sun Tzu’s strategies and relates them to management/business situations. In Section One of Michelson’s book he talks about the importance of understanding “who you are.” He says that Sun Tzu’s philosophy was about knowing yourself, because if you do not know yourself, you are your worst enemy.

Sun Tzu/Michaelson’s goal is to prove to us that no matter how challenged life can be, we are in charge of our destiny, our dreams and our goals. For any hurdle in life, we need to find that inner passion and strength to “stay strong” and want to push through “rejections/failures” in our studies, jobs, owning a business, and more. It takes hard work to win!

I leave you with another bit of inspiration…

Midas Kwant (a 19 year old from the Netherlands), gave an inspiring TedxMaastricht talk on “Finding your Passion.” He talks about being really unhappy in grade school and how his life changed with the determination of his parents and a “little bit of luck.”

Here is to staying positive in life. By reading, learning, meeting new people and sharing inspiring stories, we help each other.

REMEMBER:  When we least expect it, miracles and creative ideas come to us that change the course of our lives. One small act of kindness toward someone can change the course of THEIR day, and the smile they give us warms our hearts and changes OUR day too!

So, I challenge you to go out and do one kind deed today!   Good luck, be creative!