L.A. Dreams: A Mind is an Easy Thing to Waste

“If you take life too seriously you’ll never make it out alive.” Van Wilder

It seems silly taking a life lesson from a comedy movie, but wisdom can sprout from anywhere and dismissing good advice because it was from a fictional character seems like a waste. This line often comes to me whenever I take the time to breathe before going on tilt. I am often in my own head so deep that I can lose track of what is actually happening in front of me. That is often the case when people go into tilt.

If you’re making these mistakes then maybe you should be pissed at yourself. Ever think of that?

It isn’t fair to judge yourself so harshly as we all make mistakes. Look at any comments from videos that pro players do and you’ll see dozens of people find a better line of play in parts of the game. The best example I can think of is watching LSV play valakut and miss count mountains. It happens and we shouldn’t look for ways to destroy ourselves.

Humans destroy themselves all the time. Fatty foods, cigarettes, soda, muscle atrophy, and those are just the main points. Why bother telling everyone what they know? You’re just destroying your own reputation. Maybe you don’t have what it takes to be good at magic.

Tilt describes a psychological state, pretty much summed up as anger. We all know tilt is bad because of that yet we don’t talk much about other problems people face when it comes to focusing. Magic is a game filled with people that are superstitious and believe in luck. “If I listen to this song I’m untouchable!” “This die is lucky and I almost always win the roll”. Magic is also filled with geniuses. Lawyers, Business Owners, Accountants, and plenty of high class careers can find themselves amongst the top tables at tournaments.

I had to fight to get into the Gifted program in school because most teachers thought I was just crazy.  I scored 132 IQ and forced my way into the gifted program.

Way to brag about smart guy. Are you a doctor or a rocket scientist? No. You’re just a regular guy that plays magic and never used that gift.

It is disheartening to know you have potential and not use it. I never applied myself to school, but I developed many theories on society in general as a child. Always lost in thought I analyzed my classmates to look for patterns until I could almost predict where some of them would be the following year. This doesn’t lead to a lot of friendships if you can believe it. It does lead to an interesting discovery. On average the people in the Gifted program were not only smarter, but also more likely to have a mental disorder of some degree. Two of my friends were proof. One was medicated for ADHD and another has a disorder that they cannot actually comprehend consequences. Often they would fight because one couldn’t focus long enough to reason out a fix and the other could see things would go bad.

Why are you so boring and talking about stupid crap from school instead of talking about tilt? Now we know you had crazy friends. What’s the point of this article? Why even bother to write all of this?

People would often leave it at that. “My friends are crazy. Whatever.” I put the pieces together and researched things I thought. How my process differed from people. I diagnosed myself with Schizophrenia 2 Years before any Psychiatrist. It’s been 10 years since a psychiatrist confirmed what I knew. (Don’t freak out and think I’m like in A Beautiful Mind. Schizophrenia is horribly misunderstood on average)

Now the world knows you’re crazy too. Good job man. How does this help anyone else get better at magic?

When you are always inside your head you learn to cope with tilt a little differently. You can’t always control even yourself let alone a game of magic. I haven’t even had the capacity to play a match for over a week because of an episode. If I can lose a week of my life how can I possibly play magic at any high level.

How can any of us? Turn your crazy into strength. A common disorder is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I would not be shocked if it turned out that 50% of our pro players actually turn out to have OCD of some extent. Most people might not even realize these issues as a lot of times we don’t even have any sort of ‘issue’.

People that play magic are crazy. We get it Mr. Genius. Any other tidbits you can share with us?

The best way I can suggest to avoid tilt is to not fight it. Just like with any sort of OCD you can fulfill the desire and your body will usually relax. If you fight your tilt too much than you are just as unfocused on the games you play as if you were just raging at the world.

Go crazy. But do it the right way.

You’re lucky to have me demanding you answer if 2 Valakuts or a Valakut and a Mountain are better to grab. Yet you still make more misplays than I can catch in time.

I can be angry. Just like anyone. The reason why I know I can be good at magic is that I may have a part of me that’s always angry at myself, but it’s my tool to grow as a player. I forge tilt into a weapon Caw Blade would have envied. It may not always be as easy as pro’s make it sound. This is the best I can do to help the few people out there with more issues than making the SCG Top 8 or the Finals of a PTQ.


Posted on July 13, 2011, in Articles, L.A. Dreams. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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