Conquering Oneself

A little background on my education: I graduated in 2010 from Chico State with a degree in philosophy, keen on never actually using it to get a job.  Philosophy offered me many things that I wanted to learn, mostly in understanding how people understand themselves and what doing the right thing means. One of my favorite concepts that philosophy wants to instill is that people are fallible and prone to ignoring their shortcomings and overestimating their own understanding.

Western philosophy often comes from a place of doubt, specifically self-doubt.  People automatically think they know everything but that isn’t very conducive to finding knowledge, so teachers focus on establishing a system of self-analysis that counteract man’s hubris and bring us closer to the truth.  Western philosophy’s ideal for being a good person is being self-aware and doing your best to understand the world.

c35f2bc8e59bd7f26d861b18cafc5f5ac6e30da1This vein of self-analysis has run through many philosophies for thousands of years and served as a basis for the scientific method.  It’s pretty important!  So what does this matter in the context of esports?

The ability to conquer oneself is no doubt the most precious of all things sports bestows on us

-Ulga Korbut, four time Olympic gold medalist

As a competitor in any sort of sport, knowing your own strengths and weaknesses is vital to improving.  This kind of self-knowledge is not something you get in many hobbies or jobs, it’s very unique.  It’s also very stressful and can become upsetting to know certain things about yourself or to struggle to overcome yourself, which is why people can and will avoid doing it.  Even seasoned competitors will find themselves fighting against the urge to think, “I’ve totally mastered this game/this aspect of the game”.  It’s human, and has been studied (see:The Dunning-Kruger Effect)

Striving for higher and higher levels of self-knowledge is an integral part of improving the mental aspects of whatever game or sport you partake. Check your ego, know what you want to be lazy at and do the opposite, and take pride in your self discovery.  Get to work.