Peter Hallberg
World Backgammon Champion 2004

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Sep 2013

Making Choices

Sep 2nd by Peter Hallberg

The goal is not to choose but to realize that you made a choice.


Funnily enough our lives are filled with choices and we make a lot of them every day. Nevertheless only a few of them seem important enough for us to stop up and think about them. By choosing we take responsibility for our actions. When things go well we feel it is well deserved and when things go wrong we know that we did our best.

What about all the choices we didn’t make? Maybe we couldn’t. Maybe we were not aware that we had a choice or maybe we just didn’t care. Bottom line is that not choosing is choosing. We choose to do nothing and that affects us just as much as when we choose to do something. We have the same responsibility for our actions whether they are passive or active.

When you are aware of your choices you can analyze the situation and try to understand the consequences of your choices. Then in the future when you have to live with the consequences it’s a lot easier because you hopefully understood the potential risks of your choices. This is how I want to take responsibility of my life.

Personal experience
All the things that have been going on in my personal life for the last year have made me start rethinking the way I make choices. To put it in a nut shell I have always had goals I wanted to achieve and plans of how to make them happen. Somehow I often ended up taking a detour, making it a lot harder than necessary.

I realized that my daily life is more influenced by all the small choices I make than governed by the larger goals I have in life. That sucks. How is it possible to get anywhere when you don’t know how to use your compass? First, I sat down and thought about what I wanted out of life. What would I like to have achieved when my day comes? From there I kind of backtracked to where I am today. That way it became really clear what I had to do to get moving in the right direction.

"First things first," someone said. Now I’ve understood that certain things need to be done, in order to enable me to do other things. The faster I do the needful, the faster I move towards my goals. It sound simple but it is really hard doing every day. My last three months have basically been spent on going to work and sleeping. This is very good when measured up against first things first and going directly toward my goals. Unfortunately I missed something.

As a person I have different roles. I’m a friend, a family member, a backgammon- and chess player, a coach and a blogger. Going to work and trying to grow as a person are also roles I have. These are the roles that are important for me as a person and that’s exactly why I should also have time to fulfil those roles once in a while.

So what have I been doing? I chose not to go hang out with friends and family. I chose not to play backgammon or chess. I chose not to coach and blog but I did it all implicitly by choosing to take a lot of overtime at work. If I had been aware of the fact that I only played one role for three months I might have chosen otherwise. Now I know. Now I can take responsibility and give all the different roles at least a little attention. Of course it is still first things first but only prioritizing one thing will make me a different person than I want to be. Besides wanting to start a family and building a solid foundation for the future to stand on, what do I want? It got me thinking and I found some goals that would mean a lot to me just to try to achieve.

Secondary goals
To be able to enjoy what I do I kind of have to be aware of why I do things. There needs to be a purpose. Otherwise I should probably have spent my time on something else.
Here are some examples of what I would like to accomplice at some point. I have separated them into minor and major goals. The point being that minor goals is something that can be done if I decide to do them and major goals is something that need an unspecified amount of time to achieve.

• Do at least one out of character thing a month
The idea is to try something I would not have considered doing at all. At least I will get my horizon broadened. I’m open for suggestions for things I could try to do but I won't promise that I'll do them all.

• Read a fictional book
I have never read a fictional book from cover to cover that wasn’t a part of the curriculum in school. It has somehow come to the point where I don’t want to any more but I believe I miss out big time. Please, leave a comment below with a recommendation of the best book you’ve ever read.

• Swim 100 m
Some rocks have been known to swim better than me. I feel uncomfortable in the water and I believe I can swim about 10 m before I unwillingly start to dive. Learning to swim 100 m would be a huge accomplishment.

• Learn to play an instrument
I want to play guitar – well any instrument for that matter. It seem like guitar is one of the most accessible which is why my choice fell on that.

• Become a backgammon grandmaster
There is just something cool about this. I’m still pretty for from having met all the demands for getting the title but I will surely try to meet them over time.

• Run a full marathon
Two years ago I had trouble walking 2 km and now a 5 km run is nothing special. Why not try to run a marathon one day. No time pressure. Just completing an official marathon would be a huge achievement for me.

• Write a book on a subject of interest
I like writing. I like to share knowledge so writing a book seems like a good project. When it’s done it’s there forever.

• Pass 1900 in Danish chess rating
Why don’t I get chess? I don’t know but I’m going to find out. This is one of the things I’ve always wanted to achieve but never really had the necessary resources to do it. I’m going to get there sooner or later - preferable sooner.

• Get my skill game training program established
I would get personal satisfaction from people getting something valuable out of my ideas. This is a very important project that still needs a lot of work to mature but I believe in it.

What do you want from your life? What motivates you? How do you try to make your dreams come true?

:: Backgammon ::

* Dansk Bg Forbund (DK) 

* eXtreme Gammon

* Bg World Championship

* DBgF on Facebook (DK)


:: Poker ::

* Pokernyhederne (DK)

* (DK)

* Texaspoker (DK)

* PokerHistory


:: Chess ::

* Dansk Skak Union (DK)

* ChessBomb

* K41 (DK)

* ChessTempo