Pool is an addictive sport, and many people who get involved in it end up pursuing dreams of mastery and conquest. Sometimes they lead to fame and fortune, and sometimes they lead to frustration and pain.
Most often, for players who get bitten by the bug, these dreams lead to an ongoing sequence of breakdowns and breakthroughs. They become a vehicle for self-knowledge and an opportunity to experience one’s own physical, mental, and emotional limitations. Persevering in the face of these limits generates the breakdowns and breakthroughs, and when one takes place; it happens both in your game and in your experience of being a human being. You can’t separate the pool from the person. They go together.
In other words, when you create a goal associated with pool, the game becomes wrapped up and intertwined with your overall experience of yourself. Understanding that you are never dealing with a pool game independent of yourself is essential to managing your game effectively. This is specifically true when considering whether to take break or not.
Sometimes taking a vacation from playing or practicing allows what you have been working on to gel. It allows your body and mind to incorporate the changes that will let you play better in the future. Sometimes a break will relieve the tedium and let you come back to the game with a renewed passion. At other times, taking a break only keeps you stuck in the muck. When you plateau because you have run into a personal limitation, taking a break is the wrong thing to do. At these times it is essential to keep pushing forward; to press into the obstacle and experience the necessary breakdown that allows the next breakthrough.
When you set an authentic goal, you call forth everything in opposition to accomplishing it. In fact, if you never were to take on a specific goal, the obstacles to attaining it would remain unknown. It is taking a stand that brings the resistance into the foreground, and making a goal always brings up opposition. It is recognizing where you are in the process that determines whether or not it is the right time to take a break.
Every project goes through different stages. When you first consider a goal, it is in a state of formulation. You are not pinned down yet, because you actually haven’t taken a stand. If you take a break at this point, you suffer no setback, but you realize no advancement either.
When you first declare a specific goal with intention, you bring it into being as a real deal in the world. You do this by owning it within yourself, by writing it down, and by telling others. The more you define and share it, the more it becomes real. It takes on substance, and the obstacles to attaining it begin to wake up, but still, you haven’t taken any real action yet. If you take a break now, you gain nothing, but you loose credibility with yourself and others.
Once you start taking action, you may enjoy an immediate step forward, but soon the obstacles present themselves in their full potency. Your project is in a state of concentration, where a lot of energy and effort produces little results. It’s like pushing a rock up a hill. You push and push and push, but you don’t get very far. This is the worse time to take a break, because if you do, the rock will roll down the hill, and any progress you made will be wasted. This is the time to keep pushing.
When you get to the top of the hill, you enter a state of stability, and it is okay to take a break if you need one. A vacation here can renew your energy and your passion. When you come back, the rock will be sitting where you left it. You might have to get back up to speed, but you’re strong again, so that’s not a problem.
Once you start down the other side of the hill, however, you enter into a state of momentum. Every bit of effort or energy on your part pays off big! The rock is rolling down the hill, smashing through obstacles with velocity. Stay there and manage it! If you take a break, you will squander the opportunity you have worked so hard to get. Enter a lot of tournaments! Swing up to a higher level of competition! Stay in the game and enjoy it!