How Can We Blame Ourselves?

I can safely point at 1 thing and 1 thing only as to why I haven’t been writing for months. I’m obsessed with claw machine. Often confused as an addiction, I have spent close to half a year catching soft toys, figurine boxes, speakers, earphones and many more stuff. I’ve been questioned numerous times as to how much I have spent. The reveal? Sufficient to actually purchase and place a fully operational claw machine at home for me to play non-stop. Did I? No. Why? Because the fun comes in solving other people’s puzzle, rather than my own self-made puzzle. Did I just say that claw machine is a puzzle, not a scam? Yes.

Did I regret my time and money on this interest? Absolutely not.

I’ve seen many kinds of faces when I win. The skeptical faces would point at what happened and passed it off as luck. The surprised faces would point at what happened and be in shock. The curious faces would ask, “How?” No doubt, there is some element of luck. But the trick to getting lucky is having the ability to create more opportunities of luck, and this is severely underrated. In order to get a lucky shot in, the bare minimal is for a basketball to be shot high enough that it hits the hoop. The ability to control and dictate how the claw swings, where it lands and how it lands is the equivalent of shooting the ball high enough that it hits the hoop. Needless to say (ironic, I know), getting the win is the equivalent of scoring the ball.

The best way to be insanely “lucky” is to be obsessed.

If we want to reach the highest level, we have to tap into obsession. Mastery is the sense of certainty over our skillset. The truth is, in order to be good, we have to have something stronger than our fear. It can be curiousity. It can be stubbornness. Heck, it may even be jealousy. Whatever it may be, we got to move forward despite the paralyzing fear. It is similar to how we are willing to work harder to help a friend than to appease a boss. This is how we grow. In order to be better, we gotta suck and sometimes we have to suck for a substantial amount of time. It doesn’t feel good, and chances are it will shatter our heart.

The flip side is that no one can rob us of our own rock bottom.

No one can take away the mistakes I’ve made in my pursuit of being better at playing the claw machine. I have failed so many times that failure is an outcome I can already anticipate it coming before it actually does. This is where success starts to seep in. We simply minimise and prevent the mistakes we have done in the past. More than that, we watch the mistakes that people do and we learn from it too. I’ve spent an obnoxious amount of time watching how people fail and succeed. It got to a point where a video that is meant to be funny and entertaining became analytical for me. I would rewind numerous times on mistakes and wins back and forth to quench my intense desire to know. How? Why? Soon, we start to gain muscle memory and somehow in the midst of it all, our actions are generated off more from a gut feeling than a logical rationale.

Do you want to know it more than anyone else in the world?

Our battle rhythm is growth. It may be claw machine for me, and it may be something else entirely different for you. No matter what it may be, we got to be both the experimenter and the subject. There is a high tendency that we will become the problem, and with sufficient time and effort, we will eventually become the solution too. I have been toyed so many times by different claw types, claw machine types, claw setting, soft toys, figurines, etc. I have failed enough tries to know what doesn’t work. It feels terrible, I know. But once you master the nuances of the game, I promise you, it feels ridiculously glorious. It feels as though you’re walking into the arena as Michael Jordan. From time to time, you will still lose, but these losses do not erode your self confidence. Why? Because when you start to win, you’re winning almost all the time. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again. If you do not know how to have a firm control on swinging your claw when you play the claw machine, it is equivalent to Michael Jordan not being able to do his signature jump shots. If he can’t win, he doesn’t blame his opponent, he blames himself. Similarly, if you can’t win, please don’t blame the machines or the setting. Blame yourself.

There is a fine line between fishing and doing nothing. We would like to think that we’re fishing, but the truth is we don’t have the line.