Steps Taken by a Self Possessed Man

Written by Tim Miller

"I climbed the mountain and I looked around. I saw the snow covered hills......." A line by Stevie Nicks. "Then I saw my reflection....." When you reach the top, what will your reflection flash back at you? It is not enough to reach the summit of pocket billiards excellence. There is more. A master of pocket billiards must be the master of himself. For to conquer in battle a thousand men a thousand times, he who conquers himself is the greatest of warriors" These are the words found in the Dharmapada.

Along the way we can be tempted to give in to our impulsive nature and win a few matches through intimidation and sharking. One who uses these techniques has not conquered self and therefore is not a master. Thus, he is not a winner. He is not a champion. Though he may win a tournament or many tournaments, he is still a man out of control, subject to the whispering winds of illusion. On the mountain it is not the view that counts. It is the person who has arrived.

"What must I do to become the greatest warrior of pocket billiards?" Asked an eager student. "You must rise above the act itself. Overcome your compulsive desire to win every match. Be at peace with who you are. The Journey of a thousand miles still leaves you with a thousand miles and yet another thousand miles and another thousand miles. Only when you can be the pool cue, the balls, the table, the champion, the warrior without the performance, you have become the master. You have arrived at true mastery. When you have nothing to prove, you have become the master of self." These are the words from my book, May All the Rolls Go Your Way.

One trophy, one tournament, one match, or a hundred trophies, a hundred tournaments, a hundred matches cannot compare with the steps taken by a self possessed man. This is the ultimate prize in pocket billiards.

If your mastery of pocket billiards does not find itself in the service of others, you have wasted your time. Once you become a master, you must be willing to help others along the way.

Send them a copy of my book, or my videos. Spend a few moments with a straggler who has lost his way. Be a model in your league. If you are willing to help others you have become a true champion and it will come back to you a thousand times.

If I think a player wants to learn this game so he can go out and gamble on the action road to hell, I will not help him. For he does not want to master pool, he wants to master the art of the hustle. There is a difference between the match player and the gambler. In another article I will compare the two players. For now, May All The Rolls Go Your Way.

About The Author: The Monk Billiard Academy (, founded in 1991 by Tim Miller, (The Monk) is dedicated to making you the best pool player you can become. Tim's unique philosophy on the inner game of pool has helped countless players realize the player within.

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Author Info - Tim Miller