One Must be Single-Minded
In ancient times, there was a man surnamed Qiu. He was the most skillful player in the country at the game of "Go" (the oldest board game originating in China). Because he excelled at the game of "Go," people named him "Yi Qiu," where Yi is the term for Chinese chess. Since Yi Qiu held a very high status amidst the "Go" game players, and was also very influential amongst the public, someone came up with an idea to ruin his reputation.
One day, while Yi Qiu was playing, they brought someone to play the "sheng" reed pipe (a musical instrument with thirteen reeds) next to him. Yi Qiu was so distracted by the melodious music that he lost the game. A few days later, while Yi Qiu was playing, they found another person to ask him continually pointless questions about the principles of the game. Yi Qiu was at his wit’s end. He lost the game again. As a result, these people started to spread rumors, and said that Yi Qiu’s skill was poor and that he was a charlatan. These rumors caused Yi Qiu tremendous pain and apprehension.
A wise man, after learning about the situation, came to Yi Qiu’s defense. He thought that Yi Qiu’s recent drop in skill did not indicate his skill was poor. He recounted the story of a man who was once the greatest mathematician in the world. One time, while working on mathematic questions, a big wild goose flew over his head, sending out loud chirps, thus he was unable to solve the simplest equations. But this did not mean that he was poor at math, it was merely due to the distraction from the bird. Likewise, Yi Qiu’s recent losses to his opponents were not the result of his skill, but of the external interferences. Their minds were distracted by external factors. As a result, they were unable to concentrate on mathematics or the "Go" game.
Living in the dark, little "Gu" fish do not have eyes, yet they have very sharp hearing. This is because they must concentrate on their hearing. Turtles do not have ears but their eyes are very keen so that they focus on their vision. When we analyze it carefully, it’s all about being single-minded. In order to do something well, we must be diligent in being single-minded and wholeheartedly focus our concentration. We cannot succeed if we are absent-minded, undedicated, or unable to concentrate. As for those who merely read out loud but do not focus their mind on learning, even though they hear the words, they do not pay attention to them. They are only deceiving themselves and others.
After listening to the wise man’s analysis, people no longer doubted Yi Qiu’s skill. And Yi Qiu followed the advice from the wise man as well: "Be single-minded." Ever since then, Yi Qiu won every single game, and those who wanted to defame him were unable to do so.