In February this year, before COVID 19 hit our world, I was blessed to have a great weekend treat in Hobart with friends. In the hotel bar was a chess set. So there’s 10 of us, watching 2 of us, attempt to play a game of chess and it got me thinking and Here are some invaluable lessons that can be learned from the game of chess.
- There’s always an opportunity if you look hard enough. No matter how bad your position looks on the chessboard,(life) there’s almost always a simple solution.
Take the time in your life to look for the best opportunities and take full advantage of them.
- Be willing to sacrifice for something better. The queen sacrifice in chess is a classic move. It seems counterintuitive that giving up your most valuable piece can sometimes be your smartest move.
What habit or limiting belief are you willing to give up in order to be successful in life?
- You have to focus your attention if you want to win. Chess requires a tremendous amount of mental energy and focus. You can’t win without it.
How focused are you in your life? Do you have goals? Goals are an excellent way to focus your attention on the things that matter.
- Sometimes, simplifying is the smartest move you can make. There are times in chess when it’s advantageous to trade pieces with your opponent to clear the clutter off the board and simplify the position.
Simplifying your life can be a powerful strategy to achieving greater levels of contentment and success. Clear out the old and allow new growth.
- The big picture matters. It’s easy to sweat the small stuff on the chessboard and lose sight of the overall strategy of the game.
Avoid silly conflicts at work. Focus on what’s best for your career instead.
Why argue about whose turn it is to unload the dishwasher? Do what’s best for your relationship.
- Failure can be the best teacher. The chess games you lose can teach you more than the games you win.
Failure is a great teacher in life, too. If you’re a 3/5 public profile you’ll understand what a great asset it is to enjoy all perceived failure as just feedback.
- You can always start a new game. Losing a game of chess doesn’t prevent you from playing again.
In life, failure isn’t final. You can always hit reset and try again, and again, and again. There can be no growth without failure – failure is just one more way of finding what doesn’t work so you can experiment and play and eventually find what does.
- It’s all about the decisions you make. The difference between playing poor, good, and world-class chess is the quality of the choices you make.
The quality of your decisions in life is just as important. Most of your challenges are due to a couple of poor decisions. When you know your unique Decision making strategy, life comes to you. You never have to chase anything, ever.
- It helps to have a plan. Great chess players create a plan based on the distribution of pieces on the board. Then, they execute that plan as well as possible.
Do you have a plan for your life? If not, how do you expect to experience a positive result? How do you know where you’re going if you have no plan?
- Sometimes you have to back up in order to gain ground. You can’t just move the pieces forward 100% of the time. There’s a time to back up and then make your move when the time is right. Using your unique Decision Making Strategy will ensure you’re always in the right place at the right time.
You can’t push forward in life 100% of the time. There’s a time and a place for retreat, consolidation, and then making progress again. Everything has a cycle, we are included in that, even though we believe we have to keep pushing to get everything NOW
There are many similarities between chess and life. Unless you’re playing a real pro, there’s always hope in chess. The game can turn on a single move by either player.
Likewise, when you know who you are and know how to make correct decisions you will always find yourself aligned to your correct life path. Have a plan for your life but stay flexible. Look for opportunities, and don’t be afraid to take a step back to make long-term progress.
Play some chess. It’s good for your brain and can enhance your strategy for dealing with life.