8 Life Strategies That Playing Chess Has Taught Me


Being a Rookie

Chess is a game that I love to play with my husband.  He is such an enviable strategist. When I first started playing with him, I felt like a complete fool every time he snookered my king and got me into check-mate.

What playing chess taught me about life

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When I let my pride take the back seat, I discovered a remarkable game that I could undeniably learn from whilst enjoying some quiet, reflective, quality time with my partner.

I found it a relaxing pursuit with red-hot moments of intensive brain-stretching — a great way to quantize your thinking.  It not only takes the grey matter for a stroll around the yard but also teaches you valuable lessons in forethought, planning, awareness and defense tactics.

Has Anyone Seen the Bishop?

I started to see more spiritual truths in chess the more we played; in fact it was beginning to be a remarkable representation of life!

It aroused me to apply these teaching to my own life situations and, if not why not, to other people’s life circumstances too.  A lot of people are already either inadvertently or deliberately playing chess with their situations and relationships.

It opened my eyes and taught me that there is usually either a way to slip out of trouble or to catch yourself and your opponent by surprise with your brilliant and calm maneuvering capabilities.

Be Your Own Knight in Shining Armor

Just when things start to look hopeless, you view your game from a different angle or perspective and you move to the side and allow danger to pass.  What a great allegory for life!

Here are some of the life strategies chess has permitted me to comprehend:

  • Multi-layers — there is always more than meets the eye in any given situation.
  • Patience — slow and steady wins the race.
  • Side-Stepping — there is usually either an evasive move or a counter-action you can take when in the face of danger.  Don’t lose hope.
  • Shifting Views — when things are looking dire for you, all you may need is a shift in perspective that can open up new doorways.
  • Positive Outlook — always try to stay optimistic and you will habitually figure out a good move to make.
  • Acknowledgments — congratulate your opponent on good moves — you can learn from them too.  Don’t let your pride get in the way of wisdom.
  • Grace — be a good loser because you never really lose in life, you just start a new game and learn from the previous one. So hone in on your skills by learning from your mistakes — nothing is ever in vain.  Be a gracious winner too, there is no room for friends in your life if your big head is taking up all the space!
  • Always Have Fun — enjoy the process, the game of chess (life) is exciting, invigorating and challenging — all of which keep you feeling alive, vibrant, polished and motivated.

Metaphors and Metamorphosis — from Pawns to Kings

I love painting life experience with intriguing metaphors and feel even more elated when such an analogy becomes a bald-faced truth.

Chess quoteWhen we can become the observers of life’s smaller things, like an innocent fixture of chess, and transform it into a fresh perspective of life, it changes us.  We start looking all over for these spiritual growth sign-posts and we usually find them in the strangest of places.

Chess is the ultimate sport of existence and even though I know the strategies have been used in more negative life experiences, such as war and devious corporate obliteration, it can also be used to your advantage in co-creating your reality.

Give yourself a game plan and be flexible enough to discern inherent dangers whilst on track, this way you will be able to metaphorically duck and dive bullets (just like Neo in The Matrix movie).  Be cunning and graceful and you will never be caught off guard.  When you are, don’t give up, learn from it and reload your experience as ammunition for the next round.

There is never failure, only feedback.

Original article written by Cherie Roe Dirksen for Positively Positive

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We must look for ways to be an active force in our own lives. We must take charge of our own destinies, design a life of substance and truly begin to live our dreams. ~Les Brown

The New View by Cherie Roe Dirksen

Making New Resolutions

I was having an interesting debate about resolutions with a friend of mine recently.  My friend was opposed to them as he felt they didn’t really work and that especially New Year’s resolutions were all a ‘hype’ resulting in a general waste of time and energy.

Yeah, I get that.  We make and break these new years’ resolutions all too quickly which leaves room for doubt and just general disappointment and annoyance with ourselves.

It would appear that we are setting ourselves up for a fall — or are we?

What’s Really Behind a Resolution?

The thought that a spanking clean slate is in the offing is rather enticing — that desire to detox after festive monkeyshines or to join the gym are hardly bad decisions.

However, the pressure to stick to such high expectations can leave us feeling dejected if we nose-dive off the bandwagon.  The thing about setting goals is to make them realistic — not only attainable but manageable.

Bite-Sized Portions, If You Please!

What usually drives the average homo sapien is the ability to be able to easily maintain a certain change.

The thought of climbing a high mountain that goes on forever is certainly not as enticing as running up a hill and merrily sliding down on your toboggan several times in one outing.  So why not make goal setting the same?

Here are some tips to get you started on a realistic set of resolutions to follow:

1. Draw up a Plan

Get yourself a vision board or a whiteboard — something you will be able to see every day to remind yourself to stay on track.  The best place for this is on your fridge or the back of your bathroom door, where you are guaranteed to visit daily.  If you are compiling a vision board, paste pictures of the end result you would like to achieve so as to motivate you to tow the line.

2. Don’t Overload

The quickest way to fail with setting intentions is to give yourself too many to plausibly handle.  Draw up a list and if there is too much on the list, narrow it down to the top 3 achievable goals for this day/month/year.  You can always put the leftovers on next year’s list.

3. Map it with Fun

Get jiggy with it.  Make your new resolutions fun.  If you want to change your eating habits, find a way to make it a stimulating change by jazzing up your menu/grocery list and looking forward to your meals instead of planning a drab repast plan.  If you want to find a new and electrifying job, have fun reinventing yourself and what you stand for — if you want an exciting job, excite yourself first.  Make damn sure you’re as exciting as the job you are after.

4. Feel It to Manifest It

You’ve got to feel what you are trying to embody. You want to be lighter?  Feel it within first.  You want an inspiring job?  Ignite your sense of self.

Pretend it’s there if you can’t personify it at first.  You’ll begin to rewire your brain to think differently with enough repetition.  And remember:  Doubt = drought.  Water your seeds and you’ll see the shoots soon enough.

5. Release the Inner Child

Everyone has an inner child.  There is a part of you that still thinks a butterfly is gobsmackingly awesome, blowing bubbles is a spectacular magic trick and make-believe is as good as the real deal. Tap into that part of you when you are trying to visualize your goals.  Your inner tot will help you make-believe a whole new world for yourself this year!

A tedious strategy will reap boredom and inaction — an adventurous plan will have you hopping and skipping to where you want to be.

My new resolution: I want to see people hopping and skipping in the streets this year!

Original article written by Cherie Roe Dirksen for PURPOSE FAIRY

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