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.

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.

When 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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Don’t Let the World Get You Down!

How to be in the world but not of it

As things stand now, you are most likely reading this blog from a computer somewhere on planet earth.  My marvelous skills of deduction are quite remarkable, I know.

We seem to all be in the same boat, paddling around in circles, paddling against the current or drifting out to sea.  How can we be in this beautiful world but not let it get us down?

Let’s face it, there is a lot of stuff that can, and does, lower our spirits and dampen our whetted desire to be on this planet.  But then, when we look around, we see that this planet is an exquisite paradise, filled with beauty, intrigue and adventure.

Why is it that life can be so damn tough when there is also so much fun to be had?

Heaven on Earth?

There is a simple truth to life.  We can create heaven on earth but we can also create our own personal form of hell.

Our very thoughts and actions will determine which destination we end up in.

Are you living in fear?  Meet Jack Soap…

When you live in fear you are perpetuating fear.

Let me give you an example.  If Jack Soap listens to the news constantly on the radio (which primarily reports bad news and how terrible the world out there is, along with all there is to be fearful of), he will be in a conscious or even unconscious negative frame of mind.  His preset to life will be tainted with a neuro-linguistic programming of doubt and fear.

You may even find that Jack has a preconceived idea that he should trust no-one.  He may even not like to venture outside his own home, let alone comfort zone, for fear of being attacked.  He may even cringe at the thought of an overseas holiday, he’ll think you mad if you were to suggest such nonsense, what with all the potential terrorists on-board planes these days!

Poor Jack may not even realize that there is a sunny and bright side to life.  It is as if he could be living on a different planet to John.

Are you living in love? Meet John Doe…

Meet John Doe (yes, alright!  I know my pseudonyms leave something to be desired).  He enjoys listening to uplifting music rather than put on the news.  He enjoys walks in the park and getting in touch with nature.

He sees the beauty that the world has to offer.  He smiles at people as he walks along his path and they smile back.  He is certain that there is goodness in everybody because that is his experience.

John is living in the world and enjoying it.  He is not letting the world dictate his experience, he is dictating his own experience.  He is detaching from potential drama because he knows he has the choice to only focus on the positive aspects of life.

When John does this he is in control, he is mapping out his destiny according to what he wants to manifest.

He is not a victim of circumstance and he is certainly not an unconscious creator.

Jack vs John

Jack, on the other hand, is in the world and of the world.  He is getting trapped in the lower vibrational frequency of negativity and he is letting the world dictate his experience.

He is unconsciously creating an undesirable life.  He may not even be aware that he can change this at any time if he so wishes.

Jack was blessed with freewill, just like John.  Jack, however, can’t seem to see it.  He can’t take responsibility for his life choices because he feels he hasn’t made them.

But he has.

Whether he chooses to accept that or not, he has made his bed and he is tossing and turning in it.

Can you see the message behind the metaphor?  Be in the world not of it.

Freewill and Choice

Choose your experiences.  Choose what you expose yourself to.  Choose to engage in drama, or choose to love from afar and lend your support whilst creating strong, effective boundaries.

You do not have to get involved and bogged down in drama if you don’t want to.  You can always help those in need but you can do it with detachment.  This means that you can still help in this world but you are fully aware that it is not required that you get involved with a problem — most certainly not to the extent that it encapsulates you in drama.

Detachment

Detachment is not a word that describes the state of not caring.  Quite the opposite.  You care enough to help and you care enough about yourself to remain neutral.

Think of detachment like Switzerland — the neutral zone.  You can lend a hand but you are not getting hooked into anything.

You can live in this world, enjoy it and be mindful of the ‘drama’ and/or the negative aspect of life.  This will give you the freedom to pick and choose your experiences and know when to help and when to say no.

Do you feel that life is taking you for a ride?  Or are you in the drivers seat of your experience?  Share your stories…

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