“Life is like a game of chess. If you lose your Queen, you’ll probably lose the game.”
I s life a game? Many philosophers throughout history have heavily debated it, and the conclusion seems to be the same – that life is indeed a game, and we fall victim to playing it. Think about it, we compete for almost everything. Our homes, promotions, careers, love and even sex. Most of us believe in fate; sometimes we’re convinced that it makes the moves on the chess board for us. But there are a few people who won’t let fate dictate them the rules of life and instead, take the game into their own hands.
To do this, you need to know how to play the game. For example, imagine a game of chess. The Queen is an essential piece for winning the game. In real life, she is your faith, your hope, your will. And from my own experience, I have learned that without her, the game will never go in your favor.
We’ve all felt the pressure of difficult times. Many times I’ve thrown my toys out of the pram and decided I didn’t want to play anymore. Especially during the times where I had felt the anticipation of a loss coming my way. But I’m competitive. I’m out to win. That’s the only motivation I need. Allowing myself to lose would be accepting myself to fall, to fail. And that’s never been a possibility.
The truth is, in life, just like in a game, you’re going to lose a few times. But remember, these losses teach you how you can win the next time if you pay attention. And as long as you have your Queen, and learn how to use her, you’re unstoppable.
Work With What You Have
Unfortunately, you don’t get to pick the hand you’re dealt. Just like in a game, they’re dealt for you. This is where fate and luck make their debut. But if at first, they don’t look so promising, don’t be disheartened. Just because you’ve been given a bad hand doesn’t mean you can’t win.
At the beginning of a game, you usually have cards that aren’t useful at all anyway. But find the value in them and use them as a strength to start challenging your opponent. To begin, play what you have as best as you can. Be patient, and you’ll be presented with many chances to win – if you know how to spot them.
See your beginning cards as a metaphor for your background. Don’t let the cards you’ve been dealt stop you from playing. Instead, use them to your advantage. And remember, even if you are losing miserably, don’t give up. There’s always a chance for you to bounce back, which I have done many, many times. When it comes to the game, it’s all about the duration and building moves up bit by bit. That’s your strength – that’s how you will win.
Look At All The Possible Moves
Successful thinkers are logical thinkers, and that’s because they think before they act, always. Never do anything without thinking it through first.
Strategic thinkers consider every possibility because they weigh up the effect and even the consequences of each move they make. It’s already been thought about, considered and decided. That’s why logical thinkers tend to be the game winners, and in life, the most successful.
And if there’s one thing they excel at it’s anticipating and predicting the moves of a rival player. Because if you want to win, you should always be one step ahead.
For example, I love to play cards, but even more, I love to win. I don’t just play to play. You know that your first hand is dealt with you by luck, but that can always be changed and manipulated. But it’s how you play those cards that make all the difference. And you can win a million and one times, only when you know a million and one ways.
Even A Bad Plan Is Better Than No Plan
I wasn’t born a strategic thinker; it’s something I’ve had to work on and develop over time. Ideas have always been my strong point, and action plans, my weaknesses. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned over time is that even a bad plan, is better than not having one at all.
You need to know your end goal, what you’re working towards and how you’re going to get there. Remember plans can always change, I may start with one plan on a Monday and by next week I could have already adjusted it to make it work better.
Because a plan will provide you with one essential component, it will teach you to analyze and ask yourself why something isn’t working, which is a trait you must have. Because when you do this, you’ll be progressing and playing the game better than most.
Be In Control Of Your Own Psyche
You don’t need me to tell you that life is complicated. Many things happen to you on a daily basis, which is beyond your control. Many of us refer to this as fate/chance. There are two types of people, those who accept their fate and those who try to change it. Those of us who do run with the opportunity take fate and chance into our hands and spin it into gold.
And while you may not be able to control what falls into your lap, you can control how you react to it. Once you realize the importance of this, only then will you be the master and in control of your own mind!
When you remember that you have a choice, you’ll not only be in control of yourself but life itself. Finally, you’ll discover that it’s better to love than to hate, better to act than to not and better to be grateful than feel lucky. By taking fate’s gifts and manipulating them, you’ll be the one in the driver’s seat, and there will be nothing that can touch you.
Luck Is Only Good To Those That Are Prepared
However, with all of that being said, when fate does decide to hand you a lemon, you must know how to make lemonade. What this means is always to be prepared and ready. Luck reaps the most rewards to those who were prepared when they received it.
It’s all about knowing how to take advantage when a small window of opportunity strikes. In chess there’s a saying that goes ‘Only the good players get lucky,’ and while this may seem like a good observation to make, it’s only because these good players know how to manipulate and use this luck to their advantage.
Luck means nothing to those who do not possess the skills to yield it.
Play People Better Than You
If there’s one thing that’s never scared me it’s other people. I’ve always believed in myself in such a way that I never allowed myself to think less of myself because someone was better than me at something.
So, playing the game against others and competing never really phased me. But I can understand why it can be a hard thing to do – especially if you don’t have a lot of confidence or self-worth, to begin with.
In order to be better, you need a challenge. If you’re wasting your time with people that bring you down, rather than playing against the greats, you’ll never be much of a winner. If you want to improve and be the best, you have to go up against the best, whether you’re scared or not.
Be Mindful of The Risks
I have always been the person who would tell you to jump, to take risks. Even though it feels like there isn’t a safety net, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t one. Because I believe when it comes to your dream nothing should ever get in the way. Fate favors the brave and those who are courageous enough to challenge it.
However, when it comes to the game of life, you need to be a bit more careful. It’s a tricky one because, in regards to games, it’s imperative to take risks, which sometimes can pay off so significantly. But then other times, if not thought through fully, big risks can cost you the game.
For example, you want to go after your dream job? Don’t take the risk of just quitting, take the risk of setting up your business on the side. Or creating a strategy for your dream job while you have job security where you are. It’s a risk, but it’s one that keeps you still in the game. And not taking the risk at all can cost you so much greater as you never took advantage of the opportunity.
Photo by The Bakery