Crippled CEO Blog #177:
Y’all know that I’m into chess. I play literally every single day. It is one of my primary hobbies. I take lessons every Sunday from an International Master.
I had a thought the other day that chess is different than a lot of games and sports in a way that’s not immediately obvious.
In an MMA fight or a football game, what happened before matters. A fighter may end the match on top of his opponent, punching him in the face, but if he was dominated for the four previous rounds, he is still going to lose the fight.
When you’re looking at a chess game, chess people call the current arrangement of all the pieces the position. At any time, if you pause a chess game and look at it, you are looking at a chess position.
If someone makes a move, that’s an entirely new chess position.
You are supposed to evaluate the game and decide on the best move based only on the current position. What happened before doesn’t matter. If you just moved your knight, and the best move is to put it right back, then that’s what you should do.
That’s difficult to do. If you’ve made six consecutive moves with your bishop, it is tough to make one more, or to undo what you just did, even if it’s the best move.
Our lives are exactly the same way. We should be deciding what to do next based on our current position, ignoring the baggage from our past. Maybe, after searching, it turns out that the best job for you right now is the one that you quit from a few weeks ago, and you should see if they will take you back. But how hard is that? The idea of going back there seems ridiculous because you just left, even if it’s the best decision.
But what if we looked at life more like chess? What if we evaluated each moment based on the position we’re in right now, without regard for what came before? What if we let go of our mistakes and regrets, and focused only on the opportunities and possibilities that exist in the present moment?
This could be incredibly liberating. You can let go of the past and focus on the present, which is the only moment that truly matters. Freed from the weight of past mistakes and failures, you can open yourself up to new possibilities for growth and change.
But as I said before, in life and in chsss, this is very challenging. Our brains are hardwired to desire a consistent narrative, and ignoring that narrative is difficult. But just like in chess, the key is to focus on the position you’re in right now, and make the best move you can with the pieces you have.
So, when deciding which direction to go, maybe think of that ancient board game. Remember that life can be a valuated as a static position, and the only thing that matters is the move you make right now. Let go of the past, and do what’s best for you in the present. You may be surprised at the possibilities that open up when you do.
(Do you know who enjoyed her position last night? Your mom. Your mom also gets a text from me every Sunday with a link to the latest blog post. Send a text to 561-726-1567 with the word CRIP as the message to get a link to the blog as soon as it’s up.
Did you know that I have a YouTube channel now? I do! I am putting up two videos every single week. Go search for Crippled CEO and you’ll find me. I would appreciate it if you subscribed.)