Chess: How To Act When You Don’t Know What To Do….

Chess Game

Chess is a beautiful game that is considered by many both as an art and as a sport. It’s also one of the oldest games in the history of mankind. As chess players learn and refine their chess principles through time, certain patterns begin to emerge. 

You see, the principles used in playing chess often mimic life and offer valuable insights.

Consider the following principles for a more strategic lifestyle;

Principle 1: Aim at the center:

A Queen piece stands last

Aiming at the center of the board invites early confrontation to occupy important squares. In life, you must occupy your own center. If you take care of your important life squares such as love, health, and finances, you’ll set yourself up for success.

Principle 2: Develop your major pieces:

Life is finite. Your time is limited. A timely development of your life pieces means you do the things that you care about. When we are developing, we have a sense of alignment, we apply effort to learn skills, to practice, to contribute, and to choose work worth pursuing.

Principle 3: Don’t expose your King:

The King Piece in chess

In chess, if you use your King’s pawns carelessly, you often end up with an over exposed position. Positions like this tend to weaken the King. Create positions in your life where you can achieve long-term outcomes, and avoid the quick results that often give the illusion of progress. Exposing yourself to massive productivity can lead to early burnout. Take care of your King or Queen.

Principle 4: Occupy the open files:

Making a move in chess

In chess, you want to control open files (the columns and rows of the board) by placing long-range pieces there. In life, open files are like opportunities and some of these opportunities seldom happen except you look for them. Find your open files at important life intersections like skills, passion and work. Then, like a chess piece, set yourself in it.

Principle 5: Never move quickly (without thinking or considering the risks):

To never move quickly is perhaps the most important skill you can learn in chess. You can apply this principle in your life by delaying your gratification. Patience can take you very far in the game and in your life. You know you’re exercising patience when you care to utilize your time and not rush through it. You can do this by focusing more on quality and less on time.

Principle 6: Find an alternative move:

Too often we see a good move and want to play it immediately. Instead, you can give yourself some time to look for even better options. When you widen your options, you give yourself the luxury of a real choice among other alternatives. This principle encourages you to keep your choices in check, and consider expanding your options.

Principle 7: When attacking, consider all the pieces:

A bishop piece goes down

This is similar to finding an alternative move. How can you find that especially when good moves that are not apparent? At this point in time, consider what you already know and have. What are you good at? What skills do you already know? You have more assets than you are willing to give yourself credit for.

Principle 8: Sometimes you don’t have to move forward:

It sounds funny yet very difficult for most people. But there are times when doing nothing is the best option.

Principle 9: Zoom out to see entire the board:

A complete chess game

If you find yourself being too caught up in the day to day demands, then zoom out. In chess, we tend to focus only on spots of the board where most of the action is happening. This always comes at the expense of missing a potential opportunity. Sometimes when it gets overwhelming or confusing in life, zoom out. See the big picture, and consider if there is something you’d like to do differently.

Oh how perfectly chess illustrates life! To solve variety of problems and complexities that occur think like a chess player.

Any chess move that you want to teach us? Please share with us in the comment section.

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