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Sophia Q


10 pieces of advice from chess that can be applied to everyday life

While working on my chess skills today, I got to thinking about how chess is a metaphor for life. There's nothing especially profound about my observation (it's pretty obvious, let's be real), but answering the follow-up "how" required more thought.

    1. Never forget your end goal

    Otherwise said as "know your priorities"

    2. Order is important

    You can make the same moves in a different order and end up with entirely different results.

    3. Sometimes, victory requires sacrifice

    Okay, let's substitue "victory" for "success" to make this more applicable to most of us.

    4. There are many ways to skin a cat

    It's all about keeping your destination in mind. Different means to a singular end.

    5. Expect the unexpected

    Chess is all about being methodical. Being rigorous helps you to anticipate challenges you may face and act to pre-empt them, ensuring your own success.

    6. Don't waste too much time

    Most games of high-rated chess are timed. The idea here is that, given infinite time, 1) the games would never end and 2) the players would figure everything out. Like high-level chess players, we don't have unlimited time in life. It's prudent to use the time we do have wisely.

    7. Repetition and practice are at the core of innovation

    People sometimes have the impression that chess is a game of genius, or that it's dominated by individuals who are capable of performing incredible on-demand analysis. While this is true in some cases, the reality is that *so* much of success in chess comes down to experience and hard work. Innovation in a vaccuum is exceedingly rare.

    8. Anything can be learned

    In line with the previous point, so much of success comes down to effort and enthusiasm.

    9. There are threats everywhere

    This phrasing is charmingly dramatic, but the points stands.

    10. He who runs away...

    Lives to fight another day. A draw is always better than defeat.

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