10 (Totally Unexpected) Epiphanies About Life You'll Realize After Getting Slaughtered In Your First 10 Rounds Of Chess
It's your first time playing chess.
You sit down. Play a couple of rounds. With a grandmaster.
And you get your butt whooped. Your confidence is crushed. Your hopes for the future fade before your eyes.
But... it inspires 10 life-changing epiphanies in you and your life will never be the same again, even if you never touch another trauma-inducing chess board in your life.
Here they are:
1. The King Is A Hot Potato
Useless. It's totally useless.
It's dragging everyone else down. It only knows a couple of moves. And if you keep protecting it, sooner or later, the Queen (your most important piece) is gonna die. And everyone else is gonna get sacrificed, turning the board into a field of blood.
Almost everyone has a "hot potato" habit or two. Habits that are...
... essentially useless but suck time, money, and energy away from everything else that's important.
I was just watching a documentary the other day. It was about this guy who was addicted to his hobby of modifying his car. He spent his whole salary on it. And he had no money for food or anything else. So he just ate plain rice all day, everyday.
2. Your Opponent Has A King Too
In case you thought it was just you...
... it's not.
Almost everyone has a "hot potato" king piece or two. And this includes your competition.
Hey, a lot of life is about competition. Regardless of whether that's in chess, sports, business, work... or even... survival. At times, it can be a fight for resources.
And in those times, you'll want to wish your competition was more focused on their "hot potato" than on competing with you for resources.
I was reading a book a while back, and the author had a brilliant strategy when it came to competing for deals. He was in charge of the catering for food for these "deal making" events. So he'd routinely order the most mouth-watering, tongue tantalizing meals that were also the unhealthiest (think pizza, burgers, and the standard American fare) and watched as everyone binged to a level beyond satisfaction and...
... left the lunch table with...
... brain fog.
While he routinely went on a fruit and vegetable fast all throughout the event. This left him as the only one left with a clear head to make good negotiations.
It happens. If you don't get your priorities straight, someone else will.
3. The Queen Is The Strongest But It Still Needs Backup
No matter how strong your queen is...
... send it out there all alone, and it's gonna get pounced on eventually. It may be the strongest piece. But it's also the most fragile. And there's only one of them.
That's why... you're not gonna wanna send it out there without backup.
So it goes for your strengths and talents. Yes, they're incredible. I'm sure. But rely on them alone without accounting for your weaknesses, and you're gonna get knocked down eventually.
Surround yourself with tools and talents that help compensate for your weaknesses.
By the way, I was just writing this for fun. How did it get so long?
Ok. No more stories, or examples. I'm just gonna keep this short...
4. The Knight Looks The Coolest But The Rook Is Worth More
I don't understand.
Why is the rook worth more than the knight when the knight is better looking?
It can't be helped. In the end, don't count on looks alone to win in life. Ability still counts for something. If you depend on looks and appearance alone, eventually, you're gonna get sacrificed to capture someone who has actual ability.
5. Multi-Tasking Is A Killer
Remember all those times when you had a piece that was protecting the King, and at the same time, it was also backing up the Queen?
And eventually someone put your King in check, and you had to move that piece away reluctantly to protect the King, and your Queen got hacked in pieces?
Multi-tasking is a killer.
Don't multi-task. And don't let your chess pieces multi-task.
6. Value Is Situation-Dependent
Sometimes you move a pawn all the way to the end of the board, and...
... you switch it for a Queen.
But sometimes, you switch it for a Knight.
Even though the Queen is considered more valuable than the Knight. But... often time value is situation dependent. Don't be too stuck up on the status quo. To the man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Don't be that guy.
7. Experience Trumps Energy
After a while of getting your butt whooped, you realized that that grandmaster guy isn't smarter than you.
It's just that he's more experienced. So he needs less brain processing power to figure out the best moves. He can just draw from memory and experience.
On the other hand, you the beginner, have to calculate and computate everything from scratch. Thus using up massive loads of brain power and energy on your end.
Experience trumps energy. Whether that's your own experience from thousands of reps on the field, or it's the experience of others gleaned from reading loads of books and idea lists.
8. He Who Has The Most Resources Wins
It's all about resources.
Experience is a resource. And using it saves you mental energy.
Energy is a resource too. And often, the one who has the highest stamina, and the most energy towards the end of the game, wins.
Taking more of your opponent's pieces than the pieces they take from you is also a form of resource allocation.
Don't look down on resources.
9. It's Not About Which Side Plays Better
Of course, it's not all about resources.
It's also about how you use your resources. And after a while of getting your butt-whooped, you realized that...
... it's not that the grandmaster guy is more brilliant at using resources than you.
It's just that...
... he's making way less mistakes when using his resources than you.
And so it goes...
A dead, old chess guy once said that... the winner is most often... NOT the guy who played the better game, but the one who made the least mistakes.
10. There Is Always A Bigger Chess Board
At first, you may have thought that...
... you are just a chess player, moving around pieces on a board.
However, when you zoom out and look at the universe, it turns out that:
You too are just a chess piece. A piece that is being moved by powers beyond your comprehension on a chess board that you can't see.
Powers like government, mass media, industry, and technology...
One day, you will become powerful enough to break out of your cage. And reach a higher level of existence where you can finally become a chess player.
But until then...
Just focus on being a good chess piece.
Reaching beyond your limits and drawing the attention of the "chess players" at the top when you don't have enough resources will mean an early checkmate for you...