I can’t tell you how many games of chess I’ve lost because I was too busy piddling about trying to take the queen. There’s only one way to with the game of chess, and that’s to take the king.
There are two life lessons from this:
- Always know what the end state should look like. What parameters and metrics must be met for you to consider it a “win”?
- There is only one king on the chess board per side. Similarly, there is only one thing in your life, whether you admit it or not, that you would be willing to sacrifice everything for.
- In chess, it’s very clear cut what the end game is. It’s when you take your opponent’s king. It’s more ambiguous in real life, but not completely ambiguous. You might not know how many kids you would like to have with your significant other, but you probably know that you want to have kids. You might not know what your job will be in 10 years, but you know when you want to retire. The more detail you can give to this ideal picture, the better able you are to have a gradual flight path there (a series of small steps you can take over time, vs one drastic leap at the end).
- You may not admit it. You may not want to admit it. But the bottom line is that there is one thing in your life that you are willing to give up everything and anything for. That could be yourself, your significant other, your kids, or something else. It’s a tough decision, and thankfully most of us never have to make it. But knowing what it is will help you prioritize the other things that you are willing to sacrifice. Are you willing to sacrifice your job? Your reputation? Your circle of friends? These are the decisions everyone absolutely has to make. No exceptions. Decide now, before you start sacrificing pieces. Don’t wait to have 5 kids, and then realize that your job is more important to you. I’m not suggesting that you never change your priorities. I’m saying that these sacrifices are necessary and inevitable.
- Have a goal and work towards it slowly and steadily over a long period
- Be mentally prepared to let go of things that are less important to you, for things that are more important to you.