Chess is a game that is played on a board with 64 spaces, using 32 pieces that can each move in 1 of 6 different ways. It is played by countless politicians, business executives and other powerful individuals across the whole world. It has been played for over 13 centuries and it will probably be played hundreds more. A game with so much longevity over countless generations of people clearly must have a lot of value within it. It is often compared to sports, business, politics and even war. Here are 5 of the most important lessons to take away from the timeless game of chess.
In the words of Ben Franklin, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Once you learn the objective of chess and the different ways that each of the pieces can move, you need to start learning about the different potential strategies you can use in a game. You need to have an idea of where you want to go on the board, so that you can make the right moves to get there. Life is very similar, in that you always want to have goals so that you have something to strive towards. Once you set those goals, you need to strategize the right ways for you to get there. Having that direction will allow you to take each step with power and confidence.
#2. Have A Few Back Up Plans
In chess, you might have a plan but you can never anticipate your opponent’s moves with 100% accuracy. Things can change unexpectedly and you’ll need to be flexible so that you can pivot in that moment. If you think deeply enough when strategizing, you can try to anticipate possible obstacles you may face. This will allow you to plan accordingly and be ready for at least a few of the main difficulties you might face along your journey to achieving your goals. If you have a few alternative paths towards your main goals, you will put yourself in the best possible position to always capitalize on whatever random events that life throws your way.
#3. Look At The Big Picture
When you play chess, you can’t just focus on a small portion of the pieces in play. You need to see the whole board. If you don’t see everything that could be in play, you will likely leave yourself open to some big attacks from your opponent. Life is a lot like that, in that you always need to zoom out and look at the big picture. Don’t just have tunnel vision towards your goals and your own life. You need to have perspective on yourself and your progress. You also need to see everything around you so that you can plan ahead and be ready for whatever comes your way.
#4. Spot Patterns
If you watch the way your opponent plays, you will likely notice some patterns in the way they think and move. They might react to threats in a certain way or set up attacks in a specific way. You also need to zoom out and try to notice your own patterns of play. Do you tend to make the same kinds of moves in similar positions and situations? It’s especially important for you to notice your playing patterns that specifically lead you to lose. That level of self analysis and adjustment are absolutely crucial in life. You can’t accomplish big things in personal relationships, health, fitness, sports, business, personal finance or anything else unless you’re able to assess yourself and make necessary adjustments.
#5. Be Decisive And Take Action
Chess is a game that demands you to be decisive. You can’t sit there for 10 minutes before you make each move. Most professional games are played with a time limit for each move. You need to take action. While life might not seem like it’s similar to this aspect of chess, life is always fleeting. None of our lives will last forever. We all need to make the most of the time we have on earth. If you’re stuck in paralysis through analysis, you will slowly watch as your life passes you by. You need to be decisive and take action so that you can make the most out of your life and reach your full potential.
Chess is clearly a game that’s chock full of countless lessons that apply to all aspects of life. If you take the time to learn how to play it, it is sure to teach you many things that will help you in your business and personal life for years to come.
I hope that you’ve found value in this blog post! Feel free to share it with anyone that you think will benefit from it as well.
If you’d like to hear more of my thoughts on this subject, you can check out my video here:
If you’d like to be even more effective as an entrepreneur, check out my blog post on LeBron James’ 5 Keys To Success.