I woke up unusually early yesterday, and had some time to burn. I sat down to play Chess.
I had a game that I'd basically sewn up, I had the win in hand. Then, I made a mistake. A significant mistake, but I was still in the driver's seat... yet, at that point, I stopped calculating and planning, and I was just moving the pieces around the board. I lost about 10 moves later.
Aggravated as hell, I went to have some breakfast and a coffee, do some light reading, and then fired Chess back up (with some of the aggravation waning).
A couple games in, I had a similar situation. I was up a bishop on the opponent, but made a blunder in a really complicated mess in the middle of the board. I was going to lose my bishop advantage in two moves regardless.
I stopped, took a whole minute, and looked for what I could do about it. Well, it was a no-good set of moves on my part, but I was able to grab another pawn, tempo, and position. Still wholly in the driver's seat just by focusing and not worrying about the mistake.
Even if it had equalized our positions, I still could have borne down instead of broken and given up, and won the game. I did win that one.
Life's like that, isn't it? A lot of times you'll make a mistake or your position will get worse. The question then is, are you going to let the first mistake set off a cascade of them, or are you going to shrug it off, bear down, and keep moving towards what you want?
From Sebastian: I was really honored and thrilled when Jason Shen offered to write a guest post here at SebastianMarshall.com - he's an incredibly bright guy with broad knowledge and skillset, writes well and clearly, and is an all-around good guy. So I'm really excited to be able to bring you a guest post by him - I imagine you'll want to read more by him afterwards, and you can reach him at his website - www.jasonshen.com.
Here's Jason -
I read Sebastian's blog because I'm interested in winning and he writes honest, insightful and sometimes provocative stuff about victory. Recently, I've been thinking about ways to win that are less commonly employed - one, because it's interesting and two, because I think there is a lot we can learn from unorthodox methods that work.
That's what this blog post is about: strategies that are nontraditional, that are beyond "do your best and learn from your mistakes" type advice, yet are undeniably ways that help you win.You might find them strange, but that's ok because winning isn't normal.
Some people find the pursuit of winning distasteful or even silly. Others get juiced by the idea of winning, of kicking ass and taking names, of being the best. I have a feeling that many of you SebatianMarshall.com readers fall into the second category. This post is for you.
A Star Wars Story
The Great Feud
“Hi, my name is Luke Skywalker and I have a pretty messed up family. My mom is dead and as for my father………………………………....uh, let’s change the subject! I have two droids, R-2D2 and C-3PO. I also know these really weird people; Han Solo, owner of the Millennium Falcon, and Leia, a stuck up princess. I pity anyone who’s related to her! Anyway, back to my story.
One day, when I came back to the Rebellion headquarters after having fought many a perilous battle against the empire, Leia called me to ‘Come and have a cup of hot chocolate dear!’. (Hot chocolate? What was I thinking? Leia can’t even make a decent cup of java juice and slice of toast without sending the whole kitchen up in flames!) I was a SLIGHTLY suspicious but having fought all day I was tired and needing some caffeine I obliged and followed her into her dining hall. Leia set the cup of hot chocolate down on the table. ‘So my dear,’ she began, ‘how did your day go? Did you recover the stolen plans?’ Nodding and shaking my head was all that I could answer to her numerous questions for my mouth was full of hot chocolate. Suddenly everything went black!