In the world of professional competition, chess grandmasters are arguably the best at understanding and executing the concept of playing ahead.
Playing ahead is a tactical strategy that involves forming abstract plans and executing concrete variations of those plans so as to gain the most favorable positions in order to attack and capture an opponent’s pieces.
Although grandmasters have the ability to see the big picture (play ahead), what sets them apart from everyone else is that they never calculate more than they absolutely need to. In other words, they understand the importance of being in the moment; therefore, avoid taking unintelligent and unnecessary risks.
Here are some important lessons we can take from their playbook.
[PROBLEM] As it relates to success, many people, rather than infuse their present reality with action, find themselves unable to move forward because of the inordinate amount of time they spend dwelling on what might or might not work out in the future.
[SOLUTION] Quit over thinking, and focus on doing and being to the best of your ability. Pick the low-hanging fruits, then methodically work your way up to the more difficult spots on the tree. This is to say, maximize present opportunities by working to ensure small goals are met, and once you have achieved a level of discipline, consistency and mastery relating to small daily wins, you can move on to bigger goals.
[P] Too many people are trying to become an overnight success. Dedicating your time and effort to achieving quick success almost always leads to cutting corners, taking shortcuts and ethically questionable practices, which will inevitably have devastating effects on your performance and the success outcomes.
[S] You have likely heard the French proverb that Rome was not built in a day. This is an adage attesting to the reality that it takes time to create great things. It is true that you can have what you desire, but in the process of working to obtain your ridiculously impossible dream, you must be willing to capture meaning, memories, adventure and life lessons from the creative process.
Go all in!
Be happy now.
Take time to celebrate each moment.