Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Mantra for Chess Improvers

I get feeds from a lot of sites, but rarely has something hit the inbox that struck me like this.

From this long and interesting post, a small nugget of pure gold for people striving to improve at chess:

[The girl asked] "How do I let go of this harsh false self, this ego, this part of me that keeps beating myself up and comparing myself to others, yet still keep striving to improve myself? Once I give it up, will all the drive I need to succeed just evaporate too?”


She simply responded to the girl, “There is one thing you have to keep telling yourself throughout this process, and it’s something I continue to tell myself to this day: ‘You are fine just the way you are…and there’s always room for improvement’.” Those words were like a sledgehammer to my chest that knocked the wind out of me. So direct and so simple. The most important part to me was that she said “and there’s always room for improvement,” rather than “but there’s always room for improvement” which would make the acceptance feel a lot more false and conditional.

From that point on, every piece of personal growth I pursued, everything I read, every piece of advice I got from people, every goal I set, every memory I recollected, every emotion I processed through meditation…I processed all of it through the filter of that mantra: “You are fine just the way you are…and there’s always room for improvement.”

And I asked myself if I've ever thought of my chess life that way.

You can ask yourself, too.


Temposchlucker said...

Whenever your mind bothers you with doubts: try arrogance:)

Rocky said...

amen. thanks for sharing! i sincerely think that that thought is essentially what this life is about.

BlunderProne said...

I just may have to resurface.

James Bennett said...

The mantra has a really deep meaning. Honestly, I almost shed a tear while reading it. I could picture my parents saying those exact same words to me during the days that I'm at my lowest point and trying to struggle to go against all odds. It's a good daily personal reminder to constantly tell ourselves that we are good in our own ways and if we do get better tomorrow than today, that's good. But never exert ourselves beyond our capabilities and try to change the way that we already are just to be on par with others or try to impress others.