Have you ever watched Jimmy Kimmel’s Halloween Prank Segement? When they hear the “bad news”, you can see many of the kid’s reactions as if the world is ending.
We all have bad days, bad games, or something that doesn’t go our way. These things happen to anyone. But when it happens to us, we feel the world is dropping on us.
My USCL game
I played a couple local tournaments in Atlanta in 2015 as my mini-comeback, and then chatted with the Atlanta Kings team to play in the USCL. My local tournaments had some ups and downs, but they all ended well.
I played two games for the Kings. The first game was a complete whack, I played 1.e4 e6 2. b3?!. Possibly due to too many blitz games at home, I thought this was a good opening choice. Needless to say, I was punished swiftly.
That game didn’t bother me too much, as I was more in a ‘let’s give this thing a try’ mood. And my game was not the determining factor for the team. But after this game, I got serious, and wanted to contribute more for the team.
Before the next game, I prepared for the opening, which was something I haven’t done since 2007.
The game was played on a Wednesday night. I had a normal work day, and then drove over 45 minutes to the playing site, not unusual for Atlanta traffic. A little tired, but excited to play.
The game took close to three hours, I got to use what I had prepared, and it was up-and-down until we traded queens.
Around move 40, the feeling of ‘all that work is gone’ started to sink in. It felt like déjà vu again. I resigned soon after.
We lost the match 1.5-2.5. And yes, my game mattered a lot.
The drive back home didn’t take 45 minutes, but it felt much longer, because of my mood.
I run my first Spartan competition a week after the game, which was physically hard and painful. But mentally I gained more perspective.
While jumping over each hurdle, I knew I joined this competition as a choice. Whereas many people in the world are running in much worse conditions to escape.
My thoughts became broader, and I realized a bad game, or a bad day is really nothing compared to many tough battles in the world.
Chess is just one example. I’ve had unsatisfied school experiences, bad job interviews, or even just an annoying drive that typically takes 10 minutes turned into an hour due to road constructions (happened to me this week).
At that moment, it’s hard to swallow. But by practicing to look at the big picture, I feel more at ease, and whatever is bothering me is not much of a problem.
So the next time you have a tough day: Please try to do the following
Look at the Sky.
Enjoy the Ride.
Step Out from the problem.
Happy Holidays! And I hope 2018 will be the best year yet for you.
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