How Life Imitates Chess (or is it the other way around?)

16 Nov

By Liz Kitchens

Let me just say right up front, I LOVE games!  Board games, card games, beach games, golf, acting games (charades is my favorite).  But I’ve never ever wanted to take up the game of Chess.  My husband and I were discussing this oversight one evening and realized it is because we sometimes view our lives as a game of chess, particularly our professional lives.

Chess, in my limited understanding of the game, involves employing strategies and tactical maneuvering to achieve long term positioning advantages.  I have helped run our family market research business over the past 25 years.  We have conducted survey research for political campaigns and corporate clients.  Helping clients achieve a strategic advantage over competitors has been our middle name.  Since work comprises such a huge percentage of our daily lives, this type of thinking cannot help but bleed into the other aspects of our lives.  (What do we do to get clients, keep clients, and even get our children to do what we want them to do) We almost default to the kind of thinking that says, “If I make this move, or this small investment, what will be the long term gain?”  This kind of marketing mentality mirrors manipulation.

As I stated in my previous blog, my husband and I are exiting this marketing field and venturing (at 60 and 64) into other fields in this next career chapter.  While I’m sure our marketing skills will come in quite handy, I don’t think they will be central to our new professional identities.  The relief accompanying “moves” that don’t require endgames is indescribable.  Maybe I’ll take up chess, who knows?

Life Mirrors Chess

Life Mirrors Chess

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