I love playing chess. I think of myself as pretty good at it. During grade 8 and 9 I was in the Chess Club at school. Because that’s where all the cool kids hung out. Or rather the ones who had no other friends. Even in my yearbook for grade nine- they misspelled my name in the photo. Hashtag loser.
My love for chess has gotten me further in life than most people would have guessed. It helped me understand how to run a railroad. Putting the trains and crews in the best positions to successfully move traffic. I’ve often explained my job as a large chess game. In fact, I also look at my life as a game of chess. Especially my career thus far.
I started as a pawn. Moving forward one or two steps at a time. Occasionally doing a side step to take on a new challenger. I finally made it to the other side of the board and was able to swap my pawn for another piece. While most would choose a queen as their dominant piece, I chose otherwise.
My career hasn’t been a straight line- like the path of the rook or bishop. I find that I move more like a knight. Either going two steps forward and one step to the side or going one step sideways and two steps forward. Sometimes jumping over an obstacle or enemy. It’s a crooked way of working towards my goal, but achievable nonetheless.
In grade nine, my math teacher said that some of the greatest leaders in history played chess. It’s a game of wits and looking ahead a few moves.
Life is like a game of chess. Take your time and think out your future moves because it may affect your next five moves. My goals are attainable and I don’t need to show my hand. I’m not going to wipe out everyone in my way, but I may have to take on a few opponents as I go.
Perhaps one day it will be checkmate. Or maybe I’ll give up and take on a new opponent. Who knows. Until then, don’t hate the player- hate the game.