How Cornbread, a chess game, and Washington Park, changed the way I see the world.

Last October, my husband and I had the privilege to go to New York City, USA for my work. We knew our time was going to be special and a little crazy but I didn’t realise it would be inspiring from the first day.

After traveling 29hrs we were pretty beat but so excited to see the town. Boy, we didn’t realise it’s a big town. All that you hear about New York City is true. The place never sleeps and the later it gets the noisier it gets. Sirens, alarms, talking, laughing…you name it. We heard it.

Once we had some deserved rest we decided to go for a walk. We had no plans, no itinerary and if we got lost…oh well. That is how you truly see a place on your day off.

We came across a number of avid chess players in Washington Park. We looked and watched as these players strategized, moved and ultimately won or lost their game. Shouts of joy, a grunt here and there and high fives all around made me smile.

Then I was invited to play a game of chess by a gentle giant named Cornbread. The last time I played was when I was a young girl with my grandfather. That was over 16 years ago. I kindly declined. Knowing that I would surely lose and started to walk away. Then I was urged once again – invited to sit and simply learn a thing or two. Ok, I said. That shouldn’t hurt.

An hour later he showed me three simple strategies on how to win any chess game. I tried it and was amazed at the outcome. But what I learnt that day was more than how to win a chess game. I learned how to succeed in the game of life especially in business.

First, it’s not about the players and how well they can or cannot move but the blocks that are in front of you. In life, this is all about location, location, location. Using your surrounding to your advantage.

Secondly, we all have the same amount of moves. It’s what you do with yours that determine if you win or lose.

And lastly, never turn your back on a good game of chess even if you think you are not good enough. You might surprise yourself. That is the same in life. Don’t underestimate your abilities.

After that day in Washington Park, I was inspired. By simply observing our surroundings, moving at the right time and valuing our impact in this world – that is a powerful combination and one that we can surely win at the game of life.

Now it’s your turn

What’s the single biggest insight you’re taking away and how can you use these strategies in your life today?

Leave a comment below and let me know!

If you like this post like it, share it and tweet it. Let’s pay it forward and inspire today!


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