Everybody wants to be successful. However, not everyone realizes that success is a moving target. Think of a time when you set a big goal for yourself and attained it. Did you notice how your extreme excitement and motivation slowly faded away and your new status became your “normal reality”? For some strange reason, what you achieved was not enough, you wanted more – you wanted to get to the next level. Unfortunately, some people get trapped in this “glory” state and always talk about what they achieved without really progressing to the next phase – this should not be you.
I remember the time I passed my Grade 12 GCE exams with 6 points (actually got distinctions in all 9 subjects) from Hillcrest Technical School. It was an achievement that made me feel I could fly (any Zambian could have felt the same). However, with time, this feeling begun to fade and I realized I had to move on to the next step. Soon enough, I started applying for admission into Universities and Colleges within Zambia. It was as though the achievement, though enormous, did not really matter now and I had to fight just like everyone else. Well, it actually did matter and made me realise one thing – today’s achievements determine the quality of tomorrow’s opportunities. I got accepted into all the schools that I applied for and I was dazzled by the unique opportunity to choose whichever University or College I now wanted – it was so sweet!
“Today’s achievements determine the quality of tomorrow’s opportunities”
When you think of success, think of it as a chain in which every small achievement adds an additional link to your “chain”. Always remember also that success is a moving target and achieving one goal is not the end of the road; it is merely an addition to your chain which you need to make longer.
The question is – how does a chess player’s chain look like?
As chess players we have one common journey and we come across the same obstacles and pitfalls in our journey to attain our potential in the game. The chain of the chess player will look like this:
We are all at different levels of the chain. For instance, I am at phase 7 of this chain having achieved phase 6. Take a thorough introspection of yourself and determine where you are in this chain – your aim being to move on to the next phase. This simple chain will help you determine what you need to focus on next. For example, if you are new to chess begin from phase one and then build it on from there. Remember, you are building your own chain. How far you go in building this chain is entirely in your hands. Act now.