Opinion - Change the Game

Bill Abbate

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Life is so unpredictable. Or is it? Is there something you can do to make it more predictable? Some equate life to being like a game of chess. Many play "at" one game throughout their entire life, while others choose to play "in" more than one.

Too many people go through life as pawns in their own game. They give little thought to playing and often let others make the moves for them. That is no way to win a chess game or the game of life, and you will surely lose!

Some observe the chessboard and make their moves deliberately. Each move determines the next and the results you get. These people will compete in more than one game in their lifetime, often winning. They continue playing the game until that final checkmate comes.


Much of life has to do with mindset. Do you see yourself as someone who can learn, grow, survive failure and defeat, pick yourself up and continue forward as often and as long as it takes? Are you a winner, a victor in life?

Or do you see life as being against you, always giving you the short end of the stick, never allowing you to accomplish anything? It's a constant struggle. Do you say, "If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all"? If this is true for you, you are living a victim's life.

Which would you rather be? A victor or a victim? In the game of life or the game of chess, the decision is yours. You get to choose. What is your choice?

The game of life

Whether playing the game of chess or the game of life, many people play with one of those two mindsets. They are a victor/winner or a victim/loser before they even start.

Some are at a stalemate, and they are soon checkmated and defeated if they even make it that far! They see no moves and give up on making progress. As in the chess game, they do not think far enough in advance to get and stay ahead. They barely keep their head above water. It's just them and life, pushing and pulling, going nowhere. Then they die.

Yet some choose to play the game differently. They see the potential for more than one game of chess in life. If they lose, they start another and another until they win. They want to continue until they checkmate life itself. They refuse to give up until it's completely over. They go through life with energy and enthusiasm, learning and growing continually, living life as fully as possible. When they fail, they pick themselves up and begin making moves on a fresh game of chess and life.

Yes, it's true – even the victor dies at the end. Yet they die trying and not as a hopeless victim. They leave a legacy by what they did with their life. They will continue to live on after death because of who they were and how they affected others.


You do have some control over your final outcome. You get to choose each successive move in this game of life. You understand that life is unpredictable and see this as a challenge and as exciting! You can't wait to see what's around the next corner. You know what a completely predictable life would be like - boring.

Did you know it is said there are "more possible games of chess than there are atoms in the universe"! While this statement is debatable, the point is there's an almost limitless number of moves in the game of chess. Imagine how many more moves are possible in this game of life!

Make your next move

If you desire success, take some wise advice from Brian Tracy:

"Success is predictable." Brian Tracy (1944-present)

You can become one of the lucky ones if you understand this:

"Luck is predictable; the harder you work, the luckier you get." Brian Tracy (1944-present)

You and I are guaranteed in life that no one gets out alive. How you arrive at the end depends on whether you gave up, gave in, or kept pushing forward and kept fighting.

Why not take a chance? Why not take some risks? What do you have to lose? While life can be unpredictable, you can affect and change it to a large degree. It is up to you to make it what you can.

Final thoughts

Develop the right mindset and become a victor, not a victim! Become a warrior and not a worrier. Never give in and never give up. Make your next move from a position of strength and confidence. Regardless of where you are in life now, you have more moves to make. You can even begin the game anew if you wish!

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Semi-Retired-Leadership/Executive Coach -Personal & Career Growth Expert -Editor and Leadership Writer at Illumination -Author

Richmond, VA

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