Strategic thinking skills

Do you have it? if so, what is your strategy for everything you do in life?

Every game played with some goal in mind, strategy in place, would have better outcome than going with the flow, is it not? The strategy game that always comes to my mind is Chess. Growing up, I played several times with my brother only to lose 95% of the time. My goal of playing the game was to protect my king and his was to strategically place pawns to attack my king from all possible ways.  I drew the game more towards withdrawing than actually played up. I thought, I was never going to be good at and so gave up all together. I thought, I did not have any strategic thinking skills which are so required to play that game. Thought, those are inherent and cannot be learned.

As I started listening to this audio book on strategic thinking skills, they spoke about several sports, wars, political agendas on how certain teams wins over the others despite both of the team goals were to win. The audio books and myself does not really work well together, the moment a thought is shared by the author, my mind wanders back to my life experiences and how I have reacted or would react in such situations? The chess was part of the same thought process. The author said – strategic thinking can be cultivated and it is a learned trait. And this led me to a discussion about how I felt about me when it came to chess game.

The points that came out of the discussion were:

a. Chess like any game requires practice, the more you practice, the better your brain learns about all possible moves and you tend to calculate in your head, eventually learn to play with a plan.

b. There is some emotional aspect to the game, if you lose game several times in a row, especially when you are starting out, it is easy to lose focus and interest, feel let down and that impairs your moves or strategy.

The very fact that it was computerized, it is the possible permutations and combinations that were fed to be played mechanically. It is hard to beat a computer but it isn’t possible. Computer here is a collective intelligence, learns when it loses and the more you play and win against it, the probability of winning for computer only increases.

Switching back to the topic at hand, the author emphasizes the fact that- one should have a goal, and should work towards them. Spending just 5 minutes a day towards your long term goal is more than enough to feel rooted instead of wandering. Checking the progress weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly will tell you how far you have invested should be measured with some parameters that are helping towards your goal.

The satisfaction you get by achieving what you tend to is equally gratifying. It is totally possible that you may or may not achieve your goal, but that you have given all you could makes a lot of difference in your mental health. This thought also brought back me to my growing up days of praying. Praying as a kid for me was to think about what I want everyday and work towards it. It was that simple.

Most of the times, i think life is short to get to do so many things that i want to do in life. The list is endless. And other times, I feel, I lack something in life, something that I miss. I have everything a person(?) wishes for and yet there is something amiss, and it is very hard to figure out what I want in life. Heard of Maslows hierarchy? I cannot even say such statement, there is this side in everyone that I met. Every single person. If you touch them enough, there is this side of it. In quest of “who I am and what am I here for?”  do you think, we need a strategy to get to bottom of this? Buddha or Dalai Lama or Vivekananda or Aristotle or not-so-famous person-that-I-do-not-know-of-yet and many more.. their philosophies which I have not heard or read yet, might give me some insights ? May be, may be not. We shall see.

Wonder, how i drifted from having some goal about something to another? Happens. It sure feels bit heavy. I am sure, you are entertained by these thoughts by our amazing brains as well- is it not? what’s your take on this?



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