Visualizing Chess to Improve Your Game

In the time since I last talked about chess, I have learned a little more, mostly about myself. I think the biggest challenge for me to learn is to teach myself how to visualize. One of the ‘tricks’ of chess masters when they go on the road is to play multiple chess games without looking at the board, either blindfolded or having their backs to the boards.

This makes it obvious to me, pattern recognition by itself can only go so far. Looking at the board and searching for a pattern that worked before is not the same as really seeing. Perhaps this is how famous warriors throughout the ages planned their campaigns.

They could see them play out, and analyses different situations easier and with more clarity. Famous generals and chess masters I believe are far better at visualizing than the rest of us. I stare at the board, and I see chess pieces. I move them around in my mind in a certain pattern looking for what has worked for me in the past.

When that pattern in the void of my head is interrupted or otherwise disturbed, I am like a lost little child not knowing which way to turn. It is in this moment that being able to visualize the game in my head would be so beneficial.

Plodding through a single turn, thinking about the consequences of moving this piece or that pawn, how it effects the next move or two, and not seeing the game as a whole is a bog handicap. Being able to visualize, see the game as an animated movie must be far superior. Possibilities and paths for different moves and lines that are played out on the screen that passes for thought.

How slick would that be! Being able to holistically watch the effects of different moves, watching sequences, spotting the flaws. Reforming the chess army, playing out athe whole campaign. Having strong visualization skills, especially in chess has to be a major game changer.

Visualization, and the willingness to really think instead of play remembered patterns work sometime, but fail me at other times. When I talk with players that are stronger than me, they too have their glass ceilings. Mostly they talk about not having enough time to give to the game. How their life gets in the way.

Maybe they too are too concrete too in their thinking, and have not imagined the next plateau. Being able to visualize enough to make a difference. How much our game could improve using the ability to play out a chess puzzle in our head away from the game,  waiting for something, or just relaxing for a few minutes.

This is a skill I think is important to improving at chess, and perhaps other areas of life as well. It is a skill I think I want to cultivate. I too lack the time and inclination to learn fifty different openings and their counter play. I can’t give hours a day to chess puzzles, and other forms of chess learning in order to improve.

What I think I can do is learn to better use those resources I do have, mainly those resources between my ears. Maybe I learn to play a little better and have more fun in the process.

suicide is NOT…

You left a letter to your family. You told them how much you loved them, how important they were to you, and how much they meant to you. Then you killed yourself. It makes the letter to your family a lie.

It got too tough, so you took an out, the final out. Now anyone who was to learn from you have been cheated out of the experience. Cheated your own family and friends their learning in your time of not being able to wipe your own ass, your chin, and your nose. What can they learn from you now? How can they grow?

You were close to the end already. You had options. You could have refused medication. You could have let your natural death take its course. You could have lived and died with dignity and respect. You could have left the world with integrity. People could say, “This is how it is done. This is what is expected of the rest of us when our time comes”.

Decades of living a less than happy life ending in a state of less than. Less than a full life lived. Less than putting your family and friends before your selfish self. Cheating them of the opportunity of being there for your end. Cheating them out of telling you they love you one last time, and how they now treasure each day they had with you. Knowing you are leaving because your body is breaking down, and your life has finished its course.

After a lifetime of struggle, and pain, not having enough left to give it a little more time. Really? You were on the downhill side of life for goodness sake. You could have stuck it out a few more years.

You could have held up your life. Meeting your death, giving a lesson on how life should be lived. Letting others know your weaknesses and your inner strength by living to your natural end.

Your choosing the easy way out disturbs me. You were leaving ahead of me, and I counted on you to show me the way. Showing me how it is to be done. Showing me there is dignity in living life to its natural end. You took these life lessons away from all of us.

I want to yell at you. I want to tell you what a fool you are. I want to dislike you for what you have done. I want to hold you in disdain. I want to berate you. I want you to understand what you did. I want to slap you across the face.

I know I cannot and would not do those things to you. I can only feel sorry for you. I can only wish you had found the courage to ride your life to its natural end. I can only hope when my end nears, I have the dignity, selflessness, and courage to do what you could not.

I hope when life gets tough and my body breaks down, I will choose to stay to the end. I hope I will allow people to learn and grow as they are forced to take care of me, abuse me, or neglect me. I hope as they change my diaper, clean my face, shave me, bathe me, they learn something from me. I owe the world this much at least.

In my final days I have something someone needs to learn. I can teach even if I am not there, and only a breathing shell remains. I hope I have the courage to hang around long enough so those around me can learn only what my natural death can teach.

I wish you had not…

Lose Weight Easily With Role Play

One of the funny things about us is our brains do not differentiate between what is real and what happens in our mind. It is all the same thing to our brain. This means it is all the same thing to us too at some level. We fuse memories, mix dreams and waking time, invent memories that never really happened.

Yawn, so what. What makes this special is because our brain functions this way, we can trick ourselves into acting and being different than we are now. We can then accomplish some pretty amazing things with a little planning and patience.

What to do is trick your brain and your body into doing something different. When something in your life is not working, it is better to change than fight what doesn’t work. We can do this because of our ego which is for most of us, our window to the world. We are not ruling our life because we do not know any better. Our ego runs our life instead.

I have written a few posts on my other blog about ego, but I want to write about it here too because it is so important. No one ever taught us that we have to tend to our ego other than following some basic mores. Ego is a tyrant, and without watching it, Ego does what ego wants which is not always good for us.

Ego does what is easiest and what works over half the time. Ego does not care that in the long run we are hurting ourself, or or limiting our life in some way(s). Ego only cares that the easiest approach is best for it.

With direction from us, our ego will make any changes we insist on making. Changes in our personality or lifestyle suited to almost any situation or life style. Think of ego as a large rotating piece of glass with hundreds of polished lenses which turn in a circle. Without our watching Ego has decided which lenses we use in our life.

Any time we want to act or be different, ego rotates lenses until ego finds the correct lens. This is done without our being aware of it most of the time. If it is easy, we keep this using this lens.

This ego lens idea is what we may use to accomplish amazing things in our life as long as we remain aware of the goal(s) we have set for yourself. We can change how we see the world, and keep using our new lens until it becomes a well used lens.

The difficulty is allowing yourself to shift lenses to the lens you want to experience your life changes through. If it is not easy, or we find it uncomfortable at first, we are willing to stop using this new lens.

Losing weight is an example many can relate to. Most people are not successful losing weight because they are living their life with an ego lens made for being overweight. How can anyone expect to lose weight when they are living their life as someone living life as an overweight person?

It is hard to shift your ego lens off of living life overweight. We have been living through this lens for a long time, and we are comfortable with it. There are no surprises, and we know how each day is going to be.

As long as you are not focused on what you want, life is boringly the same each day.
The key is taking an active role in using a new lens to view your life through. Decide you want to live your life as someone who is not overweight. Now, you need to constantly remember for a time you are now living your life as someone who is not overweight.

Now when it comes to food you will need to go through a process. Ask yourself is this food or is this meal something you want to eat as a person who is not overweight? Or is it something you want to eat for another reason?

If you find you want food for other reasons than nourishment, you have to stop and think why you are doing this. What has happened that you see food in this manner? There may be many reasons, and you will have to find them and eliminate them as they happen.

At first this will feel uncomfortable, after all this is something new for you. Here you are living as a person who is not overweight when you know you are overweight. Up  ’till now, every time you want to ate and did not need to eat, you felt like you should just go ahead and eat.

Stop and determine why you feel this way. Is it something which was told to you? It may be something that happened to you? It may be something you came to believe? It may be your way of hiding?

If you find why you think this way, stop and discover why you want to eat when you do not need to. Once you know why, you have a decision to make. Do you want to hold on to these feelings, or do you want to banish them from your life as they add no value to you?

If you really want to lose weight, banish them from your thinking and beliefs. If you want to keep them (for whatever reason), quit trying to lose weight.

As you change your thinking you will notice a difference in yourself. A wonderful change will start taking place, and remain aware of the foods you are eating are foods for the right reasons.

You will see the pounds start dropping off as if by magic. You won’t be too hungry, you will eat healthier foods, and you will be okay with the changes to your diet and lifestyle.

If what you have read does not make sense to you, read it again. It may be something you never thought of, or considered until reading this, and it may take a bit of time to come to terms with it.

Changing your thinking in this manner is what most successful people have done in their own lives, as they initially struggled to find their success. If they can do it, so can you. You are not selling yourself out, cheating, being fake, or any other negative thought that comes into you mind.

What you are doing is choosing a different way of seeing and being in your world. You choose to no longer see the world through an overweight person lens which is not working for you. Changing your lens to a view that is aligned with what you have chosen from this moment on your life will start to change.

OK, for some people who have certain mindsets (in the past, I resembled this remark), this may feel like fraud. It is not fraud, and it is not, “…fake it till you make it”. What you are doing is making a choice to live your life differently than you have been because it is not working for you.

What you are doing is role playing. Becoming an actor for a short time who stays in character to better portray the new you. Some actors stay in character to better understand and support the character they play. You are doing the same thing. Staying in character to learn more about how the skinny you eats and lives.

As you better understand this concept, you will find you can use it for any and all changes you want to make in your life. Some changes will be simple, and some changes may be more difficult and take more attention to accomplish. Remember you are in charge of you, and you choose what lens you wish to live your life through.

It Is About You Now, not what someone thought of you once

I am going to intrude upon your life, and you probably will not like it. It may make you angry in fact. Let me apologize in advance for being critically of your life. Perhaps I should tell why I know what I know about you and your life. I know these things because what I am about to write are reflections of my life.

When I see you walking by you try to be small, maybe invisible. You look afraid of me. You prefer I did not acknowledge you or talk to you, but really you want to be noticed and talked to. Family, friends and strangers have hurt you in your past by words or deed. You do not want to be hurt again, it is easier to go unnoticed.

You would rather not talk to people outside of your inner circle. Those people who do not say or do things that hurt. You would like to be more popular, but it is scary. You would like to be more athletic, but you were born clumsy. You would like to be witty, but you aren’t.

You feel lonely and cut off sometime. You would like to have close friends. You would like to have a good marriage, a good life, and feel like life is work. You would like to change your appearance a bit, or your personality. I notice this about you because these are mannerisms you display as you walk by. I want jump when you get close and shout, BOO!!, but it would scare you, and you wouldn’t think it is funny.

When I talk with you, you tell me stories of your life. Most of these stories are of the negative sort. You want to lose weight, but you do not seem able to lose weight. You would like another job, though another job has not happened yet. You want a happier life, but haven’t found it yet.

As I listen to your litany of things you cannot do, I wonder what it is you can do. You keep on painting a pictures of let down, and almost. You have so much going on in your life, which you never mention.

Almost without exception, everyone you talk to, walk by shares these same thoughts. Like attracts like, and we all wear what we see as our faults on the outside for the world to see. We are walking billboards and advertisements of what is wrong with us.

It is time to give yourself permission to let these beliefs and feelings go. These feelings and beliefs are not you, they were placed on you by others.

Remember back when you were little? You did not know you had faults. You didn’t know what a fault was. You didn’t know you were shy, overweight, ugly, clumsy, loud, plain. or any of the other labels you have come to think you are. All you knew was you were awake, and this is a fun place to be.

Take ten minutes of your day tomorrow and play a game with yourself. No one will know you are playing a game except you. Take ten minutes after waking, before you leave and do this one thing. For a ten minutes tell yourself that you are all the things which you think you are not.

Fill ten minutes after waking with positives, whether you believe what you are telling yourself or not does not matter.  Say affirmations such as: “I am a great person, I am happy, I am special, I am perfect. I am smart, I am talented, I am funny, I am perfect. I can do anything, Everyone likes me.”

Feel free to add those things which I did not mention that you really keep secret. Give yourself permission to let them go. This can be somewhat awkward when starting out, so if you do not make twenty minutes, go as long as you can.

As you go through your day, remind yourself what you told yourself. Pay attention to how people respond to you. People will try to catch your eye. They smile when they see you. Strangers greet you. Maybe even find a reason to touch you.

Maybe what will happen around you will be a little less dramatic. However one thing is for sure, people will react differently towards you because you are showing people a different side of yourself.

Whether these things you told yourself are true or not, whether you believe them or not, it doesn’t matter. Your brain and other people’s brain for the most part does not know the difference. People who cross your path will want to know you, be like you. Your life will change for the better almost immediately.

If you do this one little thing every day, life will not be perfect in ten minutes, a day, or a week. The bluebird of happiness will still occasionally rain on your parade. Your life will change slowly, a little each day. Over a few weeks, those old negative ideas of you will be replaced by new truths of you. Your life will become a fun place to be.

No one you see or know if perfect. If they were actresses and actors would not spend tens of thousands to fix some little part of themselves only they see as a fault within them. Everybody has faults. There is a dating saying, “No matter how perfect they look and act, someone became tired of them.” What that means, is no matter how someone looks or acts, they have their share of faults, just like you and me.

We will never shed our faults and become perfect. No one else will either. If you can find twenty faults in you, there are at least that many faults in other people. Let go of your faults, and focus on the hundreds of great parts of you.

Release the weight of over focusing on your perceived faults, everyone has faults. Let the pounds of extra baggage go, you need your hands to do more important things. This is your life, not another persons idea of you. Let go of those petty, mean nothing faults and focus on the real you, the fun you, the best of you.