Chess, Whiskey, and Life

This weekend I tried my hand at Chess for the third or fourth time.  I’m always begging to play, but somehow refusing to learn at the same time. My instructor insisted that I ask questions as we played. Anything that I wanted to know the questions would be revealed.

Why did you move there? Where should I move next? Are you cheating and making up rules as you go? Initially, out of my own intellectual stubbornness I refused to say anything, let alone ask a question. I thought I could figure it all out in my head as I played along.

Without asking any questions, I developed my own strategy.

My strategy was simple. My strategy was cool. Mimic every move. Brittney see, Brittney do. It took me about 5 minutes of implementing this tactic, to realize that I was losing this war and would still have no idea how to play the game.

After a brief quarrel about Chess being a game that “perpetuates the oppression of black women and“rejects feminine qualities of strength” (i.e. stalling)

I gave it up.

I started questioning my instructor on everything. I was even asked the dreaded question Why did YOU move there? I began to understand, started to learn, I actually started to win, even though I was still losing.


So I threatened to flip the entire table over if I didn’t get a redo and had my “Should of had a V8” moment.

Play to win, don’t just play to lose. When the game first started, I only had one thing to do: Don’t $%^@ this #%^#$ up!. That isn’t the same as $#@! THIS #$^8 UP!

Making the conscious decision “not to lose”, operates from a space of fear and doubt. Doubt in your own abilities; doubt in the love of others; and doubt in your Creator. It’s an unfaithful and treacherous act to the divinity that resides inside you. Not having faith in yourself, is also not having faith in the one that created you.

Making the decision to “play to win,” is a choice to continue even when things get difficult, frustrating, confusing, and downright depressing.  It’s a recognition that we all suffer; all have shortcomings; and all have the power to be redeemed. Even when we don’t “$#@! #$^8 UP! like we thought we were going to.

Stop being the monkey. Create your OWN strategy and OWN IT. I thought if I copied my instructor I would get to success – I would win. But that would never happened. My instructor’s goal was to win. And I was the opponent. My simple and cool strategy was just an easy way to defeat. I played a losing battle against myself.
We obsess over what others are doing when we scroll through timelines and news feeds. We flood our memories, everyone else is doing to win and we refuse to believe that we can win to. We forget to be bask in the glory of our own accomplishments; neglect to follow through with our own goals; or worse — allow other people’s goals to dictate what equals ‘ fulfilment in our lives. No more monkey see, monkey do.

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