Skip to main content

Cheers to Good Moves in 2018

Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man. ~ Benjamin Franklin


This is my new travel chess set. Obviously, a travel chess set is meant to travel, but my New Year's resolutions do not include globe trotting. The plan is, however, that this set will be with me wherever I go, figuratively if not literally. 

Yes, one resolution is to learn to play better. Yet, what I have found so far is that there is more to chess than just playing. Getting better at it includes life lessons like "you are not losing if you are learning" and focusing on "good moves" instead of wins. Benjamin Franklin's New Year's toast is fitting for me this year given his interest in chess. He wrote about it in "The Morals of Chess," which ran in the Columbian Magazine just before New Year's in 1786.  

Franklin says, "The game of Chess is not merely an idle amusement. Several very valuable qualities of the mind, useful in the course of human life, are to be acquired or strengthened by it, so as to become habits, ready on all occasions. For life is a kind of chess, in which we have often points to gain, and competitors or adversaries to contend with, and in which there is a vast variety of good and ill events, that are, in some degree, the effects of prudence or the want of it."

So here's to continuing to war with our vices, seeking peace with our neighbors, and finding ourselves better men and women in chess and in life in the New Year. Cheers! 🥃

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

New Year, New Game

Decisions are bets on the future, and they aren’t “right” or “wrong” based on whether they turn out well on any particular iteration. Making better decisions stops being about wrong or right but about calibrating among all the shades of grey. ~ Annie Duke, Thinking in Bets It is a bit late, but I still wanted to put down a resolution for the new year before January ended at least. Last New Year I made a resolution to improve my chess game. Like most games, chess has many “meaning of life” connections. For me, learning the life connections of a game is just as much fun as learning the game itself. Chess provided me good guidance with its focus on “good moves” that lead to wins and its reminder that as long as you are learning, you are winning. It was great life learning, and my game improved too. With a new year here, I am dedicating it to a new game by focusing on my poker skills. There are similarities between chess and poker. The idea of making good moves in chess is similar to making…

It Took me 25 Years to Write This (Triple Distilled)

I am celebrating over 25 years working in the Non-Profit sector with a significant focus on resource development. A lot was learned over that time, often the hard way. I've distilled it down into the following observations. 
The Entrepreneurial SucceedThe best fundraisers and the best fundraising strategies are entrepreneurial. Entrepreneurialism leads to better results because of the emphasis on effectuation. More on effectuation can be found at Effecutation Intelligence.

The common themes you will see in relation to resource development are the ability to leverage existing resources for growth, manage risks and opportunity costs, getting buy-in first, and focusing on what you can control.
The Funding Model Dictates the Staffing ModelThe starting point for any conversation about fundraising at any organization has to include the work done by Bridgespan on evaluating funding models. Every organization should determine where they fit in those models. Even if they are not the same s…

"Do or do not" Doesn't Work

Yoda gave the worst advice. Even if you have not seen the Star Wars movies, you probably heard about the little green Jedi Master and his advice to Luke Skywalker. You probably heard it in your most recent company pep rally or from the motivational speaker that just ran laps around the conference room while whipping everyone into a frenzy with the "Rocky" theme song.

On the off chance you have not seen the movie, here is the quick recap of the most famous scene that launched a thousand motivational speaker careers. Luke is going through his first Jedi training sessions with Yoda. He doubts himself and the task ahead of lifting his crashed X-Wing out of the swamp and says, "I'll try." To that, Yoda says, "Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try." From that moment on, all manner of executives, management consultants, and motivational speakers have gotten head nods, amens, and checks in bank with a faulty interpretation of this advice.

But, Yoda's a…