During our lives we work out the most productive ways of doing things. We know full well that round wheels are a big improvement on square ones, but quite often subject ourselves to a bumpy ride in life when we fail to stick to tactics that we know are problem free. We can play a game like pool or chess with a beginner and because we know they are a beginner we can get sloppy and impatient for a quick win. With our guard down and going against solid tactics that we would usually use, we end up losing to a novice. This translates into other areas of life. We know the method that works well, but use shortcuts that appear tempting and end up costing us more. Not using your experiences makes a mockery of learning a skill in the first place. It is not your stature itself but the expected response and actions of someone with stature that counts. Such highly regarded individuals on form will pause before jumping in and make much better decisions.

Many things in life can’t be undone, chances are missed, opportunities lost and cash misspent. In such cases we can come to call them regrets. Change the word regret to mistake and see how you look at the error then. It can turn what has happened into more of a positive. Regrets give rise to thinking that we are stuck now. Mistakes provide an opportunity to change what we do in the future when the circumstances are similar. You can highlight dangers to other people so that they may not fall prey to the same hurt. A mistake can lead to a lesson learnt and it can give you a motive to avoid missing out next time. There is a subtle difference between a regret and a mistake. The mentality part is either dwelling on the past or utilising the gain from mistakes made.

Sometimes you have to forget about the reasons why you are in a mess right now. Put aside who is at fault, time is pressing. Look at what you have, what the solution is to move forward. When things are back on the straight and narrow you can then reflect on how and why things turned ugly. Your car has smoke belching out of it. You want to stop and argue, blame the person who forgot to check the oil or just get on and handle it.

Many chess players are thinking of what move to play that benefits them without spending any time looking at what the opponent is planning. Being prepared for what they are likely to do is as important as your own tactics. Too many are fixated solely on their own hand rather than taking into account the probable line of attack of their rival. As each opponent will have different strategies you can’t always use the same approach every time. Instead you must adapt and change according to the individual situation. Adaptability is the key to success in many games.

In life, there is always a counter view. Nothing is concrete. There are different sides to the story and some things are no longer applicable. The points you make now become less relevant as things evolve. No statement can factor in all the possible variations, yet we steadfastly believe what we are doing is right sometimes preferring to ignore opposing ideas. Ultimately there is not enough time or will to worry as if we did then nothing would get done. You can debate for an eternity but eventually when you are hungry you need to eat and sooner or later, we need to pick an option.

When a new way of looking at our behaviour comes along it can shed light on our thinking, overriding past ideas. That too becomes superseded. It is hard to resist trashing old ideas completely and replacing them with new ones. In later reflection, we see that both ideas have some merit when tailored to suit the situation.

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