Sacrifice in Chess

In chess, a sacrifice is a move giving up a piece in the hopes of gaining tactical or positional compensation in other forms. A sacrifice could also be a deliberate exchange of a chess piece of higher value for an opponent’s piece of lower value.

Any chess except the king can be sacrificed. Because players usually try to hold onto their own pieces, offering a sacrifice can come as an unpleasant surprise to one’s opponent, putting him off balance and causing much precious time to be wasted trying to calculate whether the sacrifice is sound or not and whether to accept it. Sacrificing one’s queen (the most valuable piece), or a string of pieces, adds to the surprise, and such games can be awarded brilliancy prizes.

~Wikipedia

In Abrahamic traditions, sacrifice is an act of giving up worldly possessions to serve a better purpose to God. Just as chess, God is seen as the King, which is the most important figure. The whole purpose of playing chess is to keep the king alive while attack to kill the king of the opponent.

In relationships, sacrifice can be seen as acts of giving up some characters or possessions by one party or both. This is done to serve the higher purpose, to make the relationship works.

In professional settings, sacrifice can be seen as an act of giving up some things to require a better set of skills, good connections or great opportunities. The purpose is to get into better career advancement.

In chess, Abrahamic traditions, relationships and professional settings, the act of sacrificing revolves around the thoughts of keeping the higher purpose or the important thing works.

However, in chess, while the right kind of sacrifice might lead to better tactical positions, the wrong kind of sacrifice may be fatal. Thus, this calls for chess players to know the art of sacrifice in order to implement the sacrifice strategy in their playing. If they didn’t have the natural talent, that must be required from lessons through knowledge and training.

These show the importance of purpose. Outlined them clear, make them your fundamental ideas, just then you can trust your intuitions.

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Hajj: The Journey of a Lifetime

This is the story of 4 different souls performing the Hajj. Hajj is the fifth pillars of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so. Scotland Yard officer, a college student, a neurosurgeon and a man who walks all the way from India to Saudi Arabia, all with one intention to perform Hajj as a form of submission to God.

This is how ‘what’ (performing the Hajj) and ‘why’ (to submit to God) drives these souls in action regardless of the challenges that comes.

When there’s a will, there’s a way. Be clear about your vision, everything else is secondary, but also important.

Learn Unlearn Relearn – The Art of Unlearning

The idea of too much emphasis on education that makes someone becoming an egocentric and rigid monster had been popularized by Pink Floyd in Another Brick in the Wall.

Through the years we should know that the real problems is not really about what had been thought, but rather how receiver received their lessons.

The Japanese master Nan-in gave audience to a professor of philosophy.

Serving tea, Nan-in filled his visitor’s cup, and kept pouring.

The professor watched the overflow until he could restrain himself no longer: “Stop! The cup is over full, no more will go in.”

Nan-in said: “Like this cup, you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup.”

Think learning as your work and unlearning as your vacation.

As important as learning, knowing when to ditch something that you know is also important, as pointed by Jim Copanico in the following talk.

In this video, Jim Copacino talks about The Art of Unlearning.

Jim claims that the best creative ideas come from the willingness of people to learn new stuff and also the willingness to unlearn.

That comes from the essence of fresh, un-schooled and unfeathered mind.

Success comes from toggling back and forth between expertise and purposeful naivety.

Jim shows some ads revolving unlearning for you to unlearn some stuff.

Enjoy the video.

Learn Unlearn Relearn – The Art of Learning

I’ve reblog this video on Oct 20th. In explaining Learn Unlearn Relearn, here’s my commentaries.

Eddie talks about the right kind of learning in this current fast-paced world.

While challenges are increasing rapidly, the creative output cannot keep up.

This calls for a stretch in business’ learning curve – to keep up with the challenges ahead.

In doing this, we must cherish failure as a tool of learning, have peace with the fact that we fail and keep moving forward. That will get us more benefits rather than demonizing it.

So, when you learn, keep up the pure heart.

Learn Unlearn Relearn

“The illiterates of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”  ~Alvin Toffler

Jack is an aspiring architect who had just graduated from college. The fresh-young-blooded lad is inexperience. He joins an architecture firm with vision to earn and learn.

“You learn something everyday if you pay attention.” ~Ray LeBlond

However, the company he joins using a different approach of work, really different from what he had been taught in school. He has to unlearn what he knows before.

“Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned.” ~Mark Twain

One day the company secures a project which pretty much works with what Jack had learnt in school. Guess who is the project leader?

“Each day learn something new, and just as important, relearn something old.” ~Robert Brault

Eddie Obeng: Smart failure for a fast changing world

 

Outside and Inside the Box

“Think outside the box!”

In recent years, the catchphrase above had become a holy mantra for creative thinking, most likely to be used by management consultants and executive coaches in the business environment.

It means approaching problems in new innovative ways. It means conceptualizing problems differently. It means understanding your position in relation to any particular situation in a way you had never thought of before.

The world had shown an obvious success of the outer part of it. Apple, for example, decided not to pay for any advertising during a brief period after the first iPhone was introduced in January 2007 and when it went on sale later in the year. They used a ‘non-marketing marketing’ strategy to create some hype stories.

However, let’s look at the other part of the spectrum…

“Think inside the box!”

This catchphrase was not the popular ones.

It means approaching problems in known ways. It means conceptualizing a structure for multi problem-solving. It means understanding your position in relation to any particular situation in the way you had tackled them before. (Read something similar to this paragraph before?)

Apple’s story, again, they still use the same strategy for iPhone 5.

“Think inside and outside the box! If the situation requires you to think on the surface of the box, think on the surface of the box!”

It matters less for the approach that we use. What matters most is what we try to achieve and why we want to achieve it.

That makes better sense.

Knoweth Thyself

You are a human.

You consist of an outward shape (your body) and an inward entity (the heart, or soul).

The heart does not belong to the visible world, but to the invisible.

You come to this world as a traveler visiting a foreign country.

Soon you will be returning to your native land.

Close your eyes.

Forget everything around except your individuality.

Now you have come into a close idea of the reality of your heart.

An exact philosophical knowledge of the heart is not a necessary preliminary to walking in the path of religion.

It comes rather as the result of self-discipline and perseverance in that path.

Picture yourself, outward and inward, as a government ruling over a country.

Your body is the kingdom.

Your heart is the king.

Your senses is the army.

Your reason is the prime minister.

Your passion is the revenue-collector.

Your anger is the police officer.

In the mode of collecting revenuepassion is continually prone to plunder on its own account, while envy (anger) is always inclined to harshness and severity.

The revenue-collector and the police officer have to be kept in due subordination to the king, but not expelled, as they have their own proper function to fulfil.

But if passion and anger master reason, the ruin of the heart will take place subsequently.

heart which allows its lower faculties to dominate the higher is as one who should hand over an angel to a power of a dog.

Thus, this is where moral discipline comes in, to purify the heart from the rust of passion and anger.

When the heart had been purified by moral discipline, the clear rational heart abounds in, marvel, both of knowledge and power.

By means of it he masters arts and sciences, doing chores in the earth, made invention, made innovation.

His five senses are like five doors opening to the external world.

More beautiful than that, his heart has a window which opens on the unseen world.

This is how the heart (king) dictates how we act on earth.

Purify them always to act more positively.

Asking the RIGHT Question

If you go to see a therapist or psychologist, what will be the first question he/she will ask?

“What is wrong with you?”

Right?

Or if you and your spouse go to see a couple’s counselor, what would you guess to be the first question he/she would ask?

“What is wrong with your relationship?”

Am I having the second right? Right?

Or if you invite consultants to your company (like scenes in House of Lies), what would you suggest to be their ice-breaking question?

“What is your organization’s weaknesses? What do we need to fix?”

Another deja vu?

Those questions above are important questions. You need to know what is wrong so that you can fix them to make them right.

But what if we tweak those questions a little bit. Instead of asking “what is wrong?”, we ask “what is right?”.

“What are the things that going so well in your life?”

 

“What is going well in your relationship?”

 

“What are your strengths? Tell me about success stories that we can build on.”

Questions are powerful tools. They can ignite hope and lead to new insights. They can also destroy hope and keep us stuck in bad assumptions.

Whatever the question, the answers reinforce the assumption.

If you ask the WRONG questions, you’ll provide an excuse for why you are not getting the results you want.

If you ask the RIGHT questions, they empower and create new possibilities, they lead to action and they will produce results.

Because it is easier to think “outside the box” and approach problems with a fresh perspective.

When and Where Do I Practice the Power Pose?

I’d came across this video through FinerMinds nine days ago. I liked it since it seems practical and tally with my aim to create patterns for a better life.

A bit of summary, social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how our posture determines our level of confidence. This is somehow important as it do affects the levels of our testosterone (the well-being hormone) and cortisol (the stress hormone). To get the complete picture, watch the talk.

*IMPORTANT NOTE: By powerful here means ‘to make good things work’.

So, for nine days I had been looking for places and times I can practice the power pose without affecting my schedule. Here it goes:

1. Right after waking up

I set the alarm with notes to remind myself. Just sit on the bed with legs on the floor, stretch the hands up and feel the power.

2. In prayers

I am a Muslim and obliged to pray 5 times a day. In the prayer we have to perform some physical pose while humbly meeting the Lord. While the eyes directed to the ground, I straightened my shoulders as a means of putting power to words cited in prayers. Even when I place my head to the ground I set my shoulders straight.

3. At breakfast/brunch/tea/dinner table

While eating, straightened the shoulders and upper side of body as a means of being grateful for the food, as the energy that fuels productivity.

4. While driving

Again, straightened the shoulders and upper side of body while steering. You will a better vision on what’s going on on the road. When bumps into red light, place your hands at the back of your head. Take that extra space. Say, “This bump (red light) is nothing. I am more powerful than that. Patience is the power.”

5. In train to/back from work

Whether sitting or standing, utilize all the personal space you have to expand. Be creative but know your boundaries. Best advice, again, the shoulders and upper side of body.

6. In working table

Take some time stretching and apply straight shoulders and straight upper level of the body while working.

7. While peeing/dumping

Pee/dump in the closed doors toilet partition. While doing the power pose, say, “Goodbye unwanted stuff!”

8. In the gym

Straightened the upper side of the body on treadmills. Straightened shoulders while doing sit-ups. Straightened shoulders while lifting weights. And the ultimate use of power pose? It is obviously yoga.

9. Sleeping

Take some space on the bed. It is your space after all.

Although I didn’t do everything in one day but I guess I know when/where to swoop in when there are opportunities. You can find your when/where too! 😀

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