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Is life a game of checkers or chess?

In CHECKERS, you focus on one move at a time. Take pieces as they come. You aren’t thinking that far ahead. Action and short-term results are the way to win.

CHESS is an entirely different game. Outstanding chess players think a dozen moves ahead. They have a game plan. They are willing to trade-off short-term gains for potential long-term success.

Which is life?

You see, I would like to think that life is like playing checkers. You never really know what’s going to happen a few moments from now. You listen to you intuition or heart and act with congruency. This sounds like a great way to make decisions…IN THE MOMENT.

However, there is something to be said for thinking things through. Considering the effect of your actions. Considering you DHARMA (duty) and pushing through tough spells to gather insights and come out of a situation better of.

 Actions on the chess board of life could include having an investment plan, going back to school, sticking with a job through the “tough times” or starting a workout program. You’re doing things with a very long term view.

So, which is it? Are we playing a game of CHESS OR CHECKERS? Living in the moment or living “intelligently”?

I faced a very tough decision this weekend that dealt with this very subject.  The hardest decision I have had to make in years.

Turns out I’m playing CHESS. How about you?


  1. Charles says:

    This blog post stressed me out yesterday. You’re playing chess and here I am with thoughts that I am playing Hungry Hippo.

    Thanks Ravi.

  2. ravisraman says:

    Hey Michael,

    But if you MUST pick one predominant game that defines how you are living your life…what would be? (and don’t say chutes and ladders! 🙂 )

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