Life is Not a Game of Chess

How to focus on our next step… because the board keeps changing

Katrina Bos
Apr 15 · 5 min read
Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels

There is such an inner desire to know where we are going and then take the steps to get there. We want to map out all of our steps to ensure the future that we desire.

But is this really possible? In theory, it sounds perfect. It sounds like we are intelligent, rational people making solid plans for an end result.

But what if that’s not how the world really works? What if the path isn’t so linear? What if the game board keeps changing? What if we aren’t that robotic? What if we too change along the journey and keeping to our preset ideal actually takes us away from an even better and brighter possibility?

Linear vs Non-Linear Systems

Everything around us is either linear or non-linear. When something is linear, you know all of the parts inside, you know exactly what its purpose is, and if you do “this” to it, it will always do “that”. Linear systems tend to be things that are man-made — cars, bridges, video games, etc. If you push a car in a certain direction with a certain amount of pressure, it will go a certain distance at a certain velocity. It is totally predictable.

However, many other things around us are considered “non-linear”. This includes human beings, nature, our psychology… basically anything to do with nature and humans.

This means that we do not abide by the simple rules that I mentioned above. Just because you do “this” to a human, they won’t necessarily do “that”. If you do the same thing to 100 humans, you might get 100 different results. If those 100 humans get cancer, although a certain treatment might have worked for one, it may not work for a single other person.

The world is simply not linear. We can’t predict what our actions will bring. We can guess at the effects of our choices, but we are very likely to not be seeing the whole picture.

The Game Board Adjusts Itself

Another big difference between linear and non-linear systems is that non-linear systems are always self-correcting. If they are thrown off path, they will correct to their original heading.

Let’s compare this to a toy car. If you push it with the perfect strength to make it go a certain distance, but it hits a stone on its path, it will go off course and stay off course. However, if a human is moving in a particular direction and is thrown off course, they will work to go back to their original goal. They will continually self-correct based on what they truly desire.

Also, the bigger the system, the more moving parts. When those moving parts are all non-linear systems like humans or nature, there is an infinite number of different ways that they can organize themselves. Each one with a different soul’s desire, each one self-correcting to that goal.

This is how the gameboard of life keeps changing — at least if the goals that we have made for ourselves involve society, relationships, work, etc.

Oversimplifying the World

It is a great challenge to see the whole picture all of the time. Our brains want to isolate particular “facts”, put them together, and create a picture that is digestible… but this is seldom the whole picture.

It is like in human health. It is easiest to simply look at the physical body and tell ourselves that this is all we need to look at if someone is sick. However, doctors and scientists have discovered that a person’s outlook on life, the relationships they are in, and their psychological and emotional states play a huge role in their physical health. To not consider these aspects is like only looking at a person’s arm instead of their whole body. Whatever conclusions we come to are very likely incorrect because we aren’t considering all the factors.

Because this is too much to consider all of the time, we simply remove this from our minds. We discard the fact that we aren’t looking at the whole picture and go back to our simplified version of the world… our simplified world where we can map out the next 5 steps easily.

From Sickness to Health

I first began studying this in 1999 when I had lumps growing in my breasts. My mom had just died of breast cancer along with most of the other women in my family. Medicine may work for some… but it was batting zero for my family. So, I had to find a different way.

I was a mathematician at the time. I trusted my brain to find a system to get me out of this mess. I wanted to know what diet, treatments, mantras, meditations, and exercise I could do to not only heal but even end this legacy so my daughter wouldn’t have to go through it as well.

I read books by Bernie Siegel, Carl Simonton, and any other doctors who were looking at the whole cancer patient in their treatments — and having “miraculous” results. Part of their success was understanding that each patient was a very unique individual with a unique set of circumstances beyond the physical cancer in their bodies. Although their physical illnesses appeared similar, this was just the surface of what was really going on.

Each one needed to find a very specific way out of their illness. They each had to chart their own path to their ideal healthy selves.

Just Enough Light For the Step I’m On

This phrase became a mantra for me through my own journey — and definitely applies in my life today.

When I was sick, I realized that all I could do was sit in prayer, meditation, or however we hear personal guidance, and listen for the single next step. I then had to take that step, let the dust settle, and see how the gameboard had changed. From here, I could ponder what my next step from there was.

This applies to our business, relationships, fitness goals, and all the things we care about. There are just so many moving parts, independent people, and societal shifts happening all of the time. This is the nature of the world around us. It isn’t strange. It’s normal.

We are not robots, we are human. We don’t live in a machine, we live in an ecosystem that is constantly adjusting, healing, and creating new possibilities.

The most effective way is to have a clear inner desire — a kind of North Star on the journey. Then, we focus on single steps — the single choice before us right now. With each step, the board changes and we make another choice. It’s even possible that our North Star may shift to an even better outcome than we ever thought possible.

Just imagine… by simplifying the journey to only the step before us, we may end up in wonderful places that we couldn’t have ever fathomed!

How do you hear the guidance for the next step? Here is a live class from Insight Timer all about listening within — to find your perfect guidance.

If you would like to attend my free live talks on Insight Timer, please follow me here: INSIGHT TIMER. All you need is a free login account.

✨ For more about my online courses and books, please visit my website: 💫


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Katrina Bos

Written by

Tantra teacher・Mother・Friend・Free-spirit・Mystic Heart・Author・Exploring this amazing world. For more details:



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