Your Life Is Tetris. Stop Playing It Like Chess.

I grew up playing chess. It taught me a lot of great lessons about competition — and a lot of wrong lessons about life.

Tor Bair
Tor Bair
Jan 12, 2016 · 7 min read
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1. In life, your only opponent is yourself.

I grew up looking for opponents — people to fight, people to blame, people to prove wrong. I imagined enemies when there were none because fighting was easy. I treated everything like it was zero-sum when there was so much else to gain.

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2. In life, things don’t get harder — they just get faster.

Some games get harder the longer you play, including chess. Positions get more complicated, opponents become more challenging, the stakes increase. You have a public rating, and thus more to lose when you play the same opponents.

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3. In life, you can’t control the board.

As I mentioned earlier, chess is causal. There is a “best move” for any given position. You can force your opponent into a corner. You can see twenty moves into the future, if you’re a supercomputer.

4. In life, no one tells you when you’ve won.

In chess, you’ll get to see your opponent tip over his king in resignation. You’ll see the final tournament scores posted. You’ll feel the satisfaction of victory — unless, one day, you don’t.


You and you alone get to choose how you play your life. Try to play the right game.

(Did you enjoy reading? Please recommend ❤ or share this article, follow me on twitter at Tor Bair, and check out more of my work. You can also visit my personal site: www.torbair.com)

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Tor Bair

Written by

Tor Bair

I work on @SecretNetwork 𝕊 Bringing privacy to DWeb/Web3. Formerly MIT, data sci, options trader. Host of Decentralize This! podcast.

Mission.org

A network of business & tech podcasts designed to accelerate learning. Selected as “Best of 2018” by Apple. Mission.org

Tor Bair

Written by

Tor Bair

I work on @SecretNetwork 𝕊 Bringing privacy to DWeb/Web3. Formerly MIT, data sci, options trader. Host of Decentralize This! podcast.

Mission.org

A network of business & tech podcasts designed to accelerate learning. Selected as “Best of 2018” by Apple. Mission.org