I recently purchased an inexpensive pedometer. I have been curious for years how many steps I take each day. Am I really as active as I think or fooling myself? Also, being active is important to good health, so I really want to know how active I am and, regardless of where I am, I want to improve. This is also true for other aspects of my life – I wan to improve. A person I greatly respect told me, “When progress is measured, progress improves.” I know measuring progress is not usually convenient, and in many cases really difficult to do, but I firmly believe that if I really want something that I need to work for, I need to find a way to measure my progress and make the effort to measure it.
I think most of us would like to think that it would be a better world without exams, and yet we all know they are necessary and good. So, what do I mean by exams? I guess I could say performance or recital or final or test or deadline or competition or game or goal. We need to have things in our life that point us towards a milestone or particular point. Without these exams, we seem to lack the urgency to get something done. We tend to drag things on and not quite get to the point of completion. With a pending exam date, we push ourselves or are pushed towards something. We know there is a point where we have to show what we know or can do.
I’m mad at myself for losing out on a nice little opportunity this week. For about a year now, I have wanted to order some business cards from a particular online vendor for my photography business. The nice thing about these cards is that I can use my photos as the background for the card. The really nice thing about these cards is that in a pack of 50 or 100 cards, I can make everyone unique. In other words, I can use 50 different pictures for my 50 card order if I want. I know some of you are asking why I would want to do that, but in a photography business, each card advertises your product right there. Now, realistically, I would not create 50 different cards, but I would make a variety of them. Anyway, a month ago, my Web hosting site partnered with this company and I could get 100 cards for free. I was excited about this news and planned to take advantage of it. This past weekend, I went to create my cards and discovered that the offer had expired and I had missed the deadline by one day. So, here was a nice opportunity lost for no good reason, just procrastination on my part. It made me think of the many other opportunities I have lost because of procrastination.
I played a lot of chess when I was in junior high school. I was so obsessed that I read everything I could get my hands on about it. I studied the games of the grandmasters and learned from the advice of the experts. Bobby Fisher was my hero. I think I read, or at least thumbed through, every book on chess that our public library had. Through my obsession, I learned a lot about:
- Thinking ahead
- Anticipating moves
- Analyzing situations
- Positioning my pieces properly.
These things do not seem so useful, unless you plan on going into the military or something, but I have found that this stuff has tricked into my life through the years – more on this in a minute. When I got to high school, other things started occupying my time and chess kind of faded out of my life. Today, when I play three or four times a year, I am surprised about how much I remember from so long ago and how many things I miss. These lessons of chess have become lessons on life for me. Hold it! Don’t stop reading. I promise this gets better. One thing I remember is not to be a pawn snatcher.