I have been playing chess since I was 8 years old, and even today I say that playing a good game of chess for me is the most beautiful and engaging thing that I can do. The thrill of a challenging game is such that you lose the track of time, you lose all other thoughts and you lose your identity and become one with the game.
We all know that thrill of sports. Not necessarily as a player, but also as an audience, we know how exciting it is to watch a beautiful match of any sport.
The questions I ask are:
- What makes us so thrilled and excited while playing or watching a wonderful game?
- How do we bring those qualities and thrill in our lives?
Here are some of the important things I came up with after reflecting on the first question.
Playing a stronger opponent is the most basic form of a challenge in a game. When faced with a challenge, all your energies are focused in one direction, and you are automatically pushed beyond your existing standards of play.
For many of us, life is quite comfortable in the sense of survival. We do not need to worry about the survival of body. But that comfort can make us dull and inactive in the long run. If our survival is ensured, we must move on to the next stage of expansion. For that, we need to create challenges for ourselves.
A strong sense of competition brings the thrill even before the game begins! You are obviously more excited to watch two strongest teams play, than to watch a strongest team playing with a weaker team.
Many people say that their only competition is themselves, and that they only have to do better than what they can do!
Let’s face the truth. There are so many people in the world that are doing far better than you are. And if you are stuck only with ‘doing better than yourself’ than your progress can be very limited.
Yes, it is important to better than yourself, but it is more important to measure your standards in the field of others. It is important to know where you stand in the world, otherwise you can be forever trapped in your own bubble.
So, there is a challenge and a competition. Now what? Obviously, a stronger competition will not let you win easily. Everytime you win against stronger player, that is because you persisted for the victory. No challenge can be accomplished without persistence, and that is what sports teaches you best.
Apart from persistence, you must engage all your senses and awareness in the moment, to win a challenging game.
What is a mistake? It is some important detail that escaped your awareness, isn’t it? In any kind of work, you make a mistake when there is a gap in awareness. Therefore, it is very important to be alert at each moment during the game.
A challenge and competition is the river in front of you. You want to go to the other side, how will you cross it? Will you swim? Make a bridge? Make a boat? You must FIND your way. A challenging game forces you to FIND the creative solutions to beat the competition.
In doing all these persistence, alertness and creativity stuff, do you notice that you have become more active than your usual state? A game takes your mind and body for a ride of activity and saves you from drowning in the lake of passiveness and procrastination.
7.) The finite time
Every sport has a time limit, so is life.
- In chess, you literally have time, which ticks backward towards zero.
- In football, you have 90 minutes to score more than the opposing team.
- In cricket you have a certain number of overs (a different measure of time), 20/20 or 50/50..etc
What you do with each second or each over is entirely up to you. But you must know, that the time is finite. And if wasted, will lead to undesirable consequences. And remember, you are not in a game of survival. You have already won that round. You are in the next level of spiritual growth and expansion, and the clock is ticking.
8.) Duality and Unity
Most of the games have a battle of two forces acting against each-other. Even-though they are working against each-other, they don’t exist without each-other. In chess, white forces need black forces for the game to exist.
In other words, a game is a miniature version of life. You (your ego) is one player and the universe is the other, (in the sense of perception and not competition). However, you are not outside of the universe, you are a part of it. You only perceive the universe as the other.
THIS IS A GREAT GAME OF LIFE, WHERE YOU HAVE BECOME SEPARATE WITH THE UNIVERSE, ONLY TO PLAY WITH IT.
So play it! 🙂 I hope this post added value to your life, and brought back that urge to play in life.
Maybe you were not playing because you were told that it was a survival game. But it is not! It is the next level, and time is limited. So engage your mind and body and bring that thrill of play in life! Do not wait for the game to appear. Create your own game!
These were my reflections on the first question. I will leave the second question “How do we bring those qualities and thrill in our lives?” for you to explore..:)
Thank you for reading. I would love to know about your views on sports and other qualities that you can extract from sports, feel free to share them in comments. 🙂