Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Goal setting

Actually there is a good reason why our chess world is negative. Why there is so much drama and finger pointing. It's a natural reaction. It's the reaction to failure. So everyone is only looking after number one. Cari makan.

I propose that the solution is success. Now consider this. Maybe, just maybe we can produce success, produce a GM. We have seen Nichol do it, we just recently saw Lee Chong Wei do it. It's not in chess, but it does demonstrate that it can be done. That a Malaysian can be a world beater. Can you see that possibility? This is important. Without this belief, we cannot go to the next step. Without this belief you cannot last the journey.

Now let us try to understand what goal setting really is and isnt. There are 2 types of goals we will look at. One for the individual and one for us as a chess fraternity.

For the individual.

Let me start with a couple of cases. One was a boy who told me that he wants to be NM. I told him that was not a good goal. Why? Because it is subjective. It is dependent on who is going to be present at the tournament. I said it is better to use Fide rating as a measure. If the NM title comes along the way it comes. You need good interim yardsticks. Another small little goal. Small steps. But important steps because these steps build character. It tells you who you are. Where you are strong and where you are weak. It's a journey of self discovery.

Allow me to go back to my comments about Mas. In that scenario his results in all probability would not have affected the teams results overall. But he would have found out alot about himself if he had fought all the way. He would have learnt a little more about what it takes to beat a GM, a super GM. He would have filed that information in his head. He would have learned more on where he needs to improve. He may or may not make GM but he would have taken away with him a valuable life lesson. He would have discovered his limits, what price he is willing to pay and this would have helped him life long. And strangely he would have been content with that. Why? Because he gave it his all. That is something we can live with. There is no shame. And no question remaining in his mind of what if?

Now do you see why it is important to have that belief? You can tell much from looking at the goals set. The result is not all that important. It's what you learned from the result; its the reason behind your decisions that are important. Question. Was the decision made because it was one for the team or was it made because of a failure in courage?

So it doesnt really matter if your goal is big. Like, to be GM, super duper GM... It's the little molehills that you climb along the way that tells you who you are. It's the journey.

For with each little success, you find energy to go further. The energy comes as you move along. With each step you unblock more of your stuck energy. With each molehill. But you must try your best or it doesnt work. And you must not succumb to excuses.


  1. Some of us already talked about this in 2000. You are ten years late.

  2. Thank you for the info. I hope to see more action from you. Keep it up.

  3. jimmy and ray got too much concern for the future of chess. good for both to sit down for a brain storming

  4. I think in a round about way, that is what is happening, with all of us, including the other readers. I think many are looking for answers.

    I'm guessing that is why you read this blog.