Monday, September 19, 2011

Real confidence is the hardest thing to build.

Have you ever wondered why we accept criticisms so easily and resist compliments? Why we remember our failures and forget our successes? That is an interesting phenomenon.

Lets talk about character here and what it actually means. Lets say I was to offer you a bribe of RM1,500 to allow me to demoralise an entire Malaysian contingent. If you have "strongish" character you will resist. Lets say I now increase the amount to RM15,000, then to RM150,000 etc etc. You get the picture. How many of us can take that pressure? Lets be honest here. True character means that you will be able to resist, no matter what the amount of pressure is.

Now lets look at developing our Juniors. And let me use Mark again as an example. He got to being State Champion without ever compromising on his principles. Then the pressure got higher and he slipped at National Junior. So my friends at Jimmy's site, it was not a mistake on my part to talk openly about it. It was a lesson for Mark (and the other juniors) on how easy it is to take the short cuts at higher and higher pressures.

It was to mold his character; for him to admit the mistake and then resolve to continue and fight again. He knows I will not condone that and he knows I will measure him the same as I measure anyone else, including myself. What I did was to show him, it's OK to slip up. Admit your mistake and then move on. It is human to make mistakes and that is how you also learn.

When you hit another level of pressure the temptation will come again. It is only by training your character over higher and higher pressures will you become a diamond. And incidentally, I am not training him to be a GM. He has not made that decision himself. For that decision can only be made by him alone and nobody else.

I am merely training him for life using chess as the tool.

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