Checkmate your Goals! by Dr. Jyoti Hegde
Parents and teachers can use this short story to teach children the importance of planning in achieving goals.
Amol loved playing chess. He attended his chess coaching classes regularly and participated in all the chess tournaments. His parents had always encouraged him to play chess since the age of six. They had heard that playing chess sharpens the brain. But little did they know that there's more to it.
One rainy day, Amol's uncle Ravi visited him. As the rain pitter-pattered on the roof top, he noticed Amol sitting in the balcony with his friend, engrossed in the game of chess. Amol's friend left in a while. Uncle Ravi challenged Amol, "Amol, can I play one game of chess with you?" He immediately noticed a spark in Amol's eyes. Amol responded enthusiastically, "Sure uncle, let's play." Both tried to protect their king and attack as many rival pieces as possible.
As the game proceeded, Uncle Ravi quizzed Amol, "Amol, tell me the objectives of this game."
Amol quickly explained, "Uncle, to win you have to use each chess piece wisely to checkmate your opponents king. At the same time you have to protect your king. For this, you need to plan your each move carefully." Uncle Ravi was impressed. He grilled further, "What if the opponent makes an unexpected move?” Amol smiled and answered, "The opponent can always make an unexpected move anytime. You have to be flexible enough to make a change in your plan."
Uncle Ravi was convinced now that he could convey his message to Amol. He asked, "Amol, have you realised that achieving goals is like a game of chess?" Amol was puzzled. He had never thought about it. Uncle Ravi explained, "In chess you plan your moves carefully. Similarly, you need to make a proper plan to achieve your goals. Look at each of your chess pieces. They are just like your strengths. Each chess piece has a unique ability and can be used for a specific purpose. Similarly, you need to use each of your strengths in the right manner to overcome obstacles while moving towards your goals." Amol was stunned as till now he had seen the chess pieces only as objects used for playing the game. Uncle Ravi continued, "In chess we have to be prepared for any unexpected moves made by the opponent. Similarly, while achieving goals you may come across unexpected situations which you may not have thought of while planning. You need to be flexible and change your plans accordingly to Checkmate your goals!" Amol set a goal of winning the upcoming school chess tournament and started planning how to achieve it.
Dr. Jyoti Hegde is a Corporate soft skills trainer and a life skills trainer for kids based in Goa, India. Her passion is to conduct sessions for kids on the values, habits, and life skills needed for health, happiness and success.