“Checkmate.” He said in his Swiss/German accent. Jan beat me again. “Schiesse!” I say, as I shake my head. I’m a bad loser.
The emotion sets in. Muscles tighten. Body heats up. Feelings that arise with frustration. On top of losing, I’m losing to a 22-year-old. I have 10 years on Jan, yet he’s out dueling me in a battle of wits.
I’m a bad winner too. When I win, I’m uncontrollably happy. I have to hold in my laugh, but sometimes I can’t. I laugh from the sheer joy of a smart move, my opponent trapped. I laugh in a slightly evil, sadistic way. My opponent is stuck and suffering, huffing and puffing over the inevitable. I just sit back, chuckle and bask in sunshine of victory.
I realized these emotions, both winning and losing are pathetic. Here’s my vow to work on when playing chess:
When I lose, lose with grace. Lighten up. Joke a little bit more afterwards. Don’t berate myself. Feel the emotion of losing, look at it with some altitude. Let that emotion go, learn from it. Learn from the mistakes. Learn how I can get better.
When I win, win humbly. Control my excitement. Control my laughter (don’t eliminate it though). Stay light, but have respect. Think of Jordan’s eyes, Kobe’s eyes, Jeter’s eyes, Brady’s eyes. They all have the same look in their eye. When they win, it’s with a quiet confidence. It’s matter-of-fact, yet it’s quiet and humble. They are not celebrating and laughing uncontrollably when they win. They expect it, but don’t gloat.
This emotional control reminds of the comparing mind. Sometimes, we see ourselves as winning or losing in life. The comparing mind’s gauge for winning and losing is other people. Keeping up with the good ole’ Jones’ s right? This is a good reminder for me, and I share with you:
The comparing mind holds you back. It cripples you. If you feel you are ahead of someone, don’t be guilty. Don’t be arrogant. Keep growing. Be humble. If you feel you are behind someone, don’t feel envy, or resentment. That’s poison. Don’t feel inferior. Instead, admire and give praise. Embrace those who are doing big things, and learn from them.
Tell the comparing mind with that Jordan look in your eye, CHECKMATE.