I enjoy playing blitz chess, where each player gets a total of 3 minutes. It’s fast-paced, demands total concentration and delivers a quick result.
One thing I’ve noticed is that when I’m undisturbed while playing, I win around half of my games. But when there’s even a slight distraction, I lose most of the matches.
On analyzing this, I realize that it’s because of inner conversations.
As I make my moves, I’m constantly talking to myself.
- Silently voicing my attack plan.
- Remarking on the other person’s moves.
- Even egging myself on when I see a weakness to exploit in the position or structure of my opponent’s pieces.
When someone talks to me in the middle of the game, that inner conversation is disrupted.
Once broken, it’s hard to find the thread again – and that leads to defeat.
The same kind of inner conversations happen at other times.
Like while I’m browsing Facebook. I’ve suddenly become conscious of how my thoughts flow.
Sometimes, I’m commenting to myself about the awesomeness (or stupidity) of someone on my network.
Other times, I’m drawing inferences based on stuff they share or post.
And from time to time, I catch myself unintentionally comparing my life to their’s.
These inner conversations leave an impact.
When I return to whatever I was doing, energized and inspired, I realize it’s partly because of the conversations that just went on inside my head.
And when I feel apathic, tired and weary about my work, that’s also a consequence of the latest inner conversation – with myself.
They’re insidious little things, those pesky ‘silent chats’.
They often have dramatic, even deadly effect.
They need to be controlled and dominated for greatness and accomplishment.
Gaining control – and domination – over your inner conversations is probably the single most important thing to drive you forward to your goals.
It’s also a lot harder than it appears.
It takes focus, concentration and dedication.
I’m going to work harder at it… starting right now, with my next game of blitz chess!