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The art of giving up and letting go for the long haul seems almost foreign to us. Why, after all, would you give up something of value when you don’t have to?
By playing chess, I’ve gained a deeper understanding on how to sacrifice.
Often in life it has to get worse before it gets better, or at least that’s how it may seem. You need to understand the value of your assets; if you can afford giving it up, sometimes it might just be a blessing instead of a hindrance to do so. No one ever gets where they want in life without giving up something they would rather hold onto, but that’s life. Chess helped me understand that.
Giving Up is Gaining Good.
In chess, you have to sacrifice some of your men at times. I’ve learned in my life, sacrifice can be great.
“Great you say? Sacrifice doesn’t sound so good…”
Well, let’s take a look at one area of my life that made me very uncomfortable, and at time, very low.
Here we go — ready?
When I was an early out of Duke, I had to give up a lot of things.
I wanted to do what I loved to do. That’s great! But I didn’t know what that was. (Read more about my journey here.)
So I had to carve out a new pathway, which was painful. I gave up following the comfort of what was a “normal” job out of school.
I had to give up status. I didn’t have high profile jobs. I was a Step Aerobics Instructor, counselor on Skid Row in LA, a waitress. I had to cobble it together, trying new things and learning what I love… and and what I didn’t.
I had to give up clarity. I didn’t have a path. My friends were mostly on track to getting a MD, JD, MBA. I had to give up following a predefined pathway.
Giving up short-term security ended up being great; it allowed me to help be one small part of the new industry of Social Entrepreneurship. I love what I do, and now others have a calling they can pursue, with clear classes, degrees, and examples of so many great social entrepreneurs all over the world.
Dear Reader, I hope you’ll give up something. You will give to yourself, and give to so many others. Just remember: You can Give Up something, but never Give In. Hold your course, your values, your hopes high. They will realize themselves.