When you hear about chess skills, you normally think about calculating variations, visualization and all that. While these are definitely important, they aren’t the most fundamental chess skills. To fully develop from beginner to intermediate and then to advanced, you need to master these basics first. I’ve listed them below, going from most fundamental to more specialist as we go. Continue reading
I have three rather specific categories for my New Year’s goals: physical fitness, writing and chess all seem rather self-explanatory. Then there’s this section, skills. Not so self-explanatory. In a nutshell, there are things I want to do. When you look at, for example, my goals of doing the splits, getting stronger and running a sub-20min 5k, you can group all those under a broader category, that of physical fitness.
When it comes to ‘skills,’ these are simply things that I want to learn that do not fit inside a broad category. Or, if they do, it’s tenuous at best.
I’ll be honest, that these skills do not fit inside a larger category worries me somewhat. It suggests they are somewhat random, potentially a passing fad instead of a real interest. It would be disappointing to put in several hours only to find out I don’t care about a given topic at all. That said, it’s nearly always better to do something than to stand still. If I don’t finish these, or abandon them in the next few months, oh well.
Let’s take a look. Continue reading
This will almost certainly not become a regular feature. I’d wager I spend 98% of my television time watching sports. On a very odd occasion I may watch a rerun of the Simpsons or Seinfeld. Many of my friends have fallen in love with shows like Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad, but these aren’t for me. I’ve largely outgrown TV as my main storytelling medium.
Of course, I watched a lot of TV when I was younger, as virtually all kids do. As a teenager I really enjoyed the various crime dramas, shows like CSI and Law and Order. I enjoyed the chase, and I had about 50% success rate at picking the murderer ahead of time. I should note here that my brother has something like an 80% success rate. It was uncanny how often he got it right. Continue reading
When I wrote about a hypothetical ideal person, I discussed the four pillars that make him or her up. I mentioned that the social pillar was my weakest. I’m a natural introvert and working with people has often felt alien. Here’s where I discuss how I’m trying to fix this weakness.
Okay, so nothing, it looks like. Hmm. Well, let’s break this down further. Continue reading
This section, the fourth and final part of my thoughts on the ideal person, is basically just a catch-all: it collects all the important elements that do not fit in the physical, mental or social categories. In some cases there is heavy overlap. Math, for instance, is clearly a mental skill. Figuring out how to split a tip at a restaurant is still mostly mental but also has social elements as well. Planning a budget takes it one step further and can interconnect with everything in your life.
Bottom line, there are some things everyone should know, and this section lists some examples. Continue reading
What would an ideal person look like?
If you have ever played a videogame RPG, you likely know the obsession of creating a ‘perfect’ character, possessing the best stats and the most powerful abilities. Even a hard game can become easy with such a character. As I thought on this, I began to wonder if we could apply this to regular life. That is, in the game of life, what would the ‘best’ character look like? What skills would he have, what abilities? What could an ideal person do?
And perhaps even more importantly, is it possible to become such a person?
When I first began pondering this question, I settled on four general areas an ideal person would need to excel at. In a nutshell, my ideal person needs to be strong physically, strong mentally, strong socially and have an abundance of particular skills. Think James Bond or Jason Bourne, as these characters served as motivation. Let’s look at each of these areas in quick detail.