When I was a boy, the first game I learned to play was checkers. It was the only board game that I remember we had in our house. My Dad did not allow us to have a TV, but we did have checkers to help keep us occupied when there was free time. My Dad knew that the game of checkers could help us develop decision-making skills and strategic thinking, so he encouraged us to play.
To master the game, one needed to figure out where each move would ultimately lead. You had to visualize your objective while making offensive moves and also formulating a defensive plan to block your opponent from jumping all of your checkers.
My Dad loved to play checkers, and he was quite good at it. I often saw him playing various friends who’d drop by for a few games of checkers. During my formative years, I played many a game with Dad, my siblings, and friends. Playing my Dad was often instructional as he would stop and show me what a different move would have meant. As I grew older, he gave me less instruction, and I learned my lessons through the outcome of my decisions. It was always an interesting, challenging and growing experience.
As we played, Dad would remind me that “life is like a game of checkers: the experiences you have tomorrow are largely dependent on the decisions you make today.” That was such a determining piece of Waldo Wisdom as, over the years, I have experienced the truth of that statement. What we think, say or do today will greatly determine how our life will turn out tomorrow.
If we approach the game of checkers haphazardly, just moving a checker to move a checker, we are turning the outcome of the game over to the chance. Life is the same way. When we sit back and let someone else make the decisions for our future, we are turning over our ability to make decisions. Instead of determining our destiny, we are allowing someone else to determine where we go in life.
But even before you start the game, it’s always best to know your ultimate desired result. Do you want an abundance of money? Do you want a family? Do you want a specific occupation?
For example, if you want to be a great artist, would you sit back and just admire paintings on the internet? Or would you paint every day, visit art galleries and talk to accomplished artists? The ability to be something does not come just from an idea or a dream; it comes from the effort you put into making the dream a reality.
Once you realize your ultimate desired result, every move you make - or don’t make - impacts your ability to fulfill this desire. Like the game of checkers, adjustments may need to be made to reach your goals. But through the twists and turns, keep your dream at the forefront. When you put your effort and energy into attaining your ultimate desired result, you will be able to make it to the winning side of the board and say “King Me!”