Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Flying Pigs, Self Fulfilling Prophecies and Doubt.

"When pigs fly" is used to describe an impossibility so regularly, I wonder if pigs understood what we were saying, without the underlying meaning, they would eventually start flying.

After all, I believe self fulfilling prophecies are very strong indicators of what we achieve or don't achieve in life. If you believe in something, it becomes achievable, and if you believe you can't do something, then you won't.

As an example, many people believe learning languages is impossible as an adult. They think their natural talent which manifests itself as kids goes away as we get older. Multiple polyglots have proven this statement wrong by learning over 8 languages, without speaking a second language before they were 20. Fluent in 3 months - Language Hacking and Travel Tips is a great example of that. Think about it, who tells a kid that learning a language is hard? Who expects them NOT to learn their mother tongue? Everybody expects them to, so they DO!

As we grow older, people begin telling us some things cannot be done. And it seems to be the case with chess. Everywhere I look it seems that the odds are massively stacked against you.  It is believed that if one has begun your studying of chess as an adult, it is more likely pigs will fly than one becoming a grandmaster of chess in a few years time. Some GMs go as far as claiming that as an adult, 100 points of FIDE rating a year is the maximum you will ever achieve, and you should consider yourself lucky to have done so. I call bullshit. Why should this be so?

Just because the majority of GMs were lucky enough to take up chess at a young age, and become GMs by their early adulthood, it does not mean this should be the only way. When I was growing up, I kept hearing that learning languages is harder the older you get. I wish people would stop saying that, it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy and thus your destiny. One of my favourite Chinese proverbs goes like this “Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny” 

I've heard so many times that it will take me at least 10 years to become a GM due to my age. I keep seeing so many GM profiles begin with "...started playing chess when he was 3...". Doubt has been creeping into my head about whether or not I've set myself a realistic goal.

My prophecy: I will become a FIDE Grandmaster of chess in 3 years since the beginning of this blog. The sooner, the merrier, but 3 years in my opinion is a realistic goal.

Our minds are very good at doubting and questioning things. That's the brains job! So it's fine that mine is doing that for the last few days but soon it will stop. It will have to accept the fact I am a firm believer that anything is possible in life and it will play along to my tune. I believe in my goal and I am hoping that this blog will be a testament to that. I will keep working hard to make that happen. Don't let self fulfilling prophecies affect you, I won't, and neither should you.

I welcome your comments on what you have achieved that people said couldn't be done.

No comments:

Post a Comment