1) If you aren't paying full attention, you will make a mistake. In chess you need to know where your opponent moved and even try to understand his plan. If you are distracted, you will miss out on both his moves and his strategy. Last night I was guilty of this at the beginning of the game. I was trying to do something else. In life we need to be fully present in the moment with eternity in view. People, tasks, media and so much more distract us. We love to multi-task, but I don't know many people who do those tasks well. They usually do their tasks just "to get by" and not with excellence. Chess and life demand full attention.
2) If you get so focused on what you want to do, you will make a mistake, because you will misread the situation. In chess, you can plan your moves in your head ahead of time. However, you need to respond to what the opponent is doing. You can't overlook what your opponent is doing. You need to work your plan, yet at the same time respond to your opponent. In life, we are often bound and determined to do something, yet by the time we do it, it makes no sense. We end up putting a square peg in a round hole, because we were not paying attention to the whole situation. It's like the person who rear ended our car in the midst of a traffic jam. We were sitting on I-295 south of Baltimore, and they wanted to go to Owings Mills. The traffic was often literally crawling if that. This lady rear ends me with her vehicle. Fortunately, there was little damage. But she told me why the accident occurred; she needed to get to Owings Mills. Well, she had a plan in her head, but she wasn't paying attention to the situation. Rear ending a person will not get you to Owings Mills faster. Many people have their plans but make mistakes, because they cannot read the situation.
3) You need to find the line between aggressive and defensive. In chess you always need to be on the offensive putting pressure on your opponent. However, you don't want to be too aggressive; that often leads to large mistakes. On the other hand, to win at chess, you don't want to sit back and wait for the opponent to make mistakes. You don't only want to be only reactive and on the defensive. In life we need to learn the same balance, the balance between aggressive and defensive, the balance between bold and fearful. Really bold people often run over people; really fearful people live in a prison of their own choosing accomplishing little too afraid to act. We need to find this line between aggressive and defensive. As we listen to the Holy Spirit of Jesus, I believe he will lead us on the journey. He will take us out of our comfort zone and give us boldness, yet we will not "bowl over" people either. He will lead us on a journey of bold love.