Nurture the Conflict Within


 A Stopherjones Picture
Wow, well I feel like I have just been immersed in the world of conflicts and you know what? I feel all the better for them. Before I make myself sound like I’ve been on a frenzied spree of mayhem and chaos, the type of conflict I refer to is of a different sort entirely. The sort that makes you look at yourself more closely and assess what you are actually doing, right here, right now.  Learning anything new can be an uncomfortable experience, it brings you smack bang in the middle of ‘unknownsville’ and conflicts with your usual ways of doing things.

My first experience joining a Chess 960 tournament and oh what a tournament it is. Unlike a usual game of chess, you start with your pieces randomly set on the board and then the fun really begins. Chess 960 is so unusual especially after practising normal chess which has a range of classic openings, mid game strategies and endgame plots, you can almost predict how you are going to play regardless what the opponent brings to the table, but with Chess 960 all that premeditative work goes out of the window as you don’t have a set platform to work from and pretty much have to create new ways of working in order to achieve some sort of control of play on the board. Don’t get me wrong, I really love the classic game of chess as there are so many variables and no two games that I have played are the same, but like wise with my new found interest of Chess 960, I can love it equally for its unknown starting quality which is almost like playing an endgame at the opening stage. Chess 960 has given me a true reversal of mindset and is worthy of a mention in this blog for the gravity of the conflict it raised within me but at the same time the same level of learning and fun was afforded.
For a long time now I’ve been interested in having a go at snowboarding, I’d watch the snowboarding channels to see boarders flashing some serious skills on the snow, my friends would tell me about their experiences on the ice and the wonderful places they had visited and I wished that I could sample some of that enjoyment. Unfortunately, I remembered skateboarding when I was younger and my balance was definitely not the best, I had tried roller skating and yet again this proved to be my nemesis, so for me to even contemplate snowboarding in my later years was definitely not within my comfort zone.  I plucked up the courage and recently took a level 1 lesson in snowboarding. This again demonstrated to me the conflict of learning something new and jumping out of my comfort zone. My body disagreed with me every slide of the way, but I really did have lots of fun. I eventually understood the ‘less is more’ concept and finally snowboarded in reverse down the rookies slope safe and sound. I was well excited to achieve my level 1, especially as I never in a million years thought that I would.
From the topics above and more, I personally don’t want to forget how I learned things and definitely don’t want to block out my trials and tribulations as a negative towards my achievement.
If I face myself and understand the conflicts within me,
the skies will open up and offer opportunities a plenty.
Learning from conflict can be a blessing in splendour,
achieving great self humility, respect and candour.
Muhammad Ali is quoted as saying “I never thought of losing, but now that it’ s happened, the only thing is to do it right. That’s my obligation to all the people who believe in me. We all have to take defeats in life.”
Page extract from the amazing ‘Shine Your Light – A Dream Chasers Handbook’
See also Sports & The Brain

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