Chess and Life: The King

The King symbolizes the “primary motivation” in the  game of chess.

The game ends when your own king or the opponent’s is cornered or checkmated.

The King in the game of chess is therefore the most valuable piece. Of absolute value. It cannot be bought or sold. 

In life, we also have a “king.” Priceless. Without it, we don’t find life possible. Ultimacy of our mental health belongs to it.

I’m reminded of Geronimo, a very rich food company CEO. He had means. But he lacked meaning in his life. 

He was “in check” during sessions. Something happened when life questioned him.

Despite his accomplishments, he realized he was not making “good moves” for many years with his wife and children. And now, he found himself in the brink of being abandoned by them.

Geronimo’s true values inform him of what really matters to him. Much like in chess, where the main value is the King.

His answer to his emotional pain led to responsible and noble actions. He reformed. He sacrificed pieces of his life to woo his family back.

Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl once said that “meaning is not isolated within the person but is in the relationship of the person with the world.”

In life, as in chess, you alone is responsible for making the “moves.” You move and the world responds. 

And your move lies in what truly matters to you, what is your “king.”

This “king” in your life holds your “being.” It holds your “doing” as well. Make sure you know your “king.”