Defense, Development, Deal

Chess, like life, can teach you how to make choices. Right choices are essential, especially in Life/Death or Winning/Losing situations.

In chess, we use the mnemonic “3Ds” to guide choices of moves on the chessboard:  Defense, Development, Deal.

(Photo Credit: ChessBase)

Let me explain how they roughly parallel what we do in life or the process of psychotherapy.

Say you suffered a major loss or trauma. Maybe you lost a loved one in betrayal or death, are in deep debts or financial bankruptcy, or have been diagnosed with cancer.

Deeply hurt, you feel lost. Not knowing what to do. And, how to proceed with life from where you are.

Through the lens of “3Ds,” this is what you do to sort out the choices you need to make at a time of crisis.

DEFENSE tells you to maintain integrity and minimize losses.

That could mean defensive healthy eating, defensive driving, defensive friendships, defensive minimal lifestyle, or defensive spending.

Basic needs have to be met first before you’re able to strive for higher lofty goals. Otherwise, how do you proceed when you’re always under constant attack?

In DEVELOPMENT,  you pursue a dynamic balance to correct a deprivation or deficit. It’s a quest to repair “havingness.”

That could lead you to developmental entrepreneurship, developmental lifestyle change, developmental community building, developmental psychotherapy or massive personal development efforts.

Psychotherapist Dr. Wayne Dyer’s “there is a spiritual solution to every problem” also comes to mind here.

DEAL is your “checkmate moment.” For you to reach that point of gain or winning, you need accurate reading of reality. A state of being fully in the present.

Two types of distorted thinking block the deal: “wishful thinking” and “fearful thinking.” Both are well recognized in psychotherapy to be major interferences with how patients read reality.

The deal requires letting go of hurts, dysfunctions, and illusions in order to be present in the current moment with full concentration.

There it is - the “3Ds” - defense, development, deal.

Before you make any decision at any point of time in your life, you need to determine which “D” is a major consideration at that specific moment.