Today I attended our annual chess tournament in Orange Grove hosted by one of my wonderful friends. It reminded me how important it is to do different things with your mind. I hadn’t played chess since the last annual chess tournament and my game was seriously rusty. But after a few games, I really started getting into the swing of it and playing a bit more strategically.
Comfort zones are dangerous places. Once we become familiar with a place, a way of working or thinking, our brain creates pathways that become ever more cemented as we repeat the habit, practise or work. It becomes easier and we gravitate towards doing the things again and again because we’re good at it. In many ways, this can be a good thing – we need to practise our skills to become excellent at them. However, becoming excellent at something means you neglect something else. When you are skilled up enough and the skill has become habitual, you’ll then be in a position to learn something new. You’ll find it tricky in the beginning, just like you did when you started your now habitual skill. Don’t give up though. What’s great about learning is that it becomes easier to learn the more you practise learning. The process itself becomes a skill that you become better at.
Keep stretching yourself. Learn new things with your body and with your mind and you’ll stay supple and be able to bend in ways you didn’t dream were possible.