On Thursday we met Shekhar Despande and he blew my mind.
He came into teach us about strategy and delivered a master class with no gimmicks just sheer class.
Most of us associated strategy with logical and tactical thinking.
Shekhar informed us that strategy was indeed logical but great strategy came from the heart and had soul.
He asked us to write on a piece of paper the strategy of our lives.
We were then instructed to read each other’s strategies out loud and were asked if we would swap our own life strategy for someone else’s.
Tom Manning read mine ‘I have dreams to remember’ which he quite rightly rejected without hesitation.
My personal strategy was a reference to one of my favourite song lyrics by one my favourite singers – Otis Redding.
A man with too much soul and too little time.
Shekhar’s talk made me think about an award winning autobiography called ‘The Grass Arena’ by John Healy.
Healy is a former tournament chess player.
He left school at the age of 14 and spent his early years in the army where he excelled at boxing.
However he was dishonourably discharged due to alcohol abuse and going absent without leave.
After that Healy’s life descended into chaos. He became a homeless alcoholic and was convicted for various petty crimes.
In prison a fellow cellmate, Harry ‘the Fox’ taught Healy how to play chess.
Healy found he had a natural ability and a love for the game.
It was enough to make Healy want to give up drinking and make his first moves back into a normal life.
He has been sober ever since
Healy became a highly rated player, capable of conducting several games concurrently.
Chess is viewed as the ultimate game of strategy and after Shekhar talk I am left pondering.
What was John Healy’s strategy when he decided to turn his life around?