Not qualifying for the FIDE World Cup via the Swiss qualification tournament was a big disappointment for me.

Recovering mentally from such a setback can often take some time. I want to share a quote that helped me switch my mental state nearly immediately.

Focus On The Positive

I wrote about my focus on the process. Thus, I am trying not to give a specific result too much importance. But in some cases, this is still very tough. As it was a tournament where only first place counted, the bigger focus on the result was nearly unavoidable. Not winning the tournament felt like a big failure. All the hard work seemed for nothing.

The more I thought about it, the bigger the failure seemed.

But then, I stumbled upon the following quote from best-selling author Greg McKeown.

If you focus on what you have, you gain what you lack. If you focus on what you lack, you lose what you have.

Greg McKeown

I have heard similar things before, but this one hit the nail for me. The more I focus on what I lack (the World Cup qualification) the more all the other things seem meaningless, thus I lose them. Going down this rabbit hole will never end well.

So I just started thinking about all the things I have.

  • Great performance in classical chess (4/5), won 5 Rating points
  • Outplayed the winner in a must-win situation with black
  • Bounced back after 2 tough losses

And these are only positives from this specific tournament! The list can go on with many things, also things outside chess. The same effect works again, just for and not against me this time: the more I focus on all these things, the less meaningful my failure seems.

So instead of revisiting all the situations I messed up time and time again, I now try to focus on something positive immediately after a failure. It makes my life so much easier.

I hope it makes yours easier too!

Sincerely, Noël

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