There’s a term in chess called zugzwang. It’s a point where the move you make puts you at a disadvantage. This may be a decisive action, with you seeing a better outcome in the future because of that move. But in many cases it’s the point in the game where you realize that no matter what you do or what move you make you will lose your king. That’s when you have to make a decision. Do you forfeit the game to avoid the pain of losing or do you keep playing and hope that you may be able to find some way to win?
Life is like a game of chess. We see several choices ahead of us, and we make our move based on the situation that we perceive to have the best possible outcome. But the player on the other side of the board, be it an actual human or some outside force, may make an unexpected move. And suddenly we’re faced with a potential outcome we didn’t see coming.
At some point in each of our lives, we reach zugzwang. We think that every possible choice we could make will put us in a terrible position. We think that there’s no winning anymore; all we see is how much we’re going to lose. In those moments, we have to ask ourselves: Do we surrender? Or do we keep playing in the hope that we will somehow be able to make it out of that situation on top?
Some people choose to surrender. They give up on the game, on the possibility of better days, and on life itself. And that’s why I’m writing this now. If you’re thinking about quitting the game, I’m here to tell you that zugzwang isn’t necessarily the end. You still have moves left to make, even if you can’t see them right now. So please, don’t give up because the road ahead seems impossible. Don’t give up because you think you won’t win. You have no idea what victories you’ll win in the future if you stop playing in the present.
So keep playing.
Always keep playing.