Neurohacking Everyday Fear
Next Best Move
I first learned to play chess in a Scottish castle outside of Edinburgh. It was a frigid January night, which meant staying inside by the fire. If you’ve never played chess, I highly recommend it! It was invented over 1,000 years ago in India and became the game of kings because it’s all about plotting your single best next move while considering the possible consequences of both moving and staying put.
In chess, each player gets one move at a time. That move can be a single square or multiple squares, but it can only be one. In a single move, the game can easily be won or lost.
When we’re caught in a fearstorm, it’s easy to think we need to throw out 10 different decisions all at once in 10 different directions. But this behavior is rooted in our desperate attempt to regain control when we feel groundless and generally results in poor returns.
Instead, when trying to get through a fearstorm, I suggest you stop everything and choose the single, most advantageous move possible.
So how do you choose that single, most advantageous move? First step is to get all the circumstances and ideas out of your head and on to something tangible.
I also don't like to play digital chess - I need to spatially see and feel the Board - feel the pieces - try out a move by picking up the piece and putting it back down
This is why I suggest you make your next right move process as visceral as possible by incorporating as many senses as possible. I am a big supporter of paper and colored pens/markers/pencils because you are activating more of your brain than just simply typing into a digital format – but really, anything is better than just letting things swirls in your mind.
The key here is to have one single move to analyze. A single move is something that is actionable, distinct, and immediate – it’s happening right now, not in the future. A single move would be saying yes or no to brining on a new employee. A single move is NOT growing your team from 2 to 10 employees.
Anytime you feel overwhelmed, trapped, and don't know which way to turn, choose exactly one next move
and answer these questions to see if it’s the right one:
What are the Benefits of making that one single move?
What are the Benefits of NOT making that move?
Then detail the Possible costs of making the move vs not moving at all.
Lastly, write down if there is a way you can back out if you say yes and conversely if you say no, how likely is it this opportunity will come back around.
Getting into this self-questioning habit will help transform your decision-making process and help pull you out of a fearstorm. At the heart of the storm, is ourselves – so when we can pull ourselves out of our own story, we are able to see things a bit more clearly and get to better choices.