In those days, as he was drilling the Junior Malawi team, celebrated Zambian chess instructor, Musatwe Simutowe told the team, “Do not analyze lost games in between rounds during tournaments, because there is a risk that you can get demoralised after you find out how silly your loss was.”
Though this may not be applicable to some, it’s very educative. After you’ve goofed up in one assignment, make all effort to guard yourself from depression so that you do well in the next assignment that comes immediately after.
A lot of people have goofed up pretty badly in things they were not supposed to fail at because they were demoralized by their previous assignment. Confidence can be delicate, it easily gets a knock.
As the famous sports song “Champions ” puts it: “When I fall down, I pick myself up”. When you do badly in one assignment, pick yourself up and prepare for the next one. Pick yourself up from all manner of depression, too. Don’t allow the previous one to affect the performance of your next one.
Even in the Bible, the Apostle Paul says “…one thing I do is I press on, forgetting the past.”
When you fair badly in an assignment, it is your responsibility to make that bad performance not affect your next performance, even the one that comes just immediately. Stop thinking about it and start afresh. Avoid being around negative people.
Grandmaster Vladmir Kramnik says when he loses in one round in a tournament, he changes his clothes, so that it’s a brand new person on the board. Well explore your own tactics but the idea is to tackle the next assignment as though nothing has happened.
Always look at the big picture. In an exam of 5 papers, paper one can be very tough, but make sure you quickly forget about it, so that you tackle the next paper well, and the next one after that and so on. Remember, at the end of the day, it’s the general performance that matters. You won’t have a lot of work next time if you only fail one paper, other than to fail at everything because of depression.
Next time you lose tell yourself, “I’m a brand new person, my previous loss will not affect me”. Like that you will never fail. You can do all things through Christ that strengthens you.
As former World Champion Anatoly Karpov put it, it’s not necessarily the best that wins, but the strong. Make sure you are psychologically strong when tackling your next assignment.