When I watched the trailer of The Queen’s Gambit, where the actress Anya Taylor-Joy roams around like a Chess queen (literally! Look at her posture!) and the way she exchanges pieces on board, I made up my mind to watch the series. As the poster clearly shows, the Queen’s Gambit revolves around three prominent elements- the protagonist girl Beth Harmon, the game of Chess, and the addiction. Interesting trio.
The series is well-curated, where they give us a visual treat of the Chess atmosphere decades back, especially in the cold-war era.
The only complaint one can make about the series is its predictability, and rightfully so, the series doesn’t have sharp twists and turns. However, the show sneakily reminds us of the simple life lessons we already know but desperately need a reminder.
1. Do not wait for the perfect moment.
Beth shows up to her first-ever Chess tournament even before knowing how to use the Chess clock. She captures the moment of entering the Chess tournament, which she knows she is good at, instead of waiting to understand the game in-and-out.
If you are good at something and you know it, do not wait for the perfect moment. It would be best if you made the moment perfect for yourself. So, if you think you are not 100% ready for something, even then, you may take up the challenge and make a Beth out of yourself!
2. You have admirers even if you think you don’t.
Mr. Shaibel, a janitor at Beth’s orphanage who taught her Chess, is one such example. He admires Beth’s struggles and achievements. He helps her play the first Chess tournament and do not make a big fuss about it. He preserves the newspaper-cuttings of Beth’s success out of pride and respect. Most importantly, he doesn’t even make Beth know any of it.
You may think the world to be selfish at one point in life, and no one admires your achievements, but that is not entirely true. Some people admire you, your struggles, and your accomplishments. They often keep that as a secret affair. We have such people like Shaibel in our lives, just that we perhaps do not know they exist, but trust they do.
3. Success is often difficult to handle.
Beth Harmon faces adversities while maintaining her success as a Chess prodigy. Instead of working on her problems, she skids into an addiction abyss for a temporary relief, which further adds to her distress.
Handling and sustaining success is as difficult as achieving it. Maintaining the top spot comes with a price- hard work, competitiveness, being mentally and physically fit. And if it is not handled well, the fall is inevitable. Health has to be prioritized.
The higher the success, the steeper is the fall.
4. You have friends to help you out.
When Beth was undergoing downfall, thinking no one could help her, her childhood friend Jolene offers her help. Later, her Chess buddies provide crucial assistance to win the match for her career’s most important event.
Seek help when you need it. There are friends to help you out. Sometimes they appear surprisingly to assist you when you desperately need them. Welcome them. Do not push them away when you are climbing the ladder of success. It is always better to have friends by your side no matter where you stand or where they stand on the success scale.
5. Life gives you opportunities for a comeback.
Beth’s story is a story of a comeback when life throws the hindrances of childhood traumas, addiction, and a personal loss. Beth wakes up from her slumber of downfalls and works on the problems diligently. She grabs the opportunity to switch the track and take her life to the right destination.
The result of it is in front of us- the happy ending of the show.
The life of a professional is a blend of setbacks and comebacks. Due to the cutthroat competition, when the setbacks are ineludible, comebacks are a choice to make. It is not an easy choice but not impossible either.
Life gives you enough opportunities to come back stronger if you ready to acknowledge and work upon them.