One stupidly simple lesson from The Queen’s Gambit

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One of the best things about the pandemic has been the ability to Netflix and chill all the time. Arguably the best series to hit the internet during the pandemic has been “The Queen’s Gambit”.

It follows through the story of a young girl, Beth Harmon, (played by Anya Taylor-Joy) who develops an obsession with chess and finds success in life through this game.

The show was so successful during the pandemic that it led to exciting new outcomes for Netflix. Such as:

  • The Queen’s Gambit hit the NY Times bestseller list – 37 years after release
  • Google search queries for chess have doubled
  • Google searches for “how to play chess” hit a 9-year peak;
  • Inquiries for ‘chess sets’ on eBay went up by 250%
  • The number of new players has increased 5x on
  • A record-setting 62 million households chose to watch the show in its first 28 days

Spoilers ahead so please don’t read if you haven’t watched the series yet

Much like the success of the series itself, one stupidly simple lesson from Beth Harmon’s story in The Queen’s Gambit is to keep fighting through challenges at every stage of life.

If you follow Beth’s story you will notice that she goes through three stages in life:

  1. Living life as an orphan
  2. Finding new family & friends
  3. Finding success with Chess

Beth is very young when she is orphaned and brought to Methuen Home orphanage. There she is faced with the challenge to build her life again around new people and make new friends.

Then as she has discovers her love for chess and is adopted into a new family she is faced with the challenge to continue her passion for the game under new circumstances.

Later at 22 when she wins the World Championship against GM Borgov she is faced with the challenge to give up on drug and alcohol addiction to win back her life.

The consistent theme here is to identify your personal challenges and keep fighting them at every stage of life.

Success is not about finding challenges. Success is about finding new challenges, fighting through the challenges and then finding new challenges to fight. Success is believed to be a destination when actually it is nothing but a journey.

The strongest person is the person who isn’t scared to be alone.

Alice Harmon (The Queen’s Gambit)

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