Have you ever felt helpless? Have you ever felt like all control was taken from you? Have you ever felt like no matter what you do, nothing will go your way? Have you ever felt like giving up? I think it would be fair to say we have all felt that way at some stage in life. I have some great news for you. No matter where you are at, or what may be happening, the final move is always yours.

I am sure you have played games in your life. I am not a chess player, and don’t know much about it, but what I do know is that, once checkmate is declared and achieved, the game is over. Or is it? I am certain you have been on the receiving end of ‘checkmate’, or any other game where you were not in front at the final siren. We all have. It can seem like you have run out of time to make any more moves, but in fact, the final move is always yours. You may not be able to go back and win that game, but you can definitely make a move to learn from it, improve your skills, and be better prepared for your next competition.

Have you ever been dumped by a partner, left heartbroken and feeling like all control was taken from you? Me too, more times than I would like to disclose. Have you ever been sacked, with no way of going back? Me too, in fact, I was sacked as a professional footballer after reading it in the newspaper. Have you ever been diagnosed with an illness and told that there is no treatment or chance of recovering from it? Thankfully, this one I have not experienced. Have you ever lost money you knew you would never recover? Yep, been there, done that! With each of these scenarios, what is the one conclusion many people would come to? Probably, the final move was made by another person, and the game is over.

Let me tell you this, and I need you to hear me, the game is only over when you decide it to be over, as you get to make the final move. That final move may be to give up, have a tantrum, and spiral into victim-mode, but it is still your move to make. Knowing that you always get to make the final move, all you need to do is think about the move that would help you feel like you have won, help you grow and improve, no matter the circumstance you may be facing. So, what is your next move?

A broken heart is not a joyful experience, and when a relationship is ended, and you have no say in it, you can be left feeling very vulnerable, helpless, angry, and to a degree worthless. I am talking about me here. In the midst of the pain, I understood I got to make the final move. That move for me was to find gratitude in what was great in the relationship, to learn from it, to forgive, to understand and empathise, to focus on my value, strengths, and gifts, and to know I am worthy. An incredible quote, most regularly attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt, is, No-one can make you feel inferior, without your consent. You get to make the final move.

Back in 2002, when my café was failing miserably, when I was in $100,000 debt, when I was working seven days per week with no end or answers in sight, and when life was at rock-bottom, things seemed helpless. It felt, for a moment, that I had no moves left. Amazingly I did, and that move changed my life. Out of the depths of despair, discouragement, and debt, I made a very illogical and unlikely decision to write a book. That move has changed my life for the better in so many ways, I find it hard to articulate. It helped me live the life of joy and meaning I currently enjoy. There is power in knowing that the final move is yours.

So, enough about me. In what area of your life do you feel like you are out of moves? Is it your health, is it your relationships, is it your work or career, is it your financial situation, or is it something else? Please know that there are still moves left to make that can help you turn your situation into success, your adversity into adventure, and your catastrophe into celebration. Just ask yourself the very simple question, what is my next move to propel me forward in my life? When you ask the question, answers and ideas will start coming.

In my podcast this week with Jemma O’Hanlon, called Opt in to health, we discuss all the ways you can make moves to help you live a life of optimal wellbeing, no matter where you may be at. As you finish this blog and go out into the world, it is my greatest desire that you would go out knowing that, no matter what is happening in your life or whatever comes your way, the final move is always yours.