I believe that repeated participation in an activity can change the way one thinks, and can train us to think in different ways. If this is true, then we should actively seek out activities that improve our thought processes. In my previous posts I talk about how meditation and weightlifting can cultivate a certain type of thinking (the growth mindset). Another activity that I participate in regularly is online chess. I theorize that chess builds decision making skills because of how analytical you must be before each move. You always have an initial instinct about what move you should make, but it is imperative for you to think ahead and analytically walk through how that move will affect you in the future. If you don’t scrutinize every move you are bound to make a mistake. Additionally, with timed games you are forced to evaluate something quickly then make a quick decision. Making quick decisions can be tough, especially in a high stress environment, but repeatedly practicing this while playing chess might make things easier. My hypotheses is that this constant exercise of analytical decision making will help the player improve as a decision maker in a way that is applicable to many other aspects of life. One learns how to evaluate a situation quickly and make a decision based on analytical reason, not one’s initial instinct.