Personal Development,

Fight Like a Knight


Do you remember a time you felt stuck? Did you wonder what is going to be your next move?

I’ve been working for 19 years and many times I felt stuck. Fortunately, I made some good moves following the lessons I learned from the Chess Knight.

A knight is one of the 6 pieces in Chess. Shortly you will hear the three lessons from the knight that will help you get unstuck and move forward.

The first time I got stuck was in 2008.

I was a Fund Accountant in Bermuda, earning a lot of money and supporting my family and underprivileged students in the Philippines.

Due to the economic crisis, my manager said, “Shiela, our office is shutting down. If you can’t find a job here, you have to go back to your home.”

In a snap, I lost my job, my income, my peace of mind.

Have you ever experienced losing a job?

I looked for any jobs anywhere. I am a certified accountant, but I didn’t mind. Until I got an opportunity to relocate to the USA, in a department new to me. I started from filing files, then moved to managing accounts.

In Chess, sometimes the knight moves backward before it leaps forward. When you get stuck, fight like a knight!

The next time I got stuck was in 2013.

For 6.5 years, I was moving locations but no promotion, only promises.

Have you faced a situation where you didn’t see progression?

I was working in HK for a multinational company. I love the company. I was hoping to retire here. I was working like a donkey. I hope my manager sees me working hard.. and he will promote me.

Finally… he promoted….. my colleague…I was thinking “Will I stay for another 6 months to get the long-awaited promotion?” What would you do?

I felt not being appreciated and started looking for jobs.

There was another problem.. I was in HK. I don’t speak Chinese. So finding a job was not easy…. After a series of interviews, I got a job offer.

When I informed my manager that I’m resigning, He said, “Shiela, you are with a strong global company already. Why are you joining a small company and starting a new department? It won’t be easy.”

He was right; the new job was harder than I thought. I was working day and night for months without a break… But this time…. even though I started all over again, they noticed my value and rewarded me. Soon, I was promoted to Vice President.

In Chess, Knight can jump over obstacles. When you get stuck, fight like a knight.

The next time I felt stuck was in 2019. I always wanted to be a public school teacher like my parents. When I discussed it with my best friend, she said (with good intentions) , “Shiela, if you become a public school teacher, you will have no money. Be an accountant, and you will have lots of money…”

She’s right. Each time I join big companies, on Day 1, I receive gifts: a laptop, mobile phone, and even a free wifi connection. I work way beyond office hours.

Even if I am in the Philippines with my family vacationing. A lot of money… for what?

I felt like I was selling my soul for 30 pieces of silver.

Have you ever felt like you sold your soul for a few pieces of silver?

It took me years before I made a bold move. After so many sleepless nights, hiding in a corner and limiting my options in the finance industry, I finally quit my job and started speaking, training, and coaching business.

I was down the hill and starting all over again in a new field..

When you make a bold move, following your purpose you leave your comfort zone. You might have to start all over again, but you have more options to choose from.

In Chess, when a knight is close to the center of the board, it has more options. When you get stuck, fight like a knight.

— —

Ladies and gentlemen,

Like a knight, sometimes we move back before we can leap forward.

Like a knight, we can jump over obstacles.

Like a knight, when we are true to our purpose, we can have more options.

The next time you get stuck, fight like a knight because your future is worth the fight.

Fellow Toastmasters and friends,

Fight like a ….

— –

Shiela Cancino, DTM, ICF Coach helps her clients transform from pawns to queens by uncovering their hidden treasures through #writing #keynotespeaking and #confidencecoaching. Shiela is a certified member of the International Coaching Federation.

She is a multiple-award-winning speaker at Toastmasters International, a Member of The Virtual Speakers Association (International), and Asia Professional Speakers Singapore. Shiela has worked in six countries around the world, run scholarship foundations that help underprivileged children, and enjoys helping adults discover their life purpose.

Shiela is also a veteran Chess Olympiad Player and author of “Pawn To Queen: Life’s Chess and Quest.”

Leave a Reply