Two Lessons from NM Ben Johnson

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Two Lessons from NM Ben Johnson

Use them to stay consistent in your journey.

Chess Training | 1 min read
Two Lessons from NM Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson has recorded more than 400 podcast episodes in seven years. This is an average of more than 1 every week.

On his show,  The Perpetual Chess Podcast, he has interviewed legends such as Viswanathan Anand, Judit Polgar, top chess coaches, and many other chess personalities. Our founder, GM Avetik, is also featured on one of the episodes.

This time we interviewed Ben as a guest on the ChessMood podcast, with GM Avetik as the host.

While he shared many interesting insights, we extracted the two most important lessons you can apply in your journey to stay consistent.

1. Take the first step even if it’s not perfect

“Recording the first episode was the toughest. It was a terrible one. I had no idea what I was doing,” recalled Ben, when speaking about his podcasting journey.

“It was really hard to take the first few steps. Once I got going, the challenges went away very quickly.”

The same is true in chess.
Your first game will be bad.
When you play a new opening, the first few games will be hard.

Those who can’t bear the pain in the beginning, quit.
But if you push through, the results will come, just like it did for Karthik.

As shared in the guide on how to stop blunders, your thousandth game will be better than your first.

Quote by GM Avetik: Your first 1000 games are the worst, but the 1000th game is much better than your first game.

2. Do it with love

Taking the first step is one thing. But how do you stay consistent for seven years? For Ben, it comes down to one thing.

“I love it! I don't even like taking weeks off. It's only 60 to 90 minutes per week of recording. Of course, there's a lot of work behind the scenes. But there are just so many interesting stories in the chess world that I feel I've only scratched the surface.”

Imagine if you could pour the same love into chess. If you show up every day excited to sit at the board and hungry to learn new things.

How much will you improve with that level of consistency?


In the episode, Ben shares many stories from his journey and conversations with some of the best chess minds. Discover:

  • What he learned from a chess legend on dealing with nervousness.
  • How he dealt with the fear of failure while starting a podcast.
  • The strong “why” behind the Perpetual Chess Podcast.
  • The one story from Ben’s book that changed his perspective on chess and much more.

Today is Ben’s birthday. Send your warm wishes here.

Originally published Jan 30, 2024

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