The Most Powerful Legal Drug

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  • GM Avetik Grigoryan GM Avetik Grigoryan

The Most Powerful Legal Drug

Not in the mood? Take this powerful drug. It's legal, and you can't overdose.

Improvement Hacks | 6 min read
The Most Powerful Legal Drug

“Appreciate everything, even the ordinary. Especially the ordinary.” — Pema Chödrön

A week ago, IM Eric Rosen and I were discussing (the episode comes out soon) the crucial impact of early fans and supporters.

While Eric is now one of the most popular and loved chess streamers, he shared how difficult the first year was. He invested a lot of time in producing content but received little in return — just a few thousand views.

Video after video… Day after day… BUT!

There were early fans, people who commented, shared the videos, and expressed gratitude.

I agreed that these people are indeed crucial for further success. At the end of the episode, we both expressed our gratitude to these individuals.


Today, on Thanksgiving, I want to share about the powerful drug I consume and how I find the energy to move forward.

Take it. It’s working. And it’s free.

(Originally published on my blog in 2022, exactly 365 days ago. Slightly edited today, Nov. 23, 2023)

I’m not a Superhero

I barely opened my eyes. The first thing I saw was that it was already light outside. The second thing — my wife looking at me with a smile:

“Wake up, Av, it’s 8 AM already.”

“How?” I asked. “We had our daily alarm set at 5.55 AM.”

She smiled wider and said:

“Yeah, but you turned it off and went back to sleep.”

In almost 5 years, since we started ChessMood, there had never been a single day when I turned off or snoozed the alarm.

And here I was… Lying in bed still sleepy, thinking how that could happen.

I couldn’t recall the moment the alarm rang.

The worst part was I still couldn’t wake up…

Eventually, I did that somehow, got myself prepared and we left for the office.

Usually, once I get there, I have a quick breakfast, my favorite coffee, do my morning rituals, and jump to my tasks.

Today my breakfast was longer than ever, and my coffee wasn't as tasty as before. I skipped my morning routine and started working immediately. Actually tried to start 😊

I opened my laptop and continued writing one of the unfinished articles that we publish weekly.

2 hours later I deleted everything I’d written… Nothing was good.

Then after having a cup of tea, I tried to continue my recordings for the Saving Lost Positions course, as the next day we had scheduled uploads.

After lazily preparing all the technical stuff (for 30 minutes!), I finally sat down on my chair to get started. But after looking at my screen for a few minutes, I just closed everything and shut down the laptop.

I had no energy, my mood was bad somehow, and I couldn’t concentrate.

I went back to the 1st floor where the team was working on a feature we want to release soon, to see what was going on.

But it didn’t work as well. I got angry for stupid reasons and left the office to walk.

Wrong Mood - Wrong Moves

I wasn’t in the Right Mood. Nothing was going well.

I don’t have such days often, but I have sometimes 😊
So, please don’t think that I’m Superman, and sorry if you got that impression from my articles. I’m far from being perfect.

Usually, such bad days happen after intense work for some time, as was in this case too…

For the previous 2 weeks, my wife and I had been waking up earlier than our usual 5.55 AM. At 6, we were at the office already. And we left it later than our usual 8-9 PM. I was burning out…

The good news?

I knew how to heal myself.

The healing process

After a short walk and refreshing my mind, I came back to the office and sat at my favorite corner in our place — in the yard.

Took with me my laptop, notebook, a pen, and started the healing process.

First, I went to the Success Stories page and the courses page’s reviews.
I went through all the kind words and impressive achievements one by one.
People have spent time writing them and never knew I was using them as drugs.

I went through screenshots of all kind emails and messages I’ve gotten.
I keep them as a drug too. (Yeah, I take them and use as a drug.)

I wrote down in my notebook all our ChessMood family members' names. Whoever I remembered. And I remember many of them. I took at least a few seconds feeling grateful for each in my heart.

I wrote down all our students' names, who volunteered and helped us with something.
The names of all, who always cheer me up.

Our students Jay Garrison and Piotr Urbanski accompanying me
to the game in the historical Saint Louis chess hall

I went through our website, through all the courses… Through all the pages we have.
I could never build these all by myself.
It was our team!

My crazies

I started to write down each name and felt deep gratitude.
For always believing in my craziness and going ahead with me.
For staying late with me whenever required and for all the positive vibes they bring to our team every single day!

Then I wrote down one of our first students’ names — Bhabatosh, who later helped me to save the company and became my craziest friend.

Bhabatosh Chowdhury. As you can see, he sucked at chess.

I wrote down all our investors’ names.
I recalled Badre, who helped us to speed up everything and was always with me when I needed advice.

 After 4 years, we finally met in person. At his 60th anniversary! May 20, 2023

Shiong, who became addicted to our courses and wanted to invest too.

Grandmaster X, who still doesn’t want to reveal his name.

I wrote down all my mentors’ and advisors’ names, who are there whenever I need something.

Wrote all our partners’ and friends’ names who always help me to spread the word.

I wrote down my wife’s name, who was next to me at every difficult and happy second. When I would jump from happiness, and when I couldn’t sleep from anger and anxiety.

With my beautiful wife and our baby Yakko

Apart from chess, I also wrote down all my close people’s names, all the blessings I have in my life, including my parents, sister, my close friends, and everyone I recalled.

Felt gratitude for many ordinary things, including my ability to see, hear, walk, and many other things that I (we) take for granted…

And I was back.
Back to happy Avetik! Yay! 😅

You can’t get an overdose

A month ago, in Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” book, I found this question:

“What one thing could you do (something you aren’t doing now) that, if you did it on a regular basis, would make a tremendous positive difference in your personal life?”

I spent a serious amount of time thinking about it.

Then concluded my answer:
“No matter how busy the day ahead is, I would never skip 15 minutes gratitude meditations every morning.”

And it’s already been a month that I’m not skipping a day.

The greatest part of it?
You can’t get an overdose.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanks to each and every one of you.
For every positive comment and message you’ve sent me or left under reviews.
For every raised rating point.
For every single bit of help, feedback, and everything you’ve done for ChessMood and me.

Without you, ChessMood would be a different place, and I would be a different person.

Thank you!

P. S. We don’t have any Black Fridays. We don’t sell anything.
We give. This year we’re giving away 1,700 gift memberships.
First come, first served.
Here is a link to get a 1-month gift membership and to get access to all of our 400+ hours of courses.

You’ll find study plans and instructional videos after activating the gift.

Enjoy ♥

With love,
GM Avetik

Originally published Nov 23, 2023

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