Thank G-d, life is not like a game of checkers. It seems that computer scientists have verified that "there are no surefire winning moves in checkers, just mistakes that lead to losses."
Of course the primary way in which life is not like checkers is that life is made up of infinite variations of "moves" that cannot be cataloged even by the most sophisticated of computers. The other way that life is not like a game of checkers, is that the "mistakes" we make are often our pathways to discovery, growth, wisdom, and enlightenment. This has certainly been true in my own life, where many of the "bad" or "wrong" choices I made in relationships, school and career, led ultimately to deeper self-knowledge, awareness, and greater enjoyment and happiness.
In the mornings as I walk Rosie the dog at dawn and listen to the rumbling and clanking of the strip mining equipment just over the hill from my holler, I am filled with fear that we (humans in modern industrial societies) are making terrible, irrevocable mistakes. Despite growing knowledge and awareness of climate change, we (in the collective societal sense) seem locked into mistaken actions that will inevitably lead to losses; losses of an entire world as we now know it.
Then my imagination kicks in, and I ponder the possibility that perhaps we (humanity) will be better off, happier and saner, in a world where the illusions of economic growth and technological gadgetry have finally been shattered.