It’s football frenzy here in Seattle (Go Seahawks!) and this year, more than ever, people are in full mode, showing a true love of the game. And while football isn’t my particular passion, I do have a great love of games. Whether it’s the game of golf, tennis, pencil ‘n paper games or a wide variety of board games, I love games of all kinds!
I also deeply appreciate the rich lessons that come from playing games. By applying a gaming mentality to life’s situations I recognize that I have the ability to shift perspectives, see and rise to the challenges, and play at life in a new way, bringing a bit of ease and fun to the goals and outcomes I desire.
What do I say to that? Game on!
The dictionary defines a game as competitive activity involving skill, chance, or endurance on the part of a person or team who play according to a set of rules to reach a goal, usually for their own amusement or for that of spectators.
Games, played against our self, another, a computer or sometimes even the forces of nature, are our way of having some good old-fashioned fun!
Regardless of our current life situation, games take us out of our present reality and energy flow and into a self-absorbed focused moment where new possibilities exist. In that engrossed state we are making judicious decisions, measuring outcomes, collecting evidence, improving skills and gaining wisdom to be used in future endeavors. It’s good stuff!
My game of choice right now is Scrabble … played against a computer. Bring it on!
While at first I let the thought of playing against a computer intimidate me, it didn’t take long before it was ‘game on’ and the challenge invigorated me. Still does. Matter of fact, so much so that I have learned the following five lessons, that while first applied to the game of Scrabble, are even better applied to the game of life.
Thoughts and feelings always reveal mindset. When I first played the game there was a fear about the ending from the onset. Was I enough to take on a computer … and win? Committing to getting your head in the game and being present to desires and past successes can immediately change the landscape and the outcome.
Assumptions are meant to be challenged. Assumptions are not reflections of reality or what is possible. Time and again I have learned that just because the computer is currently ahead doesn’t mean it will win and I will lose; that rarely happens. Learning to open up to a different end result can have you powerfully playing to it.
Big fears are golden opportunities. Rather than fearing those big number tiles like Q, X and Z any longer, a simple mindset shift has me hoping to draw them so I can get creative and rack up points to score big! Turning old fears into new challenges is really an invitation to test our greatness and change worn out patterns.
Strategy and flexibility matter. There are times when I’m purposefully playing ahead of the computer with what I think is a brilliant strategy, only to be thwarted during the computer’s move. Drat! By being flexible, resilient and a little innovative, you can get right back in any game when you’ve lost footing, and drive forward.
Nothing pays off like persistence. There was quite the learning curve when I first began to play my game of choice and I had to grow my vocabulary and memory. The more I persisted, the more I stretched my thresholds and found the game even more engaging. Go. The. Distance. Surprise endings are invigorating!
Sometimes nothing feels better than lightening up and breaking loose from our ordinary world. Playing games can be exactly the way to do that! We can create our own rules where our specific talents can be recognized and rewarded – talents that would perhaps otherwise go unnoticed and untapped.
Grab ahold of that ‘game on’ mentality! Weave those very talents and lessons into the fabric of your daily life. No matter what game you are into, the valuable invitation is to lighten up, create ease, and lean into the learning around every corner.