Thursday, April 22, 2010

Playing to Win

Growing up my sister and I were lucky enough to have a room in our house that was a dedicated “play” room. It consisted of two desks, two old fashion typewriters, a whole wall of books, some toys, and plenty of board games.

When we were bored there was nothing better then grabbing a game from off the shelf and playing with one another. We started with games like Hungry, Hungry, Hippos and Guess Who. As we got older we moved onto Monopoly. Eventually my sister was old enough to choose her own board games and before I knew it I found myself playing Dream Phone.

Now some of you may be laughing. I know it seems silly that a boy would be playing Dream Phone. The game where you use clues and dial into an imaginary phone to find your secret crush, but I wanted to be involved in my sister’s life and sometimes that meant playing her games.

What I soon realized was that even though this game wasn’t designed to interest me I still wanted to play to win. It seems silly at first, but over time I found the best strategy to win the game and upon dialing in my secret phone number I would hear the words, “I really do like you!”

Now lets fast-forward some ten plus years. I am much older now and I haven’t played a board game with my sister in close to 15 years or so. But, I have been fortunate enough to meet some great friends along the way and play games with them.

More importantly, the conversation has shifted from being about an actual board game to being about, what I have dubbed, life as a game.

The basic idea being that some people live their lives in fear that they will make a mistake or not achieve the things they want to do with their lives and because of this fear they don’t take risks or try to accomplish their dreams. Life as a game asks us to look at life as if it was one big game where you are the hero of the story. The whole world is designed for you to explore and live out your life.

This theory has been years in the making and the more I think about it the more I believe we might be on the right track. I may be only able to use my life and the life of my friends as an example, but I have come to the conclusion that if you try to go after the things you want in the world eventually, in one form or another, your plans start to come to fruition.

Looking back to my Dream Phone experiences I realize that all games are not designed for me to play, but if I approach them with the right mindset success can be achieved. Like Dream Phone, life isn’t always designed to be a pleasure, but if you can look at it like a game that is ultimately designed for you – you just might find yourself calling your secret crush to win the game.


Sabrina said...

<3 Learned my lesson yesterday, no more playing it safe for me!

Anonymous said...

Snakes and Ladders. Some times you clime up, sometimes you slide backwards but you alsways want to cross the finish line.

I am glad you are continuing to write Sean. Keep going up even if you slide backwards sometimes.