[Rolls the dice]…..4. Pick a chance card. Eeeeek!!!….
[Takes card]….‘GO DIRECTLY TO JAIL’.
Damn. Sigh. Just my luck…
When playing games like Monopoly, I remember all too well how highly annoying, sometimes bloody frustrating it was to be stuck in jail, not being able to progress. I just sat there for a couple of rounds whilst ALL my friends were plodding along nicely, having fun, buying one street after the other. To have a remote chance of catching up, let alone winning it, I had to get myself back onto the board. Like, NOW!
Life is a bit like a game
Funny thing is, life is a bit like a game, just like Monopoly. Pick any game you like and I bet you will find some similarities with life. Monopoly, FIFA, Battleship, Candycrush, Poker, Cluedo, Risk, Cards against Humanity, heck even Fortnite. In a game, often the goal is to have fun, progress and win (and of course humiliate your competitors ha).
We can learn a lot about playing games, something I touched about in an earlier blog about ‘why do you want to change’. Playing a game with each other is great fun, simply because it’s so easy to see yourself progress. And oh boy we like to see ourselves progress in life. During a boardgame the progress is immediate, visual, even tangible. Nicely plodding along makes you feel able, chuffed, accomplished, maybe even proud. Maybe you can remember a time back when you had like a HUGE pile of chips in Poker, a whole hand full of streets in Monopoly, or like a bunch of armies to spare in Risk. All it takes is a quick glance at the board to see how well you’re performing. EASY PEASY.
Defining progress in life; NOT that straightforward
In life or at work however, figuring out if you’re plodding along nicely is not that easy and straightforward to figure out. Out there in the real world we don’t have a progress bar indicating which level we’re at, how happy we are, or how rich we are compared to others. You just have yourself and your lovely thoughts, feelings and day-to-day emotions to deal with.
So why is it so difficult to see if we’re progressing in life?
Let me ask you this. How do you know for yourself you’re booking progress? By buying a new house? A new car? Having a baby? Getting a degree? A new job?
The goal of a game is set in stone, however; the goal of your life is different, fluid, and ever changing. When you’re 18 you might want to pursue a certain qualification. When you’re 25 you might think of starting up a family. When you’re 50 you might feel temporary lost and don’t know what you want anymore. The point I’m trying to make here is that we all have different objectives, hence we’re all playing a different game and different ways of getting there. In your game you’re setting up your own rules. You get decide what you do or don’t do today. That’s what is making it so damn difficult to see if you progress. You’re you own judge.
Each game we get dealt a different hand
Life is not like a game where we all start with same amount of chips, Monopoly money, or armies on the board. Some of us where born on the third base whilst others had nothing at the start. We all get dealt a different hand.
How we play that hand is entirely up to you. Some of us have a caring personality and try to help others. They might work for the NHS, the police, in education or a at a nursery. Others have different aspirations and motivations, they want to be a builder, a farmer, or work within the tourism industry. All that is fine because all our stories are different, hence what resonates is different for each of us. I would like to be a fulltime coach. My brother wants to professionally string tennis rackets and a friend of mine set-up a business called Celtic Crust, trying to get his slice of the Pembrokeshire market (sorry for the pun) by selling wood-fired pizza’s.
So, the fact that we all got dealt a different hand and all choose to play that hand differently makes it utterly pointless to compare ourselves to others. That said, we will still continue to do so…
That rest me with one final question; are you currently feeling accomplished and proud for making steps forward in your life or are you, just as the Monopoly game, stuck on the board not willing to make a move?
That’s something for you to decide I’m afraid. If you’re stuck there is no cheat code or game hint you can unlock or click on in order to move forward. You have to take action yourself, roll the dice again if you like.
Your goals are different to anyone else. There’s always something you could do about the situation you’re in though. ALWAYS. A simple honest conversation with a friend, business partner, colleague, family member or coach is sometimes all you need. All you need is to open up. So, what are you waiting for? Are you continue to sit it out in jail or are you trying to roll a double?
Go for it, game on, and reach out to me if you need some guidance.
PS: If you ever fancied playing a boardgame in Pembrokeshire, make sure to check out these guys at the Fair Play Board Game Café.