Life Lessons From Games

Lessons I Learn From Dice World (Or Many Other Games)

Florence Scovel Shinn reminds us in her book:
“The Game of Life and How to Play It”
That life is a game…

In the last several years, when playing Draw Poker, Dice World, or other card games, I think of this and use my experience in which to reflect life lessons and laws.

1. Don’t waste time on hands or games lost.

I find, the more I concentrate on the ego effects of losing, the more I lose. The more I trust in a larger picture, the better the outcome!

2. Don’t assume that a low score or performance means a poor outcome.
Sometimes I feel myself just not getting good numbers. I start to lament, only finding that in fact, many times, I’m actually still ahead of the other person. So no need to waste time on such old thinking. Let it go!

3. Don’t get cocky when scores are great. Like the tides, they ebb and flow. I’m reminded it’s about Playing, not so much winning. If it’s like a seesaw, each player deserves their time to rise, and win! Sometimes I have a winning streak, and then I lose. I graciously step aside and cheer them on. Years ago at All In Play ( I felt so funny when protocol said that when others win, we congratulate them, and when they lose and we won, we express that we are sorry for their loss. Oh sometimes it was hard to say it and mean it. And yet, what if I’ve been on a losing streak and I finally win? Once I won a Poker hand with four aces. Ooo I could feel the daggers at the table. Everyone was silent. I played one more hand, not liking the icy barbs I felt, and got the heck out of there. For months, I was reamed out by one of the other players because I “ate and ran.” Though I did play another hand after that big win, it wasn’t good enough for her. Never mind. She had other rules for people when, after enough heard her preaching, she got her share of silence by everyone at the tables and decided to leave.

4. There are so many strategies from which to choose when playing. Take a chance on three-of-a-kind? What about that pair? Keep it? Throw it away? Try and get that straight? What if we used these times of choice-making to look in slow motion at other choices we often mindlessly make. How often are relationships based on mere convenience and proximity, food choices based on the same. How even is it just easier to go along with others, or following the noise, or try to rush for that grand outcome, only to find its sabotage? I find it a good idea to learn from patterns. Sometimes pushing that envelope isn’t always wise. Sometimes, taking a risk is worth it. While there’s a degree of mere chance involved in these games and in life, there are patterns, and wisdom which can be gained along the way.

5. This is probably my favorite. No matter how many times I win or lose in any level on Dice World, what matters is that I show up and continue to play. At the end of every level, we get more gold and still advance to another level! To me, this is pure grace. It has nothing to do with how well the games are played. What if there’s an aspect of life in the unseen that is like this? What if it doesn’t really come down to dog-eat-dog competition, numbers, scores, salaries, degrees, name-dropping or piles of gold? What if, in the grand design, we find that most of that was really a mere survival aspect of staying afloat, and that mere showing up and doing our best is enough?

Not only does it work for me, it’s easier, and a whole lot of fun!

Many blessings!