I have the perfect game to play, “The Game of Life.” This game is really the most important game of all, after all you only have one life. All games, including the “Game of Life” have common elements or qualities.
From prehistoric times, when people competed at throwing stones, we have been drawn to “the game.” Games allow us to clarify our goals, learn new skills, cultivate our talents, and focus our energies.
Whatever the game, the common denominator that draws you back to the game again and again is FUN.
What makes the Game Fun?
The 7 Common Elements that every game has!
1. Every Game has a Structure: A playing field upon which to play and one or more players. Such as a basket ball court, a football field or a Chess board.
2. The objective of the game is to score goals and win the game. Need I say more!
3. You can’t effectively play the game if you don’t know what the Rules of Engagement are. Let’s say you are an athlete in great physical condition and you are motivated to play the game. You run onto the field and you see you’ve been training for Tennis, however the field is set up for Football. At that moment does it matter whether or not you’re motivated or in good shape? NO. No matter what shape you’re in you will not be able to play the game well if you don’t understand how the game is played.
4. Games worth playing contain the chance to win and the possibility of losing. Frankly, no one likes to lose, however it’s inherent to the game.
5. Skills are needed to play the game competently. The thrill of the game is in developing our skills so that we can win despite the obstacles and challenges.
6. Obstacles are what makes the game a game. And believe it or not, fun and exciting. Without an obstacle there would be no game. You wouldn’t go to a football game if there was only one team playing, would you? No…the game requires another team, some opposition – a built in obstacle for the game.
- Other Obstacles include unpredictability. Can you ever predict who’s going to win the game? We love predicting but the odds are against us when we do it.
- Things are constantly changing on the field. Your team is ahead and then behind. The weather is sunny, then the clouds move in and it’s cold.
- Plus another obstacle is the increased energy expenditure that is needed to play the game. Your time, money and physical vitality.
7. Finally, there’s feedback, which lets the players know how well they are playing. In football the feedback shows up as fumbles, interceptions, penalties. Plus feedback is also given through communication such as cheering! Or Not.
These are the elements in athletic games, board games and electronic games that make playing any game FUN, interesting and exciting.
We expect the unpredictability and change when playing or watching one of our favorite games. However, in your personal Game of Life, you don’t like the unpredictability, constant change or increased energy expenditures. You often worry that you have done something wrong to cause things to turn out that way. But this isn’t true . Most of the time you haven’t done anything wrong at all. It’s just the nature of the game.
When you play the Game of Life knowing the above structure is in place, you no longer need to blame yourself when unpredictability and change occur in the game. Unpredictability and change are normal and natural obstacles that show up. Put aside your frustration when things aren’t happening the way you thought it would. Reset your goal and Be willing to get back in the game!
In a very real way you are shaped by this game called LIFE, just like an athlete is shaped by playing a physical game. Hone your skills, talents and focus your energy.
And Oh Yes….Have Some FUN!
Until Next time….Go Make it Happen