Life isn’t a game.

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Life, despite popular belief, isn’t a game. It’s the prize.

If you suspect that life might, in truth, be a game, your next step might be to try to figure out what kind of game it is. My recommendation is that you skip that step altogether. Instead, ask yourself what you think the goal might be: a) to win or b) to have fun.

Not that those two are mutually exclusive, but rather to note that they are a) not the same, and b) winning is what happens when the game is over. Hence, in all likelihood, longevity-wise, not the fun it’s cracked up to be.

On the other hand, it’s easy to understand why we make that mistake – thinking that life is a game. Because when we are playing a game, and the game is good and we are playing well, we feel more, well, alive. And we call it “fun.” But the real fun of fun is not because of the game, it’s because of the experience of aliveness, of being in life, in the whole of it, completely. That’s the prize, if you want to call it that, the feeling of being alive. Like the feeling you get when just jump into the swimming pool without even testing how cold the water is first (just look at the dog in the photo!), or the feeling of almost drowning in your lover’s  eyes (look at the photo again, lol), or the feeling you get when you watch animals at play: the sheer aliveness of it all.

And as long as we think of it as a game, especially one that we think we can win, we pretend that we haven’t won yet. We pretend that when we win, and only when we win, we’ll have something we can really celebrate, something we can delight in, victory at last. When all along, the fun, the aliveness we’ve been experiencing is the only victory that counts. The only victory.

And isn’t that just like life?

© 2017 viewpointsofandrei.com

 

 

What my dogs taught me

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Animals of all kinds can bring us so much joy, not only when things are going well, but also when we feel pain and are suffering.

Are you an animal lover? I know I am. And although a penguin (and definitely a cute one indeed) is on my featured quote, I am and will always remain a dog lover at heart! Since I was a little child, these amiable canines which we knowingly call “man’s best friend” always have a special place in my heart. They’ve been part of my family and receive the same amount of love and affection as I give each of my human family members.  

Having said that, I would also want to stress that not just dogs but actually any of our beloved pets can be called “Man’s best friend”. Why? Because they remain true and faithful companions through thick and thin. We look to our pets when we are ready to play and laugh, and they instinctively know when we need their support. We all have struggles and challenges in life, and it’s during those times that our pets can really come in handy to help us find our joy.

I’ve had a dog most of my life. From purebreds to mutts, I’ve loved them all. It has always felt comforting to me to have a dog around. The joy dogs provide is well worth the effort you give to feed, groom and care for them.

As I’ve said earlier, we all experience struggles and challenges in our life, at times leaving us confused and disoriented, and at worst, dysfunctional. And when the challenges become really stressful for us to handle, we resort to professional help to find and regain our balance. And oftentimes we tend to forget that our counterpart “best friends” were just there, literally at our side, willing and happy to serve their purpose – to keep us company or be our companion.

Looking at my dog (named Yellow) and pondering at the memories of all the many others that came before her, and prompted by this Animal Series tag (special thanks to Liz C for the nomination to participate on this) I’ve realized three important life lessons from my relationships with them.

  1. Connect with others.

Our relationships with others nurture our soul. We may neglect our family and friends because of our work or other interests. We may just get busy and forget to stay in touch.

When we look to our dogs, they need our connection on a daily basis. They need our love, time, and attention. When we stay connected with others, it feeds our soul and helps to lead us to a strong and happy life.

  1. Live for today.

We can spend time regretting the past and worrying about the future, but I have learned that the solution will not be found that way. Spending my precious time thinking about things that I cannot change is not productive.

Dogs live for today—and so can we. We can appreciate every moment as it comes and be grateful for what we have. Like all animals, when we live in the present, we can have more enthusiasm, joy for life, and less worry.

  1. Make every day special.

Sometimes we can let days go by and get swallowed up in our routine. Every day is the same and our excitement is lacking.

Have you ever noticed how a dog finds everyday life exciting? They can’t wait to eat, go for their walk, see you come home, or greet a visitor. We can learn so much by observing how our pets have enthusiasm for the simple joys of everyday life.

Everyday can be special for us as well. When we take the time to look, we may find our joy is still there waiting to be rediscovered.

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To my awesome fellow bloggers!

Once again, I would like to thank the awesome Liz C for nominating me for the Animal Series tag-made me look at and see my Yellow in a different way -not just as a source of joy but also of inspiration! Here are pictures of her (my apologies, she’s so playful that’s why it’s so hard to get a good angle for a photo haha):

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Nominations:

  1. Pranitha
  2. Clarissa
  3. Nina
  4. Dee Gratitude
  5. Jown/Joan

The Rules Are

  1. Thank the person who nominated you
  2. Pick an animal and explain why they are a source of inspiration to you, and how their character can be used to motivate.
  3. Nominate at least 3 other bloggers, to share the positivity!

 

(c) 2016 viewpointsofandrei.com