Life isn’t a game.

dog_black_underwater_swimming_water_74417_1920x1080-copy

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

 

 

Play the hands you’re dealt.

images-5

To start, let me just tell you that I am not a great poker player. I know the basics of which hand are good because I played simple card games as a kid but beyond that, I’m clueless.

Basically, (guessing I’m right) in a poker tournament having great cards increases the chances of someone winning the hand  but really doesn’t guarantee  them victory. Having a less than desirable hand doesn’t mean  you automatically lose either. There are other factors that go into winning.

You have to play the hand you’re dealt.

Unfortunately, you don’t get to trade cards with anyone else or pay extra to upgrade your hand. The cards you get are the cards you play. Each of us is dealt a hand when we come into the world. Some will have every advantage: happy family life, good genetics, a safe home, etc. They have been dealt a great hand. Others may be born into poverty, a broken family, child abuse, etc. They have been dealt a little tougher hand.

The important point to remember is that you cannot change the hand you’re dealt. You don’t decide what circumstances you are born into and it does no good to complain about them or expect that they will determine your success. Many people think that being born into money or prestige will guarantee their happiness. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Others will use their hard circumstances as an excuse for why they don’t succeed. They take a look at the hand they were dealt and fold immediately.

The hand you were dealt cannot be changed, but the way you play it can.

Like I said earlier, it is not the person with the best hand that always wins. I suppose that is one of the exciting aspects of poker. A great poker player can “defy” the hand he is dealt and, if he acts confidently, can get the other players to fold.

Some of the most successful people I have ever met were people who had been dealt some bad cards in their lifetime. Real bad cards. Cards that would have made me probably fold and give up. But they were able to take those cards and use them to put together a victory. They didn’t give up when others thought their hand was a sure lose. They found ways to use those cards for their benefit and growth. They learned from them and became proud of their hand. They owned it and ended up as winners.

“We are all dealt a hand and we have to decide how to play it.” – Voltaire

I have a lot of trials and hardships in life. Some times they came pouring in like rain. I know that I’ve been dealt some tough cards from time to time. Since I can’t change those cards, how am I going to play them? Am I going to fold or proceed in a timid manner? Am I going to accept them and still move forward towards my goals? Will I blame my cards for my misfortunes?

Every time, the answers are all up to me. And to you, too.

(c) 2016 viewpointsofandrei.com