I love computer games. For me, they reduce stress and teach life lessons if I pay attention and don’t just get lost in the game. I don’t care for the games with shooting, bombing, car chases and other kinds of murder and mayhem—those would create more stress for me. I like the puzzles, hidden objects, card games and word games. In fact, I enjoy them so much that I have to be sure to get the work done before I play or the work does not get done. Playing games is a stress reliever for me because it gets my mind totally off what I was stressing over and it changes my state. (Yes, even people who write about stress management need to use the tools.) I have also realized that computer games are good imitators of life and you can learn about life from them if you pay attention.
Learn About Life
You win some and you lose some. Learn from the ones you lose, rejoice in the ones you win and keep moving toward the goal. In life you win some and you lose some and the process is the same. What if the next time something went terribly wrong you asked yourself, “What can I learn from this?” “What is the lesson I need to learn here?” How can I use this to achieve my goal? So you lost one? So what? There’s more to play.
There are rules to follow. Every game, whether on line of off line, has rules that you must follow. If you don’t follow the rules, you cannot win. Maybe you find a hack that gets you through faster, and you may discover there were penalties at the end because you used a short cut. If you follow the rules you play better and win easier. In life we have “The Golden Rule”—treat others as you would like to be treated. This includes kindness, courtesy, assistance, good humor and more.
It gets harder
The farther you advance, the harder it gets. The difficulty keeps getting harder and harder until you reach a point that you slow down in advancing to the next level or stop advancing all together. You have to make a decision about whether you keep playing and overcome the barrier or find a new game. As you climb the corporate ladder or as your business grows bigger, things get harder and you need to decide whether you can be happy where you are or do you need to keep pushing harder and climbing higher. Computer games are meant for fun and life is meant to be lived in joy. If the game isn’t fun, then find one that is.
There is almost always someone who can play the game better than you. If you check the high scores for the game you will wonder how on earth anyone can do that. It took me ten hours to play a game that someone else completed in 2 hours and 35 minutes. It wouldn’t matter if I had every level memorized, I couldn’t finish that game in that amount of time. In life, there is almost always someone who can play faster and better. If it bothers you that you are not always #1, the top of the heap, go back to the drawing board and work on some self esteem issues. Would you rather be #1 or happy? If you can be both #1 and happy—fantastic. If not, which do you choose. So if you cannot be be #1 no matter how hard you try, do you take your marbles and go home, or do you continue playing and enjoying your game/life?
Competition or cooperation?
You can compete with others, you can compete with yourself or you can just enjoy the game. If you are not enjoying your life right now, maybe there is just too much competition with others and with yourself. Try cooperation for a while and see if that works better for you. And maybe you need to learn how to relax a little.
There are options and options within options. You can choose from a variety of games and within the game you can choose levels, modes, and effects. It’s up to you what you choose in a game and the outcome depends on these choices. Every day in life is filled with options, as well, and sometimes we’re just too zoned out to notice. If you’re living consciously then you will be aware of those options and take back control of your life.
If you mess up, you can start over or play another game. Life is like that, too, although sometimes the mess ups may be bigger and the start over harder. If you mess up in life, you can assess your losses and devise a plan to start over without losing too much or you can play a different game. Sometimes we lose because we just don’t have our heart in it, but a new game may get all the juices flowing and we play with zest.
When you think you’re at a dead end, you find a way to move on through. Oh, isn’t that the truth?
Sometimes a 4 year old can pay the game better! No comment.
Play the game! Have some fun! Learn about life–and have fun there, too.