Video Games and Life Lessons by Lois Hewitt


I’m in a slow season right now; in between jobs and living with uncertainty about my next step.  This gives me a little extra time to play games on my iPad. I do not like to waste too much time playing but it can be relaxing on occasion. I do not play war games or anything like that.  I like matching or word games.  As I was playing one day, a life lesson came to me.

In this particular game that I was playing,  you have to capture the items listed.  For example, you may need to capture 30 red gems and 50 blue gems. You are given a certain number of moves or a time constraint to accomplish the goal. The screen will be filled with extra pieces of different colors or pitfalls to complicate the task.  I’m not saying it is brain surgery but you have to think things through a little bit. 

So I am playing one day and the task is fairly large and the number of available moves is fairly small.  I just kept running out of moves before I could capture the necessary gems.  After about 20 tries over several days I thought it through. I was missing something.  There had to be a key to winning this level that I just wasn’t seeing.  I looked closely at the screen and contemplated its layout. It was always the same.  The colored gems I needed were all on one side of the board.  The other side contained items not necessary to move on to the next level.

It was then I realized that my compulsive nature was making me clear the entire board which inevitably ran me out of moves before I could finish.  I had to change my way of thinking to forget about or block out of my mind the pieces I did not need.  This made the board messy and that made me uneasy.  But when I concentrated on just looking at the gems I needed I was finally able to complete that level and move on.

I thought to myself that life is a lot like that silly game.  There are lots of things to look at and lots of things that waste your time that have no real meaning on your life.  I like to check things off my always growing list of things to do, but some of those things do not have any bearing on my life or the path I am trying to take.  I want to check them off the list for the sake of doing it but I will not have progressed any from doing that.  I would only have kept the “board” (aka my life) neat.  Neat was always my thing in life, order, but now I realize order for the sake of order does not necessarily make me the person I want to be.  Sometimes you have to skip over something of lesser importance in order to reach a goal that allows you to move on to a new level.

It is so easy to get bogged down and overwhelmed with all the extraneous things that you cannot see the important ones.  That’s where I have been. I’m trying to look at too many things at one time and I am missing what’s really important.  I want to take a cue from a video game and start ignoring the things in life that do not feed my soul and concentrate on feeding my soul good and healthy things and ideas.  

Finding a life lesson from a video game reminds me that knowledge is everywhere.  You just have to have open eyes to it.

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