I love games. A good game makes me giddy.
When I was in college, I created a game called “Be Prepared.” We played it in the dorms, sitting across from each other on two twin beds. One person would hold a pillow, and everyone would chant, “Be prepared. Be, be, prepared,” slapping their knees with every word. Then the pillow-holder would throw the pillow in someone’s direction, and that someone would have to catch it; they'd have to be prepared.
Yeah, I wasn’t the *most* sober when I created this game. But drunken high me was onto something: Games can make things fun. And I’ve been thinking… what if we treat life like a game; an enlivening one — one we win when we reach our supreme life purpose, where our talent meets our passion, and we get to serve the world.
As with any game, obstacles should be expected. Think of life like it’s Candy Land: Sometimes we get shoved back to the beginning, but it’s not personal. And if we don’t quit, we’ll sooner-or-later ricochet ahead. A setback doesn’t mean defeat. It might just mean you reach the finish line a few moves after your friend.
Maybe we should treat obstacles as divine challenges that we get to overcome in the grand saga of our eventual (goddess-willing) triumphs. Instead of getting so emotional about changes in plans, we can learn to pivot our strategy to reach the next level. We can make it a practice to be prepared for unexpected things. As in, “Op, there’s the next challenge! Now let’s figure it out.”
In the game of real life, setbacks and obstacles can build our strength for subsequent levels. Some would say setbacks are gifts from the universe that strengthen us – IF you learn from them, grow from them, share your lessons, and keep going.
When we learn to suffer through hard things with calm confidence (equanimity) and a faith that the universe is a friendly place that wants to see us win — all in our own time – then we are bolstered by, and can take comfort in, the heavenly reassurance that we’re on the right path to reaching our very own King Kandy’s Castle: a place of sweet joy, relief, and scrumptious bounty.