Life is like a video game

I love “Forrest Gump.” Great movie, great character. I’d love to agree with him about the entire life and chocolates thing, but it really depends on my attitude each morning.

Some days I wake up feeling like I can conquer the world and by the end of the day I feel I’ve eaten a box of the most delicious assorted chocolate truffles in the world.

Some days I wake up feeling like I can conquer the world only to feel that I’ve been duped into eating bad chocolate that leaves a waxy taste in my mouth.

Some days I just am not in the mood for chocolate. Okay. That’s not true, I always want chocolate, but some days I just “KNOW” that anything I bite into is going to taste rancid.

Anyway… as I was getting ready this morning and reflecting on my crazy rollercoaster of a ride over the past few years, I said thank you for all of the lessons I’ve learned. I’m learning to say thank you and appreciate the painful lessons because they have brought me to who and where I am. I’m a firm believer in the idea that you will continue to be presented with the same lesson over and over in different variations until you learn it. When you learn it and move on, you “earn” different lessons – some good and some bad. It’s truly a “moving up” kind of process. If we learn, we graduate on to the next lesson. Some lessons are hard, some aren’t so bad and some bring a huge sense of peace. We have no way of knowing what life is bringing next.

As I dried my hair, I played a few games of solitaire on my phone. Frankly, it’s not as fulfilling as using actual cards, but when all of the cards are in place and the system flips them all into their respective piles and the cards do a happy dance, it makes me smile. I say that with little embarrassment. Sometimes it’s the simple things that help you celebrate a victory – even if it is just placing cards where they should be – that bring the most heartfelt smiles.

As the cards were flying into their places, it hit me — when you put the critical pieces together, other parts can come together without direct help. It’s the entire concept of putting things in place in order to find serenity versus finding serenity in order for things to fall into place. Which comes first? You have to do the work on you internally before life will fall into place. Inner peace is the ultimate goal, not a clean house or an orderly pantry. Putting physical things where they belong may bring personal satisfaction for a moment, but until you have the peace within your soul, you’ll still be unfulfilled; you’ll still feel that you missed something.  You can’t win a game of solitaire unless you start with the base cards and build on those.

It’s the foundation we build that will determine our success when facing our next life challenge. That’s what is pretty cool about video games. You have to learn your lessons and win a level before you can move ahead. Your future success builds on your past learnings and effort. If you can’t move past a certain level, you need to keep repeating it, until you learn the strategy you need to; until you learn the lesson. You’ll never win the game unless your foundation is solid and you keep making an effort. You can’t jump ahead levels – you are where you are supposed to be and where you are based on your past efforts. The best part (in my opinion) is that with every level mastered, you see the fruits of your labor: you can watch the cards do a happy dance or see how you are moving up with the level counter. It’s tangible.

Unfortunately life isn’t that clean cut. We don’t always see the lessons we learn until we are faced with similar situations again and need to make a choice. When we see a different outcome, then we know we have learned that lesson and are moving on.

With all respect to Forrest, I’d prefer to know what kind of chocolates I’m biting into because chocolate is a sacred creation to me.  🙂
But, I can accept that I have no idea what the next level of this game of life is going to bring my way, but I am up for the challenge.



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