Late last night after the final chore of the day was wrapped up and done, I found myself with an amazing gift. Free Time! As I had just finished the final page of an almost eight- hundred page book, reading wasn’t as appealing as it typically would be. So, I settled on a favorite but rare pleasure. A game of Sudoku.
For anyone not familiar with the game, it’s both simple and challenging at the same time. The numbers from 1 to 9 need to make up every row AND every block without repeating. In other words- you can’t have two of the number 2 ( Or any other number) in the same box or row. I find it to be just the right amount of mental challenge that I need when my brain is still going in high gear and the rest of me is done for the day. ( Sometimes my mental body and my physical body just can’t quiet get on the same page.)
As I was working through the puzzle last night, I tuned in for the first time to the unplanned methods I had developed to solve the game. It occurred to me that I followed the same pattern for every single puzzle, working through the steps in a systematic fashion until I had the entire thing figured out. I was almost through my third puzzle when the little voice inside my head spoke up.
It said, “You use the same system to solve your problems in life too. That’s how come it works for you.”
The thought caught me by surprise and I had to consider it for quite some time. But ultimately I had to concede that the little voice was right. I live my life like a game of Sudoku. I grabbed my Inspiration Journal and wrote down the steps as I played them and compared them to the way I live my life. I decided that living life like Sudoku wasn’t such a bad thing after all.
So I share with you:
Sudoku Rules for the Game of Life
1) Start with what you know for sure. Gather the Black and White facts and determine what is already in front of you. Don’t add to the mix any mental tapes in your head to tell you what you think you know, based on all the other times. Just look at the solid data as objectively as you can.
2) After you have determined all the facts, then look at them one more time. Based on what you know for sure, what can you make a reasonable guess at? If you can make an informed guess, then DO IT. Some folks get hung up on number one and never move forward in the game of life. Fear of being wrong holds them back. They wait for the sure thing and while they are waiting they shake their head in amazement at those around them that have figured out the game.
3) After all reasonable guesses are made, it’s time to really throw caution to the wind. There are times in life when there are no right answers at the moment. We are moving through the situation blind to some of the information we would need to know what to do. We have to have faith and jump in. Make a decision. Sometimes we will guess right, sometimes we will guess wrong. Wrong is OK. It gives us the chance to learn and try something different. Be willing to be wrong.
4) When you get it wrong, erase what you can, retrace your steps and move forward. Begin again if you have to. Keep playing. You will never win if you quit and you will most surely win if you play to the end.
5) Stay positive. It’s just a game. Play, laugh, take time to remember that we are supposed to be having fun. Sometimes that’s hard. Sometimes it’s grueling. But the fun is there if you take the time to look for it. Sometimes you just have to focus on it and let the fun come to you. Be a good sport.
6) Realize that life is a puzzle and be OK with that. Stop expecting to have all the answers handed to you. Be proactive. Figure out what you can and learn from the mistakes. Accept and embrace the challenge of sorting it out. Enjoy the adventure!
I am sure there are other rules in the game of life that can be found in the games we play. Play mirrors real life in many ways and we learn through play better than we learn through work.
What have you learned from the games that you play?
Janice Cartier says
Oh man…. I use crossword puzzles for the same thing…. and I make myself start in different places, or vary the way I attack them…LOL.. now I will be thinking about how it is I go about them.
What a clever idea for a post…I love the lessons you “drew”. 😉
Janice Cartier’s last blog post..Welcome to Private Studio
James | Dancing Geek says
So the fact that I do sudoku by sitting and looking at it and thinking it through in my head until I can see a definite step and then, and only then, fill in a square in pen, and keep going until all squares are perfectly and neatly filled in. That would mean that in life I…
Yup, as in sudoku, so in life.
James | Dancing Geek’s last blog post..Too fast to write about it
Darren Daz Cox says
🙂 excellent! I think that our lives on Earth are as simple and yet complex like a game like sudoku but there is so much more to us!
Darren Daz Cox’s last blog post..Life is potential, art is potential frozen in time
Alex Fayle | Someday Syndrome says
How I approach a Sudoku puzzle depends entirely on my mood. Sometimes, I’m highly methodical, others totally intuitive and sometimes a mix of the two.
And yes, that’s exactly how I get through life. 😉
I never used to like sudoku, I never understood it and thought it would be too hard to do, until I did one! I realized that it was a lot easier than I had originally thought. It’s not one of my favorite things to do like my husband, but after actually trying it, it’s not as bad as I had originally thought. Sometimes I forget this in real life too, things aren’t always as bad or hard as I think they are, but if I don’t try I won’t ever know!
Another game I can think of that goes with living life is Twister, if you stretch yourself too far to reach that unoccupied red dot on the complete other side (or doing too many things in your own life) you’re gonna fall!
Jenny’s last blog post..A Tease with No Title…Yet
I prefer the NY Times crossword.
What are the rules of life for THAT? 😉
Stacey Shipman says
I love this analogy – I wrote a post a while ago about all I learned from working on my jigsaw puzzles and many of the rules were the same as yours – especially the first one. Start with what I know. In my puzzles I would collect “like colors” and start there.
Actually I think I need to reread my puzzle post, as I remember it having some good steps to consider and think about! Time for a refresh.
Olivia Gail says
Been quite a while. Was off computer for weeks, then returned to No AOL message boards. . . . got this link and have it in Favorites and hope it takes.
Loved this message, Wendi and loved Daren D. Cox’s reply. All were great, but his just hit the spot.
Hugs cross the miles on a stormy Midwest Day.
Mistress O & The Two Indy Kiis
Jewel/Pink Ink says
I love this metaphor. I have never tried Sudoku but I know some people that are very passionate about it.
I do think we shouldn’t take life too seriously. Making time for play is important.
Jewel/Pink Ink’s last blog post..At Fifteen
Love the analogy.I do the same while working on crossword puzzles and teach my students to do it that way.I’ll give Sudoku a try now.Thanks for sharing.Greetings from Argentina
.-= Patricia’s last post… El ojo del artista =-.