I’ve been playing Scrabble since I was a little kid across the kitchen table from my mom. When you play as much as I have, you begin to see parallels between Scrabble and life. Because of this, I’ve decided to start a series: “Life Lessons from Scrabble”. I certainly do not always follow these lessons myself, but I hope they get us thinking! Enjoy!
Life Lesson from Scrabble #1
“Take the situation as it is”
In Scrabble, the board is as it is. The seven letters in your hand are what they are. You must accept this. This is a crucial lesson about how to spend your precious time and energy.
You could spend time regretting what should have been; lamenting how unfair it is that you’ve ended up with seven vowels when the game’s down to the wire. Or maybe you’re upset because the open E is now blocked and your elegant 62-point play got busted.
The board isn’t out to get you. Your situation isn’t out to get you. The only task in front of you is to play your hand the best you can. In other words, spend your energy in a realm where you have choices and can take action. Complaining and lamenting don’t change a thing (except your mood, and almost always for the worse). All great Scrabble players learn to break themselves of the desire to play with a hand or on a board that simply isn’t.
Same goes in life. Maybe your boss had promised you a promotion but just took a job somewhere else and you’re left without an advocate. Or you were supposed to get in early to work but your child just threw up on the carpet.
What should or could have been is always a phantom, a negative suck of energy. Once something is no longer possible, you might as well be upset that your magic carpet didn’t show up.
So ask yourself, what are the possibilities that arise from life as it is now?
Can you imagine how different things would be if you could rid yourself of “could have” and open up to “could be?”!