Four Lessons I Learned from a Botched Hand of Cards

It was the 10th round of a card game, one where the goal was to build a set of five and a set of three. I had my set of three, with two 2’s and a wild. Now I was concentrating on building a set of five. I had four eights and three nines and went back and forth in trying to build up the eights or nines, to no avail.

(Some of you may be able to predict what is coming.)

I already had my set of three and set of five, if I’d only moved the wild card.

Once it was pointed out to me, I laid my head down on the table in good-hearted disgust with myself. But I learned some important lessons from that one “badly played hand,” lessons that go beyond a game.

I was fixated on one solution.
I had in my mind that one part of the problem was solved, and I had only to concentrate on the other part in order to finish. By limiting my focus what I thought was the only “fix,” I missed the fact that the solution to the whole problem was right in front of me.

[callout]As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.” Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. Matthew 14:15-17 [/callout]

I didn’t allow the wild card to use its potential.
That wild card was my key to freedom. If I would have just released that card to shine in another area, the entire hand would have been completed. Are there people or processes in my life that I like to keep in a box and not consider their potential to fill another need very well? 

I limited my view.
I arranged things a certain way and didn’t step back to view the hand from the wider angle. This is rather funny because one of my strengths can be to see the “big picture.”  However, in the last few years I’ve become much more detailed, swinging the pendulum too far the other way in some cases. In limiting my view to one way to play the hand, I missed out on a potential win.

I was trying to tackle the problem at the wrong time.
This last round was getting close to my bedtime. My mind was also occupied with other details. I wasn’t at my best when looking at the issue. I realized through this that sometimes, it’s good to step away from a problem and look at it again at another time. Unlike the time limitation in the game, many problems don’t have to be solved immediately, or in their entirety.

Recommendation: Phase 10 is a fun, adaptable card game for friends and family.

Question: How about you? What has an experience with a game taught you about life? Join the conversation by clicking on the “comment” button below. If you are receiving this post by email, feed or social media, visit the blog and tell us what you’ve learned!


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