Life Lessons Learned From Solitaire


Sometimes I find inspiration in the oddest places.  Case in point: Spider Solitaire. To some, engaging in a computer card game (I haven’t used a real deck of cards since before the turn of the century) may seem a waste of time.  I beg to differ. I’ve learned some important, lasting lessons from this game such as…

Don’t give up too quickly.  Sometimes the situation can appear to be such a snarl that there’s no hope of a positive outcome.  Much to my surprise, there are times when a clever solution presents itself - provided I pause long enough to actually see what is right in front of me.

It’s crucial to allow time to think.  I find that, all too often, I’m in such a hurry to attain my goal that I don’t allow myself adequate time to just sit with a problem and let the solution present itself.  I’m hoping that if I live long enough, I’ll develop more patience with the process and learn to just enjoy the journey rather than racing to the finish line. This is especially important because I’m finding that in real life the finish line often moves or changes appearance entirely.

It’s ok, even wise, to back up and have a "do over" versus doggedly slogging ahead.  Once I make a decision I tend to just keep plodding along rather than stopping to reassess the situation and contemplate an altered course of action.  Perhaps this is my Taurean nature. Heaven knows STUBBORNESS runs in the family…I am slowly learning the value of making different moves and choices. Sometimes they work out and sometimes they don’t but in any case I find there is a positive effect on my mood because I’m being active instead of just reactive.

Just when it looks like the situation is impossible, something can happen to make everything fall into place.  The solution may seem to simply appear out of the blue and, voila! The problem is solved.  Of course sometimes the situation IS impossible and the best thing I can do is cut my losses and move on.  Winning doesn’t always mean winning; sometime it means simply saying, “Enough” and choosing to go a different direction.

It doesn’t matter how long (or how many moves) it takes to get there if I finally win in the end.  Sure it’s great to win easily and quickly, at least some of the time.  However I’ve noticed the most satisfying victories are those where I was more fully engaged and applied some effort.  Now, if the struggle goes on too long I’m liable to stomp off and read a book rather than continue wrestling with the problem, but it’s actually good to take a break from whatever is currently plaguing me.  After all, the problem will still be there later and if I come back to it with fresh eyes I may just see a solution that was there all along.

Inspiration and wisdom really can come from the most peculiar places.  What life lessons have you learned and where?