More Lessons From Games
by Graeme Kapono Urlich
My last article “From Small Beginnings” covered some observations I was able
to make about my prosperity beliefs and create some change in that area of my life using the game
Farmville. The momentum I gained in the new thinking has lead me to an online business so now I spend
the time I used to put into Farmville into a game that has the potential to earn me some real money.
Lately I have been playing another game called Bejeweled Blitz, also available through
Facebook, which involves matching patterns of jewels in groups of three, four or five to
earn points and special jewels which are worth more points. While playing this I began to
notice how my attention was affected.
At first it looked too complicated and my scores were so low that I got annoyed
with it and nearly quit on it. There is a one minute time limit on each round and as
I reviewed some of the top scores from other players I began to wonder how it was
possible to get them. I was no where near those scores.
Since I have a slightly competitive nature and I knew other people who were playing
I gave it a bit longer than I otherwise would have. After not too long I started to see
patterns in the game and how one move might create a better one. Over time the game became
more instinctive as my body learned the moves.
Sometimes in life we don’t bother having a go at opportunities because we just don’t
recognise them, they look too hard or maybe they look too risky. Improving our lives is
a process of improving our thinking habits and building confidence and self esteem so
that we are strong enough to have a go. It may take a few goes to get something to work
but it is usually worth it. The worth of something is of course a personal value judgement.
When I solved a puzzle involving a particular jewel I searched the screen for a match in
the same type of gem automatically before my attention would adjust enough to start to pick
up moves involving other types of gems. It gave me some clues as to how I filter my
worldly experience and limit my attention to opportunities sometimes. I was searching for
what had worked last time and ran out of time doing so. I needed to learn how to focus
in on certain jewels at some points of the game but be able to spread my focus more
widely at other points.
Sometimes I would find myself taking an obvious move and thereby missing one that
paid out many more points than one that was just next to it. The more I hunted for the
big moves the harder it seemed to find them and the more I just told my subconscious
that I wanted those and played the moves I saw the more “luck” I seemed to have getting them.
Another interesting observation that became clear was that it was a great indicator of how
relaxed I was. The more stressed I was for whatever reason the lower my scores were and
the harder it was to spot moves. When I did some deep breathing and conscious relaxing
my scores would usually improve somewhat. If they didn’t I knew it was just time to do
something else. The more I relaxed and trusted the bigger the scores I got.
The same is true in life.
Sometimes I got into a kind of autopilot and found myself playing game after game and
even when I told myself “This is the last one” I would automatically click the “Play Again” button.
This is a common pattern that we can get into in life. We make a choice to change but keep
automatically clicking the same buttons and doing the same things until something happens
to drastically change our focus.
We often know that what we are doing is not effective but fail to take the turnoff on life’s
highway. We sigh in desperation as we watch it drop away behind us then focus back on the road
because there is nothing we can do short of backing up against the traffic and then get back
into the rut so deeply that when the next turnoff appears we don’t notice it until it’s too late
to grab it. It takes continued focus, preparation and constant reminding to be ready when the
next one gets here.
Sometimes there is a conflict between the desire for change and the fear of change so we drive
along the highway getting more and more tense as the turnoff approaches. We look at it longingly
but our arms just won’t respond to turn the wheel. We stay stuck in a state called learned
helplessness hating the lives we have but not able to change it for whatever reason.
One thing is certain, change will happen. It is happening constantly all around us and
eventually the stress of holding on to what is known and safe will build so much that something
will break and a change will be forced. When this happens often it ends up worse than before.
Some people know they don’t like the lives that they have but don’t know what they want to
replace it with or have some vague ideas about fame and fortune that they long for but inside believe
it’s really not possible for them. One place to start is to look at our values and write down
some priorities in a definitive way, not just a vague list of wants that maybe we have copied
from someone we are jealous of.
Understanding our values and motivations helps us to include them as part of the plan to achieve
changes that are considered, desired and worthwhile. It helps us to make changes in a direction
that we will be satisfied with, that will increase our sense of self worth, our success and
prosperity, our health, love and happiness, happiness being the true measure of success.
Graeme Kapono Urlich (December 2010)
Aloha New Zealand - School of Huna and Hawaiian Shamanism