We’ve all played a little computer solitaire, right? Perhaps it was a slow day at work or you just had some time to kill before quittin’ time. I have played my share too, and had some insights about solitaire strategies and how they relate to real life lessons.

1. Move the aces first.

Everybody knows this – you always play the aces as soon as they come up. If you are lucky enough to have a few showing at the beginning of the game, even better. We are all “aces” at something – play those cards first. If you are a good communicator, make sure you are using that skill. If you have a knack with math, use it! If you don’t know what your “aces” are, do a personal skills inventory or personality type quiz to find out.

2. Play all the cards you can.

Once you’ve moved the aces up, it’s time to start clicking on cards to make the familiar red-black chain, right? Do you ever hold back from clicking on a 2 or 3, hoping you will get the ace right away and be able to move them directly up? I’ve discovered that it never helps to hold back in this way – play whatever cards you can now, even if they don’t seem to be very strategic at this moment. Each play reveals a new card and builds on the chains you have. You can’t reveal any new cards (opportunities) unless you play the ones you can.

3. You need both red and black.

Have you even started a game and had all black come up, and then the first few cards from the deck are black, too? It seems like a bit of an omen, and it can really makes you wish for hearts and diamonds! Without some reds, the game cannot progress at all. The same is true in life; you need a mix of both red and black – a balanced life – to make the game work. It can’t be all one way. Try to keep a healthy balance between work and recreation, busy and slow times, stress and fun, activity and sleep. The “reds and blacks” are all just a part of the contrast of life.

4. All the cards (answers) are there, just waiting to be revealed.

You have all the cards you need to win the game. Only seven are revealed at first, but they lead to every card being played. Every card in a winning game becomes a part of those red-black chains. If you feel like you are looking for answers in life, rest assured they are there. You just haven’t played enough to discover them yet.

5. Don’t stress out about dealing again.

Sometimes, the cards you need just don’t show up and you have to admit you are stuck. You might not win every game, but you can always start over. Don’t be ashamed to start over again in life – it beats sitting, looking at the cards, unable to move and unable to win.

Finally, I’ve noticed a distinct difference in how the game goes depending on my attitude. If I am exhausted, it often doesn’t go far before I’m stuck. If I am well-rested, I usually win. I have tried saying a short, two-second affirmation for a good game, and it’s amazing how things go smoother. Try saying a short affirmation for good traffic, good weather, or electronic devices to work properly – anything that seems to be “chance” (like how cards are dealt) – and see if it helps!

I doubt whoever invented the first version of computer solitaire had any idea how popular and iconic it would become. You might be working on the next “big thing” – so keep playing each card as it comes and keep your eyes open for opportunities to make your next move.

(Photo credit: Man Playing Cards Thinking About Next Move via Shutterstock)

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