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5 Life Lessons from Solitaire

5 Life Lessons from Solitaire


    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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!

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    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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    Last Updated on September 20, 2018

    How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

    How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

    Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

    If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

    1. Breathe

    The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

    • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
    • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
    • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

    Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

    2. Loosen up

    After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

    Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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    3. Chew slowly

    Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

    Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

    Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

    4. Let go

    Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

    The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

    It’s not. Promise.

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    Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

    Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

    21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

    5. Enjoy the journey

    Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

    Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

    6. Look at the big picture

    The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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    Will this matter to me…

    • Next week?
    • Next month?
    • Next year?
    • In 10 years?

    Hint: No, it won’t.

    I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

    Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

    7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

    You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

    Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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    8. Practice patience every day

    Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

    • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
    • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
    • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

    Final thoughts

    Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

    Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

    Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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