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We love board games in my house.
We have a Lockdown 3 Board Game League going on at the moment.
I’ve knocked up an Excel sheet to track it (partly as I love Excel).
You put in the date and the game name than a placing in the column for each family member.
It then automatically works out how many took part, assigns points and updates the league tables.
There are two leagues going on.
One that is total number of points scored and one for average game placing.
With some cold, hard cash on the line – dependant on placings at the end of this lockdown.
I’ve always loved games.
I have many fond memories of being baby sat at my Granny’s and me and my sister playing Granny, and her friend Mrs Fearn at cards and Scrabble.
Being at my Uncle Bill’s and everyone squeezed round the table in his lounge playing Newmarket, Donkey or Rummy.
My Dad mildly annoying people by going out in one go.
Or (always correctly) saying stuff like “You can go, you picked up the seven of hearts three rounds ago”.
My wife loves games too.
We’ve both always encountered a similar thing when we’ve played games.
As has my sister.
“Wow, I didn’t know we were ‘trying'”
“Somebody takes this a bit seriously”
Which I’ve never really understood.
If you’re playing a game, how can you not play it to win?
What are you doing otherwise?
Losing on purpose?
Perfectly fine at times when playing with a child to help them learn a game and build confidence in it.
But in a normal game, if you’re going to play it, how do we play it without trying to win?
I came to a realisation recently.
When people say stuff like that, it’s to make losing the game less of “a thing”.
“If I’m not trying, it doesn’t matter if I lose”.
For me, losing a game is completely irrelevant.
I’ll play to win, but if I don’t, that’s fine.
I don’t play to win because I fear losing…………
But because I’m ok with it.
I’m sure you’ve started to see the parallel here.
It’s tempting to do the same in other areas of life.
To not play to win because we fear losing / failing.
Or, more likely, because we fear being seen to fail.
After all we fail at stuff every day, don’t we?
How many days do we do absolutely everything we would’ve liked to, exactly as we wished?
Very few, if any.
We fail all the time.
And we’re fine with that.
But, it’s that being seen to fail.
To proclaim an intent to do something then to be seen to not do it.
Whether that be a board game or anything else.
To say we’re going to go for a workout, then not.
To have it be known we’re trying to lose weight.
The publicly setting a goal for our work or business.
And not making it happen.
Even just not setting a specific plan for the coming week.
Telling ourselves “I know what I need to do, I just need to do it”.
Because that then not happening doesn’t really even register.
Setting an actual plan can feel risky.
There’s potential for it not happening.
We’ve stuck out neck out somewhat.
Raised our head above the parapet.
It starts to feel like like yet “another thing”.
And it can be tempting to not do it.
Because we don’t want to feel we’ve “failed” – or be seen to have “failed”.
But, chances are, we’d do “more” by setting that goal.
By trying to win.
Shoot for the moon and fall short in the stars as they say.
Being happy to “lose” means we’re more willing (and more likely) to “win”.
Jon ‘Beck’ Hall