Life has many pleasures. For some it’s a chill day of Netflix. For others it’s chocolate ice cream on a summer afternoon. For me, it’s board games.

A good board game, great company and lots of laughter. Swadakta!

Over the weekend, I played a memorable game of Upwords. The game took about an hour and a half. About the results? Let’s just say I was humbled! That’s beside the point. Let’s stay focused on the the bigger picture shall we?

Moving on swiftly. Here are a few lessons from the board game that would come in handy in the game of life.

1. Get your head in the game

There are so many dynamics happening at any given time. Words are changing. In meaning, scope and of course, points. The instances I took a beating are when I got distracted by something on Instagram or the dancing bee on my window sill. I took too long to make a word because the spot I thought I would capitalize on had been altered by the player (s) before me. ******To spice things up, we play our board games with a 30-second timer. It’s moments like those that remind me how fortunate I am not to be a diamond. That pressure should be left for the furnace!******

2. Take the small W’s

Every word game player knows the joy of the game is in making those double-digit plays. The dopamine-release that comes with looking at the score sheet and seeing the berth between you and the next player is orgasmic! Ah, the joy! However, from time to time, especially as the board stacks up, your options become limited. It’s very easy to get stuck on the big-point words that we miss the opportunity to collect the smaller points. Yet, those points, little as they are, make all the difference in the total computations. There are times when the difference between the winner and the rest was as tiny a margin as one point! Take the ‘small’ wins!

3. Have options

Word games are interesting. There are some people who only have one play and there are others who seem to have multiple plays. Conspiracy much? Except, we all draw randomly from the sack. We play the cards, or more precisely, the words we’ve been dealt. Having more than one play comes in handy. This is especially so since it’s very likely that the person playing before you could play the very spot you were eyeing. Training your mind to see multiple opportunities allows you to safeguard your current score and build on it.

4. It’s okay not to have the answers Sway!

No one likes to forfeit. Passing on your turn sucks. It’s an annoyingly profound zero! Yet, as any board game player would know, from time to time, you just can’t form a word. You’ve racked your brain, diagnosed a hundred possibilities, invented words only for dictionary to remind you that it’s the authority on matters legitimacy. When you do have such moments, I hope you have the courage to admit that you don’t know. That you don’t have a play. Recline. Recalibrate. Respond.

I hope this year turns out great for all of us! May we crush those goals.

Tell me? What board games have you played? What lessons have you learned from those games that you can apply in real life?


    1. Hey Cathy πŸ˜ƒ

      I haven’t understood how to play Rummikub yet. It’s on my list!

      Glad the dilemmas and analogies are relatable.

      Thank you for making time 😊

  1. Oh — this post made me smile! πŸ˜‰ It’s given me new tactics…most especially ‘sway’. I’m terrible at board games…because I get BORED so easily and I’m the distracted one, like you, because my ‘head’ is often NOT in the game. But putting a timer to it…ah…that’s brilliant and it might push my competitive side to show up! But if I adopt your sway and self-aware, forfeit technique, I think that takes the pressure off and that’s a win, in and of itself.
    I love the applicability of each point…far beyond board game fun. Thank you! πŸ˜‰

  2. Good day to you, sir. A very relatable post, this. Most things here sail comfortably over my head, but this resonates with a life-long gamer even though our preferences in games widely differ. The many ways that gaming skills apply to everyday life are known to us who play them and are good to catalogue as a reminder to us, and to show the non-gamers what they’re missing out on. As a writer, I’ve often said that I feel sorry for those who don’t read because they only get to live one life. The same could be said of games, in spades, if you’ll pardon the pun. Great essay, and food for some very deep thought.

  3. I love board games as well as card games, but there are some versions I refuse to play with the grand-twins, such as the cheater versions, as they get too loud and out of hand. I’m not the only person to slowly back away from the room when they start asking to play those games! LOL! Apart from that, game-on!

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