Saturday, May 26, 2018

6 Life Lessons From Playing Tetris

6 life lessons from Tetris

I believe most of you already know the game of Tetris. It is usually a default game in most Java phones and early old games. If you don't know about the game of Tetris, a quick Google Search would better enlighten you. But here's a brief description of the game:

Tetris is a tile-matching puzzle video game, originally designed and programmed by Russian game designer Alexey Pajitnov. The Tetris® game requires players to strategically rotate, move, and drop a procession of Tetriminos(four tile block structure) that fall into the rectangular Matrix at increasing speeds. Players attempt to clear as many lines as possible by completing horizontal rows of blocks without empty space, but if the Tetriminos surpass the Skyline the game is over! You can play or read more about it here.

In simplest terms, the game of Tetris is about arranging falling shapes into horizontal lines which disappear once completed. You could turn these falling shapes or move the left or right. But you can't change the falling shape.

I have played and grown up with this game many years ago, however when I played it recently, my eyes were somehow opened to deep insights and I came to spot many life lessons from it. So here are the life lessons I learnt playing the game of Tetris..

1. Make the best out of whatever you're given.
In Tetris, Tetriminos fall from above. They're come in different structures. It could be a straight line, square, L-shaped or cross like shape. You have no control over the falling shapes you're given, but you have control over where to place it and its orientation.

This reminds me of the phrases: "When life gives you lemonsmake lemonade," "You may have no control over circumstances, but you have control over how you react to them," and "We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails."

In life, we have no control over what we are given. You have been born into a country you didn't choose. You have wealthy, poor or average parents which you didn't choose. You didn't choose the way you look, your complexion, height or natural talents. You were given these things naturally.

The successful outcome of your life is greatly dependent on how well you choose to use these these things you were given which you didn't choose.

Many people fail because they spend a better part of their life rejecting and hating on what they were given. Instead of making any progress with the little they have been given wherever they find themselves, they keep comparing themselves with others and they never see anything good about themselves or their situations.

You see, we are all created equal. And wherever you have found yourself and whatever gifts you possess is exactly linked to your path to success. There's a reason why you have been positioned and gifted in that manner. 

It is by using these things you have for good that you find out the real reason why you were placed there.
Tetriminos will keep falling from the sky without you choosing them. That's how life is. You don't get to choose certain things. But the little you are allowed to choose, make the best use of it.

2. You may not always get what you want
This is an unforgettable lesson. While playing the game, you may tend to expect or wish for certain kind of shapes which will easily suit the arrangements you are making. However, you may not necessary be getting those.

As a matter of fact, you might suddenly be getting all other shapes except the exact one you really desire. What do you do? Do you quit? You just have to make use of what you're getting to build what you want.

So it is in life. In life, we wish for many things. Even when we get some of those things, we desire for more. Leading economists have argued that man's wants are insatiable. We always desire. However, if we are to keep our sanity and mental health, we must understand that we may not always get the exact things we desire.

If your life is structured in such a way that you cannot do without getting exactly what you expect, then failure is inevitable. To succeed like a bold winner, you must understand that things may not always go as planned and you must make counter arrangements just in case it doesn't go as you planned.

This is not lack of faith. It is simply preparedness for any outcome.
This understanding leads me to the next lesson:

3. Plan for the unexpected
In the Tetris game, you have to plan for the unexpected kind of shapes. While arranging blocks, you must try to make room for any kind of shapes which could show up so that you won't be in for unpleasant surprises.

If you fail to do this and you're always expecting the game to give you an expected shape, it won't be too long before you lose. And you will be unable to do anything because you didn't plan for anything else than what you expected. Don't be that incapacitated person.

That's how it is in our lives. Life is a much more bigger game with so many uncertainties and possibilities. Never in the history of our world has there been a time when serious planning is of such high priority.

We must learn to plan for the unexpected. You can't really prepare for everything, but you can prepare to a good extent for a number of outcomes in your endeavors.
Learn to stop putting all your eggs in one basket. If you're applying to one job and you've gotten invited for a test or interview, don't stop applying to others until that one is certain to have worked out.

You have very important files you can't afford to lose on your phone, don't gamble with it. Anything can happen. So if the files are so important, copy them to a laptop, hard drive or an email. It doesn't mean you believe any bad thing will happen. You're only getting prepared. What if a virus attacks the phone's operating system?
You must plan for the unexpected in life. That's the way to sail through. 

4. Time is precious. Don't waste it thinking, take action!
When you get to some levels in the game, the speed of falling Tetriminos(blocks) will increase. You will now have to think faster as they show up to find out the best place to place them in your building.

Here time becomes of the essence because if you take too long to think, the block will fall and land anywhere which could potentially ruin what you're building. So you have to think fast and direct it fast enough.

Here we see the importance of being time conscious and not thinking too much.
Thinking too much could lead to a disaster because you lose the time which you could've acted upon.

In life, there are situations that require us to act well in a limited period of time. The situations could range from your relationships, career, education, business or even your lifestyle.

You must understand the time involved in any of those situations and know how quickly you should come up with a solution and carry it through.
Many people have missed lots of opportunities in their lives because they didn't utilize their time well. Some people wasted their youthful years, the best time they may have used to develop themselves for opportunities in the future and they end up regretting it. Would you rather be found regretting?

Someone said that "time is money." I believe he said it because he understands many people place so much value on money, but fail to see the value in time! In some cases, you should spend money to buy you some precious time! Take your time seriously.

5. No matter how bad the situation looks, you can conquer it if you don't lose hope.
While playing Tetris, Sometimes I built a total disaster. The blocks lie around with poor arrangement and it's very difficult to see how I can rearrange everything to clear up the mess. But sometimes it happens.
I bounce back from a seemingly hopeless position to a very good position! How? It's hope and conscious action.

One thing I found out that put me in bad positions while playing Tetris is not concentrating. I may be talking to someone, trying to listen to news or warm up food. And then I start stacking up rubbish.

But when I suddenly become conscious of what I'm doing and play with focus, I bounce back to a better position.

In life, some of us find ourselves in bad positions because of the mistakes we made in the past. These mistakes could be as a result of our lack of concentration or ignorance. Whatever the cause, we must not lose hope.

One thing that could take you from a bad situation to a better one is your consciousness. You must suddenly become very conscious of exactly why you've been in that bad situation. And also be very conscious of what you have to do to turn it around. A religious life could help you build this type of consciousness.

It is that consciousness that will help you become much more careful with your actions and see the opportunities that surround you.
Many people can't see opportunities passing them by everyday because they are simply not conscious of it.
No matter how bad your situation looks, don't lose hope. Channel your focused consciousness on it.

6. To succeed, you must learn to build
The game of Tetris is similar to laying bricks as in building a house. The saying goes, "As you lay your bed, so will you lie on it." Building is conscious activity. You don't build anyhow. It takes planning, foresight and intelligent arrangement. It is when you build with these qualities that you become successful in whatever you're building.
If you play Tetris without building well in an arranged manner, you'll lose very quickly.

In life, we have to build. We are constantly being given something in our lives. It could be in the form of skills, abilities and etcetera.
If we do nothing with these things we are given or we despise them, we will lose and end up with nothing but bitterness.

Building is the way to live! If you build with the things you've been given, no matter how little you think it may seem, you will experience success in your life and you'll be surprised at how doors of greater opportunities will be opened to you.

The key to your success in life is building with what you're given. Hating what you're given and refusing to build will only make you fail quicker than anybody else. Love what you have been given and build with it. Trust me, you'll be grateful.

So those are the insights I gained from playing Tetris again after many years. If you're inspired by it, share with at least one person.


Stay sharp and keep winning!
Until next time,
Nigel.


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