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Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by 1Sandhya, Sep 7, 2021.

  1. 1Sandhya

    1Sandhya Platinum IL'ite

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    Recently I was musing on random things and feel like I have stumbled onto a great truth and realization.

    Life is like a poker tournament and our life situations are like a series of poker games. Each life situation - childhood, student life, marriage, office, parenting - are each different games, which we play at different levels. For each game we get a different or unique hand to play. Some cards we carry over and sometimes we receive new cards.

    The present game, the current cards in my hand and the players I’m playing against right now is all I should and ought to concentrate on and focus my energies on playing the best game I can.

    I may win, lose or draw the game. After that automatically life moves me to the next game, to the next level, whether I like it or not. And I level up. I move on to the next game. My life doesn't stop though I may think it has. Regardless of whether I won, lost or drew the previous game, I enter a new game, with a fresh set of cards at a different table with a new set of players. Now I must focus on my new cards and turn my attention to these players at my table, on their tells, how well they are playing, and strategize on how to win this game which I am currently playing.

    But too often I don’t mentally move on from the old game and focus on the current game. Although life has moved me to the new table and set me up with a different set of players, I don’t realize it. I forget to level up mentally. Too often my mind lingers on the old game especially if I lost it badly. And sometimes if I won it resoundingly I wistfully linger to think of the old game. This divides my focus.

    Physically I am playing the new game but mentally my attention and focus is on the previous game, on my loss (or win) and why it happened, how it happened, what I should have done differently, coping with my feelings of regret, sadness, loss etc. Or if I won that game resoundingly, then I cope with feelings of wanting to return to that, relive that happiness and triumph, experience nostalgia for the old players etc. And in this process of looking back, I forget to give my full attention to the cards in my hand and start to make mistakes. Sometimes I play this game as if it's the old game which I'm still trying to win. And the more mistakes I make, the more I don’t want to be present here in this new game or play it. And because I am constantly thinking about the past and reliving it, the more sincerely and strongly I want to go back to that old game which feels so close and familiar. It’s such a pity.

    We need to realize that old game is over and we have to let it go. We have leveled up!

    Win or lose, that game is concluded, over, finished, and done with. Those players have dispersed and gone their respective ways. It is in the past. So we must accept that and move on. Now we are in this new game. And all we can do now is play this hand to the best of our ability.

    What do you think?
     
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  2. Laks09

    Laks09 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    So true. I can never stop worrying and stressing about the what-ifs, should-haves, could-haves that I forget to see what’s right in front of me. Living the moment is sometimes the better strategy.
    Thank you for the wonderful write up.
     
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  3. 1Sandhya

    1Sandhya Platinum IL'ite

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    Thank you so much, Laks. Actually I started to write this down to clarify some thoughts in my own mind, and then decided to post it on a whim here.

    Frankly for me the aha! moment was the realization that each hand is completely delinked from what went on previously. i.e., that what happened previously in our past has nothing to do with what we are currently involved with, except to the extent we ourselves choose to connect it. That was a liberating feeling to realize that life gives us the chance to start anew, several times over, within each lifetime, with a new hand in every new situation, that we dont have to feel defined by our failures and successes. We dont have to feel held back by a previous failure and we dont have to feel unnecessarily emboldened by previous success. We may have made bad decisions or had bad things happen to us in the past. It doesn't matter. We dont need to define ourselves forever in those terms.

    I have been guilty of this in my own past. I have coasted longer than necessary on the tails of some early success feeling like I have achieved it all or that life owes me a golden ticket. And I have also taken some failures too much to heart and second-guessed myself a little too much, longer than was necessary. Realizing that each situation is unrelated to what went on previously and that this is life's way to let us start afresh felt really empowering and liberating to me personally.
     
  4. 1Sandhya

    1Sandhya Platinum IL'ite

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    Thank you @Viswamitra for liking my snippet. I'm curious if you have any feedback regarding this.
     
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  5. 1Sandhya

    1Sandhya Platinum IL'ite

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    Thank you @Rihana for liking my snippet. Your takeaway is correct. But just one small correction - every new phase of life, or situation like marriage, or job or parenting brings us new cards and new players, not every new day.
     
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  6. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    I enjoyed the deep insight about how to handle life. But I don't know enough about Poker to see the comparison. Nevertheless, I got the concept of moving from the past and handle each stage of life with discrimination. I remembered this thread when I wrote the poem "Art of living" today in the poetry section. The lines go as follows:

    "The past doesn’t exist beyond its time of glory.
    It gets encrypted into an invisible space called memory.
    Every human being is unique warehouse of experiences,
    Which give richness and continuity to life filled with occurrences".
     
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  7. 1Sandhya

    1Sandhya Platinum IL'ite

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    To tell you the truth I don't know much about the game itself except the rules. But somehow games of chance have fascinated Man from time immemorial. It is said, in the ruins of Pompeii they found a pack of playing cards or what was their version. Since the beginning of time man has been fascinated by the role of luck and his fascination with chance or luck will remain.
    What fascinates me though is how we neatly partition the two in our minds. There are card games and there is life. We lose a game and take it philosophically, shrug and congratulate the winner and forget about it. But in life situations we take it serious and read some deeper meaning into the outcomes, let it weigh on us and influence our further decisions. It all has to MEAN something you see. I'm guilty of this too. But what if it doesn't? That's what I'm currently trying to figure out.
    Though chance plays a role in our lives in the people we meet, marry, give birth to; the situations we encounter, but somehow I feel we dont ascribe chance or luck the importance it deserves.

    Loved the quote from 'Art of Living'! Subhanallah!
     
  8. 1Sandhya

    1Sandhya Platinum IL'ite

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    Thyagarajan and anika987 like this.
  9. anika987

    anika987 Finest Post Winner

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    44425C51-4531-4D45-B9CF-4AEB87254081.jpeg BDD42C6D-4127-4790-AE80-81FEB8227D85.jpeg
    It is a very nice snippet and I love anything which involves life and realization.What you said is true.One has to move on.
    I remember the above quotes now after reading your write up.
     
  10. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Well said @1Sandhya. We live in a 50/50 world and we have no control to make it 100%. We can make it 100% only by changing how we react to each situation. Every bad experience is preparation and every success is a reward for our endurance.

    Our life is like a flowing river and the two banks of the river are like pleasure and pain that serves as a barrier to flow it on its path to merge with the ocean of love. The moment we indulge in either one too much, we drift away from our path.
     

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