Thursday, June 14, 2012

My Life In Scrabble Letters

Something hit me hard yesterday when I was playing Words With Friends with my son. I'm always grappling with how to approach life/business. When am I pessimistic? When do I approach something with passion and vigor? When do I shy away from something? When do I lock onto something and go nuts with it? etc.

It was my turn to build a word. There were a few words on the board already. A new letter lineup was in front of me. I glanced at the letters and subconsciously distilled vowel and consonant ratios between my new jumbled letters and the board. I got a shot of adrenalin. I was psyched because the ratio felt right and I was excited to dive in and built a word. I didn't have word yet at this point. I just felt like the raw material was there to do something great (as opposed to a rack of all consonants which can illicit fear).

As I peeled the onion, I was coming up short. The raw material was good, but I couldn't turn it into a powerful word. What the heck was I so excited about at first blush? This was sucking! Time passed. Discouragement came over me. A few more shuffles of the original letters, and I found a great word and played it. It turned out great in the end, after some twists and turns.

The parallel of that little experience to how I approach challenges in life was fascinating and vivid.

When you've got solid raw material to work with, you'll get solid results. When the raw material is too easy/obvious, you won't get much out because not much had to be put in. When you get a set of "impossible" letters, work hard, and construct some gnarly high-point word, it feels great.

Anyway, random post, but the level of excitement I felt after a glance at a new rack of letters was intriguing. Opportunity was in front of me, and I had another shot at taking raw material and turning it into goodness. Fun.

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