Match Game Lessons

by Ray Reuter on March 16, 2017

This past Christmas I created a “Matching Game” for each family as a gift. There is one card with a picture of each of the 11 grandchildren, plus one group picture. That’s 12 pairs of matches. Playing with the grandkids reveals some fascinating behavior that often shows up in adults later in life …

  • The tendency to turn the same card over first … again and again. As if that card is suddenly going to change! This is the equivalent of “doing what we have always done and expecting different results.” Obviously, a more effective strategy is to turn over a “new” card, learn from it, and then proceed.
  • The temptation to cheat. Oh my! Just slightly looking under a card to see the image and if that image is what you want or expected. Not fully committing. Taking a short cut.
  • The joy of surprises. Turning over a second card that you have no idea what it is and discovering it is a match! Big smile! I believe we have moments of surprise and delight every day if we pay attention.
  • Creating some structure to help with remembering where things are at. Establishing some type of system or strategy to find matches vs. just randomly turning cards over and forgetting what is what. Systems are good strategies repeated.
  • Disappointment with losing. Ah yes … The disappointment of turning over a second card and fully expecting a match, only to find out it was the wrong card. Big frown! Those darn expectations … that lead to disappointment and the stimulus to want to give up and quit.
  • Focus on self and winning. The worst is revealing something to the opponent that gives them an advantage and leads to a match for them. That’s not fair! Amazing how our selfish desire exposes itself and we don’t want to help others because we assume we will ultimately lose. I’ve witnessed many times before the “comeback” that follows the assumption of losing.

In the end, whether we “win” or “lose” — the lessons we gain are priceless. 

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