7 Lesson on Life from Freecell

I have a freecell addiction. For your information, it is a solitaire like card game on the computer, not an illicit drug. I have a 98% win rate, of which I am proud.

One of the nice things about not having time to do things you enjoy is that when you do manage to do them, you have a whole new perspective on why you enjoy them.

Most of the things we enjoy are tools our subconscious uses to work out our troubles with life, symbolically.

Here are some things my subconscious has learned from freecell.

1. Focus on where you can move right now. Because sometimes in life the roads are all washed out, things are all blocked up so there is not much that you can do. However, there is always a little wiggle room, so wiggle the hell out of what you’ve got to make room for bigger moves.

2. Sometimes, when things are tough, you will have to use the back button a lot. There are some games where I have to go back to the beginning over and over and then take a break. But when I come back I have fresh eyes, and I can see that it is either totally futile, or that there is indeed a way through.

3. There are times to go all out. Sometimes the smartest thing you can do is max out all your bases. Fill up all the free spaces, especially if you see a way to unfill them just a little bit ahead. It’s risky, but not that risky when you realize that the alternative is stagnation and game over.

4. If you see a way to add in a little more organization, that doesn’t cost you anything, always do it. Sometimes the smallest bit of organization can be what lets you slip through a gap unscathed. Sometimes it’s the smallest bit of lee way, the smallest corner cut, that saves you.

5. Look ahead, but know that your brain is physically incapable of computing most of the possibilities. Savor the planning stage, but then jump in and start moving, and you will find yourself in the midst of possibilities you didn’t forsee.

6. Forget parts that don’t need to be perfect. A king buried under a king at the bottom of a stack doesn’t need to move. Just focus on the fives you can juggle right now and on getting the next six to rest them on. Don’t burden your pretty little head with pieces you can’t control now, or you won’t be able to focus on the move in front of you.

7. Sometimes you have to reassess direction, so when you get stuck on something you have been working on, stop and look around for other areas of your life that need attention, and just focus on getting them to the next step. When all the fives are taken care of, you may suddenly realize to have a chance to help move a two you had forgotten about.

What mindless tasks are you addicted to, and what do they teach you about life?

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  1. Nice post. We definitely learn a thing or two from Freecell.
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