Good Wednesday morning. I want us to think of the great game that many families bond over so much. I know in my family, it could be a blood match when we start playing Monopoly. Many times over the years of family gatherings we have played a game of Monopoly, and it must start early in the day. Don’t even bother trying to get us away from the game. You have to have a partner you trust, who has an interest in you not losing. Bathroom breaks, food, drinks and sometimes sleep are all taken at your own risk. But it is a great time every time.
Did you ever notice that when you play with another family the rules can be a little different? It seems the rules that are included with the game have ways of changing when you play with different people. In our family, we would make deals to get a block of properties that could include everything from “If you’ll bring some food back you can land on any of my properties for free.” It is the value of these deals that makes the winners in our family rules.
But no matter who you are, there is one rule that is not in the game but almost everyone I know plays by this rule: Free parking. In the game of monopoly the free parking place is just a place to stop for free, no worries of high rent, no fines to pay, no chance of a tax. Almost every family I’ve played with over the years collects all the money from taxes and fees and the money goes into a pot that you collect like a lottery if you land on Free Parking.
Well I want us to think of this with respect to our theme this week of life as a game. How often have you set up your rules to make it so you have a bonus every now and then? Imagine as part of your game in life that you set up something that would give you a bonus. Imagine taking all of your spare change each day and putting it in a jar at home, saving it all year and then on New Year’s Day you have a party with all the money. Well you could set a rule for saving change like this: every time you make a purchase with cash, you must only pay with bills and put the change in your bowl at the end of the day.
Or imagine you are trying to discipline yourself to reach a new goal. This involves you having to develop new habits. You set up a reward when you reach stages along the way that are getting you to your goal. Well the rule would be to set the reward before you start a certain stage and keep it that way. For myself, I’m working towards saving my money to pay for my new iPhone and trying really hard to wait till the iPhone 5 comes out. I will buy the iPhone 4 when the 5 comes out. It’s my way of getting the upgrade but still living within my budget.
In life we have many ways to set rules for our own game of life, but remember when you set the rules for your game, they are for your game. When you move to play with others in their game you must all agree on the rules. Just like the game of monopoly; the rules from family to family may change and when two families play together; they must agree on which rules to follow. To end today I want to give you a little gem that my friend, Janet Tingwald, sent me, called “The Rules for Being Human.”
The Rules for Being Human, author unknown
1. You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it will be yours for the entire period.
2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in an informal school called Life. Each day in this school, you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant and stupid.
3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trial and error. The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately “works.”
4. A lesson is repeated until learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. You can then go on to the next lesson.
5. Learning lessons does not end. There is no part of life that does not contain its lessons. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.
6. “There” is no better than “here.” When your “there” has become a “here,” you will simply obtain another “there” that will again look better than “here.”
7. Others are merely mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects something you either love or hate about yourself.
8. What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.
9. Your answers lie inside you. The answers to Life’s questions lie inside you. All you need to do is look, listen and trust.
10. You will forget all this.
I like these rules because they give me the feeling I’m human and its going to be alright. So have a great day and live by your own rules.
I’m Tim Gillette, the Rocker Life Coach. It’s time for you to live the life you always wanted, to love what you do and those you share life with. Set your own rules to become a RockStar in your world.