My family played a lot of Boggle growing up. We still do. I feel like my vocabulary should be better, but I did pretty well just concentrating on small words and then doubling my score by making everything plural. I don’t want to brag, but I know a lot of four letter words! (also three and five letter words…)
If you’ve never played Boggle, it’s a game with large dice that have letters on them and they sit in a grid-like tray. You put the top on the tray and shake it up, making an awful racket, and then you have to sit and stare at it for a minute writing down as many words as you can find. Sometimes there were rounds where there was only one vowel and the consonants were made up of Z’s, X’s, and Q’s. Those were tough! Sitting there, pen poised over your blank piece of paper and finding absolutely nothing to write down.
Some rounds would start off well, but then it seemed like all the words were found and there you are, sitting there – chewing on your pen and sweating out the draining plastic sand timer.
The funny thing about Boggle is that you can stare at those letters and think as hard as you want and find nothing, but then spin the tray around so you see it in from another viewpoint and suddenly words are jumping out so fast you can’t write them all down before time runs out.
Perspective Is Everything.
Life is a giant Boggle game. Sometimes you shake it up and all you get are Z’s and Q’s and you think – what am I going to do with this? It’s impossible! Sometimes you feel a rush of opportunity that excites you for the future – all those words right there out in front! and then suddenly they all drop off and then..nothing. Nothing at all.
Even worse, you can sit there writing nothing and notice that the person next to you has a list a page long. Nothing blocks your brain from finding words not finding your purpose faster than suddenly comparing yourself to the person near you!
You can sit and stare at the letters and wait for something to change, or you can spin the tray. How often have you waited for an opportunity, or for someone else to make a move, or for the person you’re frustrated with to come to you and explain themselves? How often do we use the excuse of being stuck as a safe place? How often do we allow ourselves to sit in negativity, complaining or feeling hopeless – completely blocking out our ability to see the positive side of things?
Spin. The. Tray.
I catch myself as a parent, coach, wife, leader, writer, or speaker feeling like I don’t particularly care for the view from where I am. Maybe I’m not succeeding or accomplishing what I think I should be. Perhaps I’m not happy with whatever my current situation is. But I’m either waiting for things to change first so that I can act or I’m too focused on what I don’t like to see anything else. Everyday I’m reminded by the events and experiences of people around me that my perspective can be drastically changed in an instant just by making the choice to see it in another light or truly realize what’s important and valuable.
I control the tray – aka my perspective. I don’t control what’s put in my tray but I can turn it and see it from every angle.
I control how I approach things- what I can give, and what I can try to learn from them. And when I’ve come at it from every angle – it’s time to shake up those letters and look again.
Boggle, er I mean, Play On!! 😀