Article by Wendy McCance
I am a huge fan of Sudoku. I usually play at least one game daily while waiting in the car to pick up my child from school. I also play a game when I feel burnt out and just want to focus on one thing instead of having my mind whirl overloaded with thoughts.
I am actually quite good at the game. I can do challenger level puzzles on occasion and the hard puzzles are the lowest level I ever attempt anymore.
I have learned some things about myself from the time I spend playing the game. What I have realized is that the lessons I learned could be perfectly applied to how I take care of business. With an arsenal of new knowledge, I have been able to avoid many mistakes or at least catch myself when I begin to go down the wrong path.
Here is what I learned:
- I found out that I tend to rush when I am feeling confident. These are the times when a mistake is bound to be made.
- There would be times where I couldn’t see the answer to the puzzle and would just give up on it. Now I hear that voice saying there is nothing more that can be done and don’t accept it. I’ve done the hard puzzles before. I can do them again.
- When I can’t find a solution I put down the puzzle and come back to it later. It’s amazing what I see with fresh eyes that I couldn’t see when I began to feel frustrated.
- I have practiced the puzzles long enough that I can see the little details that I didn’t know existed before. There are tricks that can be used to solve the puzzle. The more I practice the sharper I continue to become.
- I have gained confidence from fine-tuning the game. The more I play, the further ahead I get in comparison to others who play the same game. I like to stand out and feel I have abilities that stand out from all of the practice I have done.
- I remember when I first started playing Sudoku’s. The easy puzzles were so difficult for me. I couldn’t believe people could do anything besides the easiest puzzle. Now I play the hardest puzzles offered and get bored with the easier ones. I never made it a goal to get to the top-level, I just enjoyed the game which in turn propelled me forward.
I learned that you get farther when you enjoy what you are doing because it doesn’t feel like work. This is how I feel about my writing career. I find I will do things that move me forward that I happened to try out just because it interested me, not because I had some grand plan on getting further along in my writing career. A good majority of my success has come to me in that form. Interest guides me along and creates new opportunity.
Sudoku has taught me invaluable new skills.
1. Pay attention to that inner voice. Squash out those negative thoughts because they will just hold you back.
2. Don’t give up, just take a break when you feel overwhelmed. You will come back with a fresh perspective.
3. Realize that when you feel you are moving too fast, mistakes will be made. Learn to gauge when you tend to move quickly and slow down.
4. Practice really does make your skills more perfect. Practice often to polish your skills.
5. Do what you love. If you work at what you love, you will find yourself working harder, better and becoming more creative. You will have a tendency to try unusual methods and think outside of the box because you are enjoying what you are doing and it just naturally occurs.
I have found that when you slow down and really pay attention to the way you handle yourself in different situations, even when playing a game, you can gain some incredibly insightful information about the way you work.
To contact Wendy McCance about a writing assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: [email protected]
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