9 things I learned about life from playing Candy Crush.
I play Candy Crush. I don’t play to move forward, for me it’s a sort of meditation, so I often repeat the same level just to reach a higher score or finish it faster… I enjoy it because it’s a beautifully made game of luck and skill
Life is also a game of luck and skill.
Life also has “levels”, taking weeks or even months, and “episodes” spanning years of our lives. The criteria for “Winning” in life’s levels, just like in the game, changes — it can be about personal goals, money, happiness, relationships , health— but it’s always a combination of luck (a billion parameters we can’t control or see), and skill (the decisions we make at every junction).
Playing the same levels over and over, gave me a “statistical” overview of what it means to play a game of luck and skill and WIN. I’m not talking about moving to the next level, I’m talking about crushing it!
So here we go:
1. To really WIN, You MUST concentrate.
This is a simple one… if you don’t focus on the game — you can’t win. You can move forward, but not really win. It doesn’t matter how lucky you are. Doesn’t matter how amazing you first step was. You can only really win big, if you’re in the flow, in the zone, focused 100% on the game.
2. To really WIN, You need a strategy.
Without a plan of HOW you’re going to do really well, you’re just running around like a headless chicken. To win — you need a strategy. The game may feel great in the beginning, but about halfway through the level, you will look at the score realize you have already lost.
3. You get better results when you don’t constantly look at the score.
This is statistically proven :) If you look at the scoreboard after every move, you are more likely to loose.
That said, if you don’t look at the score board at all, you are also more likely to loose.
The best approach is to define mile stones — around one every quarter of the level, to make sure you’re on track.
We all heard about the how the greatest, most successful entrepreneurs are not “in it for the money”, they have a bigger picture. Apparently, it’s true.
4. You CAN create your own luck
Luck is very often misunderstood. We do actually create our own luck.
If you didn’t make an effort to prepare your board in advance, than any candy that falls from above is random — it may be good or bad.
But, if you did manage to arrange your board nicely, let’s say somehow you managed to leave mostly yellow candies are on the screen, then any yellow candy falling from the sky — is lucky.
When you prepare, luck becomes a statistical certainty.
5. Always look for the unexpected.
And this is the exact opposite of the previous point…
The most basic mistake you can make, is to focus on one play, one plan, and completely miss a perfect opening, when it opens up in another part of the board, just in front of your eyes.
In a game of skill and luck, we must never underestimate the unexpected.
6. You can’t ALWAYS get what you want.
You can’t build a plan expecting to have all the luck, all the time. Statistics doesn’t work this way. You should plan for a few lucky breaks, but its rare to have everything go exactly to plan, with all the luckiest outcomes, from start to finish- so don’t build a plan that relies on it.
7. Sometimes the only way to get out of a very bad position is to break things down.
If you find yourself in a position where you have no moves that will take you any closer to winning. Make some noise. Change things around, rearrange the board. Break the rules and restart the level. If you don’t, you’ve lost already.
8. There are no miracles. Until you make one.
If you find yourself half way through the level, and you’re not winning. It is true that you are most likely to loose. However, in a game of skill and luck, you just need one great move to take you through the finish line. Focus, keep fighting, because there are no miracles. Until you make one happen.
9. When things go well, they go GREAT
This is a phenomena that I struggled to explain, but felt it very clearly:
Sometimes, when things go well in a level, they don’t just go well, they go AMAZINGLY well. It’s sometimes hard to understand how all the great combinations happen in one level of the game, while on other levels things are so much more difficult.
My explanation is simple, when things do go so amazingly well, it’s usually after numerous previous attempts, at exactly the right time, and with the player being in the most focused and skilled mode — it seems easy, but it’s the result of a lot of training, hard work and know-how.
It reminds me a bit of the start up world I come from. We see super successful “unicorn” companies, and we tend to forget (or be unaware of) just how much work, talent, perseverance, and years of sweat and tears went into creating that break-through moment. King, the company behind Candy Crush, is a great example.
This was written at 2am, waiting for the 2nd presidential debate to start, so I still have no idea why I wrote it… :)