Wednesday, October 27, 2010

New Beginnings or Stop Discussing the Game & Play It!

Memories: A photogram calendar shellseye Etsy

When I was in college, I hung out with a group of science fiction & fantasy fans called, if I can remember the full group name correctly "The U of A Science Fiction & Fantasy Film Club." We did a lot of discussing of a variety of things: films, books, writers, characters, costumes, science & games. Now, most of these discussions were long, involved, animated & quite detailed, discussed from every possible angle, pros & cons, good & bad, each detail gone over with a fine tooth comb. Films & books were picked apart & put back together again, any inconsistency noted & inspected for believability. We were able to screen films many of them borrowed from the University library or rented, through catalogs, for a fairly small fee. We went to conventions, some of us in costume, some not, spending time roaming the halls , looking for other like minded groups to join, other discussions to take part in & maybe a game or two to take part in or just a party to join. We'd discuss strategy or if we were bored, even shook up a game or two with random & chaotic acts, to make it more interesting.
So, you may be wondering, what does all this have to do with business or crafting or well, anything? I'm glad you asked! We loved playing games. No, not video games or board games or ...We played RPGs. Yes, role playing games, science fiction & fantasy related games.  Games of strategy & interaction, heavily anticipated & often talked about before any playing actually occurred. It's one of these discussions that is the subject of this post. I remember it well & the reason I remember it so well was that it was discussed over & over again, on a daily basis for several weeks, endless variations of the game, kind of a 'well, if you do this, I'll do that, then he'll be forced to... ' It was repeated so often, that I could leave & come back the next day to what seemed like exactly the same discussion, virtually word for word. The discussion became predictable & when the game was actually played there was no excitement, nothing was new, it had already been played out, verbally & there was no reason to actually play the game. I warned them that this would happen, but did they listen? No. They said the game wasn't ready or they weren't ready or something. They didn't want to tell me the end result & yes, I really did tell them 'I told you so.'
This can happen in life & business, we get so wrapped up in endless 'if/then' (thought I'd add a bit of geekery into the mix ;) loops that we become paralyzed with possible consequences & we're afraid to play the game, we forget that there's a randomness, in life, that changes everything adds possibilities & makes the game worth playing. We need spend less time going through the possibilities & move to the action stage, before the complacency sets in & we become locked in inaction. Don't get me wrong, there's definitely a place for planning & structure, chaos isn't desirable either, especially not in business. At some point, though we need to move to the action stage, away from the fear of what if. There's the possibility of not succeeding, but we learn from those moments, they make us better & we can't think them away, no matter how hard we try.  If we get stuck in the planning stage, if we never try, then we can never succeed & we also never have the fun of trying :)
So I'll say now what I said then: "Stop discussing the game & play it!" In the end, it'll be far more worthwhile & you'll be surprised  by the results, no matter what they are... SAM

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