“Life is not a matter of having good cards…

card, wallet, originally uploaded by myong_joon.

…but of playing a poor hand well.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

There are times in my life when I’ve been able to live by this, and other times I haven’t.

For me, recently, I really, consciously realised what this quote meant for me and its potential implications and impact on my life in a practical way.

Having spent many previous year in different forms of counselling and therapy trying to come to terms with certain things that have happened in my life, I still found that underneath it all, was a persistent anger, a rage of unfairness, that things truly weren’t fair that I’d gone through all the things I had, when other people I knew hadn’t been through even half as much.

Ah, the unjustness of it all! It was just too much

Using the metaphor of a game of cards could be really useful to me.

The cards representing the things I’d got in life. The things and events which were out of my control and had a huge impact on me, especially in my childhood.

The dealer, representing, Life, The Universe, God, a Higher Power, who or whatever I held responsible for handing these events out to me.

Now, for years, in many ways, I’ve looked at my cards, examined them, talked about them with others, thought about the impact they had on me, often hoping that they’ll change in some way. That my number Five and Seven cards would transform into a Jack and Ace, so that I could win at the game. But alas, this was not the case.

Then the next strategy was to complain and plead with the Dealer. Maybe the Dealer could do something. Maybe the dealer knew why I’d got the cards I had and if I shouted at the Dealer enough, they could give me some new cars and replace the past events for something new.

“Maybe”, I thought, “The Dealer’s holding a grudge against me for something I’ve done wrong.” I thought that if I could work out what it was and find ways to appease the Dealer, then my cards would magically change into more useful ones.

My forth strategy was to try and forget about the cards. I’d continue playing the game, going through the motions, hiding and ignoring the cards under the table in the hope that no one would notice my cards were missing. This didn’t turn out well, as when it came to my turn, I had nothing to contribute.

The next strategy was to bluff my way through using the art of Modelling. I could study and model someone who’d received a better hand than me, copy what they were doing and bluff my way through the game. I could pretend I also had number Two and Four cards. This only worked for a short time, as in the end, it raised my anxiety level, due to fear that I’d be “found out” by the other players they’d really know that in my hand I had a Five and a Seven.

What I began to realise was that all these things were getting in the way of me making the most of the cards I’d got. Hence the affinity with the quote…, “Life is not a matter of having good cards,
but of playing a poor hand well. “

For me now, it’s about accepting that, yes, I got dealt a poor hand. I’d even say a really crappy hand, and just like in a card game, what the Dealer deals (unless they’re crooked!), is the luck of the draw, dependant on so many factors, so I don’t have to take it personally anymore. I don’t even have to justify to myself why what happened to me happened.

My job now is to look at my cards, focus on the objective and aim of the game and play my heart out. Because just like a Blackjack/Pontoon player, with number Five and Seven cards can win with a, “Five Card Trick”, it’s down to me to play my game well with the cards I’ve been dealt.

(c) Prosperity X

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Published in: on January 18, 2010 at 6:45 am  Leave a Comment  
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I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want….

Chris Howard - Breakthrough To Success

I’ve been feeling very stuck over the past few weeks, knowing that I wanted to change jobs and develop my career, but unsure of what to do and how to do it.

And then it struck me.

After weeks of constantly thinking about what jobs I should do, talking to friends, utilizing different self-help techniques etc, I saw a picture, embedded in a website which I was looking at for another reason.  The moment I saw this picture, the whole of my mind, body and soul “said”, “Yes.  That’s what I’m meant to be doing”.

From that moment, my mind, having felt cloudy, confused and foggy for days, suddenly felt clear.  Even my body language and breathing changed.  I went from depressed to elated in 0.5 seconds!

This is what happens when you’re connected and in contact with your true desires.

Many years ago, whilst participating in a course, I came across an exercise which encouraged just that.

The instructions were clear.  Take a magazine/newspaper (one that is no longer needed) and take 5 minutes to go through it quickly and cut our any words or pictures that you feel drawn to.  Do it quickly, the quicker the better, giving less time to think about it.

When the 5 minutes are up, arrange the words and pictures on a piece of paper and stick them down.

Over the years, I’ve done this exercise a few times, and what I’ve found, each and every time, is that things been drawn to, weren’t always the things that I thought I wanted or thought I could have.   And I’ve been amazed at how certain things from those collages have transpired and materialized in my life.

This is the time of year when so many people make resolutions to start new things and stop old things.  Lots start off with strong motivation, but after a month or two, even a week or two, the motivation fades and they either go back to doing what they used to do, or stop doing the new thing they’ve begun.

I believe that a lot of this has to do with choosing to do, or give up things that aren’t right for them.  The fact is, if changes are made which at some level you don’t really want and the goal you work towards isn’t YOUR own goal, but someone else’s, you’re destined to either fail or succeed whilst feeling miserable and empty.

The only true success, is when it’s of your own design.

So I invite you, if you wish, to try the above exercise, and see how it works out for you.  Maybe you’ll be surprised to find out what you truly want.

I’d love you to let me know how you get on.

And as for my picture…. there it is, above!

Prosperity x

Published in: on January 6, 2010 at 7:30 am  Comments (3)  
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