I was playing SkipBo with my family, and none of them had ever played it before. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a card game, and it was fun for the ten-year old all the way up to the seventy-two year old in my family, so I would recommend it.

Anyway, since I was the only one who had previously played it, it was kind of my job to make sure that people were making good choices. At the beginning of the game, I’d offer up more support, but by the end of the game, I just went ahead and let them make mistakes. I would point out the mistakes afterwards as a reminder on what other options they had, but not while they could still correct their mistakes and make more of their turn. I mean, I wanted to win the game, so why would I keep helping the competition?

At the beginning of the game, I would say specific things that they could do or what they needed to look for, but the most common phrase I offered during the middle of the game was “what is your goal?” There are so many different moves that they were capable of making during their turn, but would those have benefited in the long run? If they played a card before looking to see what they had or what they needed to play, sometimes those moves could prevent them from getting rid of the card that was supposed to be their target.

This got me thinking past the game table to real life. So often we see what things we can do right now, but forget what our goal is. Even though you can do something, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Sometimes you have to hold on to it. Sometimes you simply have to wait. Sometimes you have to stop and re-evaluate before making a move.

Keep your focus on what your goal is, and do what will help you get there.

Do you know your goal? What are you trying to do? How will you know if you’ve been successful, if you don’t know what you’re working towards?

I often get so focused on seeing what I can do, or which cards I can play, that I forget what my goal is. Sometimes I’m so eager to be participating, that I forget to even have a goal. I need to work harder on this because I know that I feel so much more fulfilled when I have a focus of some sort.

Personally, I need checklists to keep me focused on what needs to happen, to make sure I know what my goals are. Don’t walk blindly through life. Find your focus and let your actions and decisions lead you there. Why are you doing what you’re doing? Does it serve a purpose?

I know you’re all curious now as to the results of the game. I can confidently tell you that my goal was met. I was such a fantastic teacher that one of the other players won the game. I’m so awesome.

MOH-Amahl (2)

Teri Gray

Teri has a bachelors degree in German and Mathematics and a master's degree in Education. She spent eight years teaching at Boys Town High School for at-risk youth before moving to Germany, where her husband was stationed with the military for almost five years. She has three children 10, 5, and 3. Teri knew everything there was about parenting before she had her second child, who continues to shatter every mold ever created and test her on a daily basis. Teri hails from Omaha, Nebraska, but currently resides in the Seattle area. Her favorite forms of therapy are baking, cooking, and running. Honesty and hilarity are integral parts of her personality.