Game Night

Many years ago I worked at an internet geography company as a software developer. There was a woman there who said to me in conversation something to the effect that if you intend for things to happen to you, they will. This was about eleven years ago and while people do on occasion mention things like the law of attraction now in my recollection this was very rare back then. It would have been a few years after the book ‘the secret’ came out. The woman left her position later that week.

Several years later I had reached out to a friend of mine that I worked with at a job even previous to the geography company. I received an invitation to a game night hosted by an investment company and asked my friend if he wanted to go, and he joined me. The game was like monopoly with a board where players would roll dice to move positions with the goal of earning enough game money to retire and win the game. This was supposed to be a metaphor for win the game of life. The distinction in this game from monopoly was that all of the money earning activities were very specific deals and they required each player to keep a ledger to balance cash flow and expenses. Mid way though the game I apologized for bringing him to what felt to me like a math party. It was just hours of number crunching and weighing strategy for buying and selling assets and business as we each took turns moving our player pieces around the board. He seemed to accept it for what it was and didn’t show any sign of regret.

All in all it was a really meh evening from my point of view however at the end of the game the results surprised me. My friend who was suffering from pretty high student loans, a separation from his girlfriend and a drastic drop in the value of their condo they could not sell, coincidently suffered the worst luck in the game. Every turn he would get a bad roll or a bad deal and for the several hours we played he never had a chance to accumulate enough capital to really participate. It was a really crappy game for him, and I recall him saying, “story of my life” and laughed it off.

Then I noticed that same woman I used to work with at the geography company there at another table with her husband. She was so pleased by the results she told the hosts and said ‘I had a baby in the game and I’m having a baby in real life!’. She then showed off her belly to prove it. It was clear to me how everyone was seeing game results that reflected their lives. My game bothered me though. Unlike my friend I didn’t have bad luck, I did earn enough to play the game but I was too conservative and before I knew it the evening was over and I missed my chance to win it all. For me at the time this was also true in my real life. I was doing ok, working hard at work and side businesses but not winning it all.

This observation I had that night seems to be what the opposite side of law of attraction looks like. Where one side is pushing outwardly a desired idea or feeling and seeing it come back the other is simply observing all of the different parts of your experience as they reflect back to you what you have been thinking and to some degree who you are as a person.

Looking back now I am ok with the way I played the game of life. While I didn’t win it all in the short timeframe the game took place it certainly paid off in the end. I will write more about that another day.