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Article Teaser: I have read all of Amy Tan's books starting with the Joy Luck Club, Kitchen God's Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, and more. Each book carries the reader to the Far East and often, the author mentions people playing the game of Mahjongg, an ancient Chinese game of skill, strategy, and calculation with a certain amount of luck. Hmm...MahJongg... What kind of game is that?

Keep reading below...

Life is Like Mahjongg

Copyright (c) 2010-2017

I have read all of Amy Tan's books starting with the Joy Luck Club, Kitchen God's Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, and more. Each book carries the reader to the Far East and often, the author mentions people playing the game of Mahjongg, an ancient Chinese game of skill, strategy, and calculation with a certain amount of luck. Hmm...MahJongg... What kind of game is that?

As luck would have it, a friend called me and said she had learned to play Mahjongg recently and she invited me to learn how to play. I didn't know anyone who played Mahjongg, no matter how you spell it (Mah-jongg or Mah-jong). I didn't know the game was available in the US.

Reaction and Reflection on Learning Something New

I wondered, do I have time to learn the how to play the game? You know, work vs. play. I wondered, would I catch on or need remedial Mahjongg for the slow learner. I decided to show up for the first learning session out of curiosity. I got hooked and committed to weekly playtime for a 2-hour session. After five sessions, as Professor Higgins would say, "By jove, I think she's got it!" And the added bonus, I made a few new friends and had a few laughs. Just like playing cards, there's an amount of memory, concentration and strategy involved. I think I stimulated a few brain cells!

When is the last time you learned something new?

As a life coach, I tell people I coach clients to get in the game of LIFE and not merely be spectators. I think it's easy to get sidelined in our lives and become spectators rather than participants when we get stressed, get overwhelmed, get older, get complacent in life or work. We think being on the bench will be easier and safe. Yet, I think, most of us want to get reinvolved, but don't want to fail.

As we move from summer learning/activities to fall and winter, what has been on your mind? What has been calling to you? Take some time to sit down, check in with yourself and write it down.

What am I curious about? What have you been thinking about, but put it on the back burner. Remember the movie, The Bucket List? We don't have to wait until we are running out of time. Maybe it's reading a book, joining the church choir, learning to knit, taking an online class, visiting a yoga class, meeting a friend for coffee or trying out snowshoes. Raise the antenna on your life for better reception. Maybe it's about fun/recreation, career, health/exercise, home improvements, relationships with family/friends, or spirituality/personal growth. Life-long learning is a good thing.

What are the Obstacles? Usually it is time, money or fear. These familiar items seem to multiple and feed on each other. Yet, we find ourselves stymied by them time and again. Like a broken record, these items replay in our lives. When we are asked to step up to the plate to learn or try something new, we often find an excuse like:

  • I'm too busy, no time

  • I'm too old

  • I'm not coordinated

  • It's too expensive

  • Other times, we might not want to commit to a schedule or maybe, it's just fear of the unknown or fear of failure. Learning something new does involve risk taking.

    How can we become bigger than the obstacles? How can we shrink the items and regain control rather than let the items control us?

    Gains vs. Losses

    What do you have to gain? A lot. This is about what you value, what you find important, what you find meaning in? If you are resisting and saying "no," you continue to live your life small by sitting on the bench. The excuses become the default in your life.

    Who losses? You. It can become habitual to play life small by letting the obstacles hold you back. Are you happy in this place? Are you fulfilled? Are you tired of the broken record of excuses? Are you ready to regain control?

    I challenge you to try something new, push the envelope for yourself, and move forward. Good luck!


    About The Author: Shop Amazon - Top Gift Ideas
    Barbara Wulf MS, ACC, CPCC, is a Certified Career/Life Coach and writer helping people redesign their career paths by supporting and inspiring them to stretch, seek, and achieve work/life success. Barbara offers career assessments along with resume/cover letter writing and interviewing strategies for impact. Her free monthly e-zine, OWN IT, WORK IT, LIVE IT offers tips for those in career transition and others who strive for more life/career balance and fulfillment at: http://www.beckoncall-coach.com/

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    Internal ID: #7394
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    Word Count: 695

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