My husband and I were very lucky to receive a Wii® as a gift this year. We were very excited as it would give us another option at night besides activities that center on sitting. The first night my husband set up the game, we created our Mii’s (Missy and DanDan), and we bowled for hours. Man, we were unstoppable! When the next night rolled around we were excited to hit the lanes. But the strikes were few and far between. You see the more one plays Wii, the more difficult it gets. The almost perfect roll that yielded a strike the first night was now leaving the seven-ten split.
Being who I am, I tried to improve my game by being more and more precise with my signature move. I can’t say I was making amazing progress but I was determined that improving each element of the move would get me back to strike after strike. Persistence is my motto and I was willing to play game after game making minor corrections each time. My husband on the other hand was not as patient (at least not in this matter). He began to get angry at the game, at himself, and at Nintendo for ever conceiving of such a diabolical pastime. But then my brilliant husband came up with a wonderful idea. Being the engineer that he is, he set up a test lab where we could safely try out new moves, monitor different rolls, and review the results without affecting our standings.
We created two new Mii’s for ourselves, Bruzer and Luzer. My Luzer scores would not affect my Missy standings. It was amazing how freeing this was. Part of my meticulousness was my intention to not have a bad game therefore hurting my overall standings. But it also did not allow me to try new things. I felt I had to use the same throw as the night before because I knew at least I would have acceptable games. Trying something new might result in a bad game and I was not willing to risk it. But what I forgot about was that trying new things may also result in a better score. As Luzer I was free to throw from the other side of the lane. I worked on my curve ball. I tried this throw and that throw. Now when there was a gutter ball, I could laugh. I was just trying and learning. Instead of frustration, difficult spares were now an opportunity to grow. My overall game improved because I was free to try new things and to make mistakes.
It was not until after a few games using our impostor Mii’s that I noticed something else. We were having fun again! There was a lightness to my mood and I experienced the joy of play. As Missy I was concentrating hard on each movement and feeling very rigid, serious, and frustrated. There was no fun in the game and there was really not any freedom in my actions. By taking on that second Wii persona, I loosened up. I was able to smile, laugh, and release the tension in my body and mind. By releasing the tension, my movements and abilities improved. When I released the pressure of perfection, I was free mentally and physically. It wasn’t that I was completely free from responsibility, I was still trying to get all the pins down, but there was not the added pressure of my own psyche attacking me if my scores were not a certain level.
It got me to thinking.
Where in our lives could we benefit from being a different person if only for a day? What could putting on a new persona or just releasing the restrictive parts of our current persona provide for us?
How could letting go of our focus on outcomes allow us to try new things so that we can learn and grow? How far could we reach when we are just having fun versus being ever focused on our progress toward the end result?
How often are we so focused on one way of doing things that we do not see the easy solution in front of us?
We are entering a new year and a new decade. What in your life is working? What is not? For those things you would like to improve, try stepping outside of yourself and having fun finding different possibilities and solutions. Sometimes jumping out of our comfort zone can expose us to new ways to grow and excel. Release your expectations, stop focusing on the outcome, and just enjoy the moment you are in.
Have fun trying, learning, and growing in 2010!