In keeping with the theme of my new YA novel THE SECRET KEEPER, I'm going to reveal a secret: the secret to a happy life.
The Yankees beat the Phillies in the World Series this year. The Phillies beat Tampa Bay last year. Que sera sera, obladi obladi, life really does goes on, my friends.
It's fun to root for the home team or your favorite team or the National or American League team. While the game's being played, it should be played full-out with passion, skill, determination - like a child bursting with enthusiasm - and always with the undying belief you can win. You should absolutely stretch yourself farther than you thought possible.
But, at the end of the day, it's just a game.
This holds true for most pursuits in life, at least pursuits of the career or hobby kind. You can throw your hat (heart) over the fence and promise to do anything and everything in your power to follow that hat and one day wear it again with pride, perhaps in a more transformed version (a beret, perhaps?). But, if you never again place that cap upon your head, it's okay. Why? Because you gave it your all and it's just a game. A game very much worth playing, but a game all the same.
And while you're playing full out, don't forget to give yourself an invisible high five.
What games are you playing in life? Do they bring you joy or heartbreak? If you "lost" (i.e. didn't achieve the goal or success you want) would you feel like a failure? How do the ups and downs effect your quality of life? The key is not to let the game wholly define you while giving it everything you've got!
If playing the game is impacting your life in a negative way, you may want to re-think your game plan. Life is short and we should treat ourselves and others with tenderness and kindness. That may mean soul-searching to determine if the game you're playing is the best one for you. If you choose to play, however, play full out! But always remember, it's a game, not a matter of life and death. (Unless your "game" is skydiving or climbing Mt. Everest!)
I'm going through an exciting time in my life. I'm playing the game of writing full out. The danger of playing full out is that, along with extreme highs/successes, there can be extreme lows/failures. But knowing you're playing that kind of game at that level is exhilarating, life-confirming, and soul-manifesting. Right now, there's no other game I'd rather play.
When I look back one day, I'll be able to say I went for it. The "success" or "failure" will be a secondary part of the story and will pale in comparison to the fact that I threw my hat over the proverbial fence and did everything I could to retrieve it.
Play the game you're playing AS IF your life depended on it. Then pat yourself on the back and treat yourself to a long, hot bubble bath, a small shopping spree, or a big-ass slice of chocolate cake.
Challenge yourself to step out on the clouds without knowing where you will land or what the end result will be.
Be in the glorious mystery that is "possibility." This is the secret to a happy life.