The Yeti. Perhaps they come to mind because it’s the dead of winter here in Michigan and they seem to be the only beings still capable of surviving. Or maybe because they are (come on, admit it) cool mysterious creatures with a cool mysterious name. But most likely, I am thinking of them today because of Terra Mystica.
TM as it’s known, trademarked or not, is a board game that people like me (nerds unite!) like to play. It’s my favorite actually, a perfect way to really give your brain unendingly fun and diverse workouts while socializing with several people at the same time. That, and you get to play as the Yeti if your heart desires. Mine recently did.
But aside from Amazon actually paying me $12 to get the game new, I appreciate TM for another important reason. It seems to not only teach how make the best of Sasquatchian domination, but also key ways to make the best out of life-even for non-fictional humans, including those who believe the Yeti really are out there.
When you inevitably fall in love with TM-no, I don’t get paid for promoting it-there are four tips to remember for success that to me have had broader implications as well…
1. You gotta have an intentional plan to use every bit of who you are to the best of your ability (Click to tweet).
There are 20 different types of beings in the most expansive version of TM, and each has different passions, talents, influences, and resources. If you decide to take the time to seriously consider how your type’s abilities can be used to interact with other types and with the diverse world TM is set in, you’ll be off to an incredible start! The same is true for you with others in our world. Step out of your everyday existence every 6 months to analyze the experiences, abilities, time, and resources your whole life has given you to offer, and you’ll set out on the best path to tread too: being intentional about being who God created you to be now, not complacently hoping life will someday maybe figure that out for you.
2. Maximizing your bonuses is crucial.
There are scads of ways to score extra points here and there in TM, and if you don’t learn when they occur or how to take advantage of them, you will lose…by a lot. You understand more as you play of course, but you use what you learn to decrease what still remains. Whether your real-life bonuses are a financial bonus, sociability, street smarts, physical attractiveness, humor, a title/position, empathy, an unexpected invitation or opportunity, etc., think about how to use them well-not for your best through conceit or manipulation but to be your best for the benefit of others, as God intended.
3. Leave nothing to chance, but look for opportunity in change.
One of my favorite aspects of TM is that both the game and its players are meant to minimize luck. This provides everyone with more equality and control. However, as in real life, the people and places in TM constantly change, so there are always surprises that can be tremendous blessings or tedious barricades. If you react poorly, you fall behind and gain enemies; if you react productively, you overcome and gain allies. The first two tips help you maximize what you control and minimize luck in life. This tip is the key to both expecting what intangibles remain and then using them the best you can to be the best you are. I wish I could say I’ve mastered this more in real life than in TM…I’m getting better but have a ways to go. Care to join me?
4. Don’t ever forget you have help that is often unseen.
Toward the end of a game of TM, I frequently am able to look back and see how certain events came together in ways I never could have foreseen to produce a large percentage of my final score. A decision an opponent unwittingly made, the multiplicative effect of combining abilities and bonuses better than expected, or simply the game itself offering ways to benefit you unseen until the very end all significantly influence where your type of being ends up. I suppose an element of luck in all of this must be considered, but in real life there is an intentionally insistent unseen help to guide how much we get and give out of life: God. After all, it shouldn’t surprise you that your Creator would want you to reach nothing less than the full potential he created you with for the greatest good to the most people (Click to tweet). He realizes you have to want that too, which is why the first two tips are important. But he is always working-even if it need be against you or through adversity-to himself tip the balance toward that end. Although he might not bother with applying that to my success in TM, I have learned in real life to consider that as one of his greatest qualities and one of my greatest comforts.
So there you have it, I guess life is a bit of a game after all, one to be intentional about even as you enjoy its relationships. I hope my game within a game offered something to take with you as it did me. For many more questions and considerations about how God and humans figure out life together, check out my book series Healing Hereafter, which you can download free and instantly here! For more questions and considerations about Yeti…why not? 🙂