5 Things Angry Birds Has Taught Me About Life

by Linsey Knerl on 29 December 2011 1 comment
Photo: LGEPR

I play Angry Birds. I don’t know too many people with a smart phone who don't. Good or bad, the game is highly addictive, and sometimes I feel guilty about the time spent playing. Other times, however, I realize that it’s time I would have spent zoning out on bad TV or sleeping on a plane. Here are some of the lessons I’ve taken away from playing the nation’s most popular gaming app — and they’re pretty good, if you ask me. (See also: 21 Personal Finance Lessons From Harry Potter)

1. If you don’t succeed, try again. And again. And maybe one more time.

Because the game is like crack-cocaine in how it compels you to keep doing it, I’ll admit to trying a level 100+ times in a row. I can’t think of too many other things that I’ve shown the same commitment to, but for those things that I have kept at until the end, I’ve seen wonderful rewards. If only we could approach our businesses, families, and desires to change the world with the same stubbornness. (I bet things would get better very soon.)

2. It may simply be your approach.

Not sure what you’re doing wrong with an unbeatable level in Angry Birds? It may be that you’re attacking it from (literally) the wrong angle. With life, as well, it may work to try something completely off the wall for your next approach or give it a “throw it and see if it sticks” effort. Even if it’s not the winning play, you may gain some insight into just how you should go about it next time. (“Let’s not try THAT again” is also a useful — even if painful — revelation.)

3. Move on to new things, but revisit ways to sharpen your existing skills.

I love trying new experiences, but I haven’t abandoned those pursuits that I’ve kept with me since childhood. Just like in the game, you are allowed to move to new levels once you’ve passed the previous; it’s very rewarding, however, to go back and master older levels to attain those coveted three gold stars. Whether it’s piano playing or snowboarding, I highly recommend taking a trip back to old talents to see how you can polish them up.

4. You don’t have to do it alone.

It’s amazing how all it usually takes for me to pass a difficult level is to leave my iPad 2 on the living room couch for my husband or 8-year-old to find. I can come back a day later guaranteed that the code will be cracked. It’s not that they are smarter (they also leave levels for me to assist with); more likely they have that unique perspective and fresh approach that I was lacking on that particular day. Handing life’s troubles off for a time to someone less frazzled works; don’t be afraid to call in reinforcements.

5. Someone will always be better than you.

I’ve learned not to obsess about getting a high score in my house or the online Angry Birds community. Life works in the same way for me; there will always be a better blogger, piano player, drummer, and marketer. But I can take peace in focusing on my score in the game and the real world by tuning out what others are doing. (You really can’t be happy measuring yourself against others all the time.)

Angry Birds is just a game, but it is crazy good fun. It also resembles so many things that I deal with on a daily basis as a mom of five and a small business owner

What games do you enjoy that have taught you real-world lessons?

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Interesting perspective! I will keep these thoughts in mind when my 8 year old is whooping me at Angry Birds!