The game is apparently called, ZOMBIE, and as I worked in our yard toward the end of the day a rather energetic game broke out. The object of the game was a little fuzzy for me because it seemed to constantly evolve. Regardless, the kids were thoroughly enjoying themselves and I couldn’t avoid a life lesson of my own.
My son was having a sleep over with couple of friends and the fun spilled outside where I had been picking up and burning sticks from a recent windstorm. Close behind the boys were the younger sister and even younger girl cousin making their presence known and leaving no doubt that they would be part of the game.
One friend yelled, “I’ll start off as the zombie!” to which the others all agreed. “Yeah, Logan can be the zombie and he has to touch us to turn us into zombies too.”
As the present adult, it was important for me to hear the rules so I could intervene and officiate when needed. I tended my little fire and noted, “Logan is the zombie and he has to touch the others.” Ok, good. I’ll make sure they stick to it and keep it fair.
About 30 seconds later, a large rubber ball was introduced as a means of touching each other and they never missed a beat. In fact, the zombie “avoiders” could also use it to take out the zombie. That didn’t seem quite fair to me so I got ready to interject when a voice popped up, “There are too many of us to attack one zombie. The zombie gets 20 lives!”
“Ok, yeah, the sounds great,” the others agreed.
“Wow,” I thought, “the zombie has it made.” Then he threw in, “And you guys can revive each other four times each and yourself one time, but you have to do it within five seconds of me touching you.”
“Okay!” in unison.
During the next 15 minutes of play, they introduced no less than 14 rules or changes, two bases, and only slowed down once to have a quick drink break. In the meantime, my head was going crazy! I was absolutely loving what I was watching and the implications it could have in our lives.
These kids ranged from 4-11, boys and girls, friends and family. There wasn’t a bit of rehearsal and they flowed through a game that was a simple or complex as they decided to make it at any given moment. Any time a conflict appeared, they changed the rules to make it better for everyone. Each time one gained a significant advantage, they made sure to rebalance the field to keep everyone engaged.
It’s almost as if the idea of finishing with a clear winner was less important than the actual playing of the game… what a novel concept.
How many of us go through great pains to play by the rules? Ever stop to ask, who made them?
Have you ever seen an opportunity to do something different but resisted because it would against the rules? Nevermind that you and others benefit dramatically. Rules are rules.
I want to challenge us all, myself included, to challenge the rules. Why not make up some new ones as you go along? Add and subtract a few to keep things going and allow us to enjoy the game itself with a little less emphasis on who finishes on top. Why not spend more time engaged in the process?
We don’t sing songs to finish them. Playing the game is much more fun than reading the score.
Look for rules that help you enjoy the game… aka: life. What rules are binding you right now? Who made them? Who do they benefit? Does there need to be a change?
Most of the rules we play by as adults don’t really exist. They were put on us by someone else is a totally different environment or we put them on ourselves to fit in. Scrape them off and see what really needs to be in place.
Feel a little overwhelming? Do this: identify one rule or belief you can change or get rid of… then do it! The feeling of independence might be so amazing you’ll look for more. Make your own rules and live full out! Don’t be a zombie.
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PJ McClure helps aspiring entrepreneurs to multi-million dollar business owners destroy roadblocks and seize opportunities to achieve their ideal vision of success. He is an award-winning speaker and the best-selling author of Flip the SWITCH: How to Turn On and Turn Up Your Mindset and Unlock Your Life: How to go beyond Time-Management to the Life of Your Dreams. You can download a copy of Flip the SWITCH for Free by clicking here.