After a long time, the other day, my friends and I went bowling. And I started to think to myself that Life is a lot like bowling.
Bowling is a team sport just like life. In bowling, sometimes the best players struggle, and others that were less likely to do well, surprise you and make all the difference. This is one of my favourite lessons: focusing on someone else’s score doesn’t make yours any better.
It’s easy to get distracted by how well someone else is playing. You see their score go up, they bowl a strike or a spare. And you’re calculating in your mind what you think that could be. But all that does is it distracts you from your game.
Similarly, in life, focusing on someone else’s Instagram grid doesn’t make yours any better. Focusing on what someone else is doing for work or what they’re driving doesn’t make yours any better. Focus on yourself, focus on your own role, your strengths, that will make all the difference.
And that leads us nicely to the next lesson: There’s different ways to play the game.
Some people spin the ball, some people go for a straight, direct roll, some people use two or three fingers, the list continues. The truth is, it’s exactly the same in our lives. You will see some people succeed in a certain way. And others doing it completely differently.
The goal is to find your way. Your method. Your approach. The direction that works for you. Without trying to copy, mimic, or imitate someone else.
And we’ve all experienced this, sometimes your ball ends up in the gutter. I’m sure you’ve had that before, sometimes your throw was completely out of control and your ball went directly into the gutter. Or maybe sometimes you actually felt well-prepared and confident, but the ball still ended up in the gutter.
In life, just like that ball, sometimes we feel we’re in the gutter. But there’s something to learn from that. And just like the ball comes back, when we learn through our experience, we get another opportunity to improve, another opportunity to try, another opportunity to succeed. As Oscar Wilde said, “All of us are in the gutter, but some of us are looking up at the stars.”
Sometimes, you hit a spare. You threw your best shot, you got the angle perfectly right, you prepared with everything you had, and that one pin is still up there. Sometimes, despite our best efforts in life, we don’t get what we want. Not everything aligns. Everything doesn’t go to plan. Life is a lot like bowling, keep your eyes on the ball, your concentration in the game, and your mind out of the gutter.
And in the end we realize, we have to be just like that bowling pin. No matter how hard we’re hit by life, no matter how hard we’re hit by others, we have to keep stepping back up.