You can turn your hardships–even your responsibilities—into a fun game; make that game one where you turn the bad into good, or you seek to make things better through noble action, or you simply look to the bright side. You score points in that game when your thoughts and actions lead to happiness and love, and that means you win.
But what are some ways to turn hardships into fun games?
If you’re exhausted and need to rest, savor that rest with a smile on your face, lapping up the comfort of your quilt or of the pillow against your cheeks. Dwell on even the tiniest sensation of comfort. Try to recreate the positive sensations over and over again, long after your rest period is over.
During struggles at work, sit up straight, smile, even speak out loud your next moves. Take action on pressing issues. Prioritize the acts with the biggest results. But do it all with a smile and frequent laughter. Give yourself points for every high-performance minute.
If someone you love hates you, respond with love and service, always seeing that person for their strengths, never their faults. Map out how you can give your all to that person, never wincing at their slightest unkind word. You earn kudos for every moment of love you give, whether or not your love is received in kind. (I believe the purpose of life is to learn how to love all others no matter how badly they may treat us.)
If someone slights you, don’t take offense. Instead shower them with bursts of love. Make it a game where every slight is met with a smile and gentle laughter. Don’t dwell on the slight for even a second. Your prize will be the harmonious relationships you create.
If you have a weakness, tend to it with love. For example, if your addiction to chocolate is threatening to send you a bill from the dentist, make a game out of it. Quit chocolate. Offer to give back rubs to a loved one for a month if you break down and eat chocolate. What better way to quit an addiction than through play?
Even if undergoing caffeine withdrawal, do so with joy. Promise your friend a gift if you fail to quit caffeine for a full year. And make it a gift they’d love. Take pleasure in abstaining.
If you want to lose weight, post pictures of your toes on the scale every week. For every five pounds you lose, post a picture of yourself trying on a fancy dress or suit. No need to buy.
If you arrive on your deathbed, do so with a smile and a heart full of love. A smile and a burst of love do not need a reason. You can manufacture both in a flash, without cause but your own volition.
While on your deathbed, make a game out of how many people, including enemies, to whom you can send out thoughts of love, instantly letting go of any grudges. Try to succeed at giving love to every single person that comes to mind. What better way to leave this world than with a heart full of love? Better yet, do this exercise every day, starting today.
The saying “seize the day” is something I read in poetry. But seize every hardship with a game makes seizing the day easier—and fun.