Life Lessons from Candy Crush

Candy Crush is a ‘match 3’ game that has gained a lot of popularity. One can safely say that this was the game that made the category of online games popular. There have been many others that launched ‘match 3’ games and flopped. Then again, everything comes with an expiry date and one hears these days that there are other contenders that have taken its place on the leader board of top-grossing games.

I started playing Candy Crush because it was something that you could do while you had a few minutes to wait. It was not demanding in terms of focus and attention and you could play it even when you were in the middle of doing something else (not that I recommend that!). My loyalty led me to continue playing this game for a long time.

Interestingly, as I played the game with no apparent thoughts in my mind, there were some that were making their way in. I realized that while the makers of the game, King, may not have intended it that way, Candy Crush ended up giving me some life lessons. Here are some of the thoughts that came to me while tackling the various levels.

Don’t Give Up!

Irrespective of the time that a level took, one almost always completed it. I am told that the game has something called ‘dynamic difficulty’ which re calibrates the level of toughness of a level based on the number of tries that you attempt. When you come across a level that seems impossible to cross in life, remember that with every attempt, the task is becoming easier. Have faith that you will get through it and you will! Life has its own way of teaching you how to navigate the path towards success (the special and unique success that your soul needs)!

Take Your Time – It’s Not a Race

When the game was at its peak, almost everyone you knew was playing it. Moms, sisters, friends, Facebook friends and even dads. Almost every gathering would have a small discussion about which level each one of us were at. My mother used to ask me to help her cross a particularly difficult level so that she could move on. Over time, while these people continued playing Candy Crush (much like me), the discussions about who was at which level ebbed. Everyone hopefully, started enjoying the game itself.

As you grow older in life, you understand that life is also not about comparing who is at what level but about enjoying the ride (in this case, the game). The beauty of life is too valuable to waste on looking at what others are doing and where they are. If you are lucky, you will also understand that the levels dished out to you in life are not the same (unlike Candy Crush) and that there is no linear approach. Each one of us is on our own path and growing each day!

Hard Times are Just Another Challenge

‘Hard levels’ and ‘Very hard levels’ have been included in the game. It warns you before you are starting a level that this one is a particularly tough one. You are therefore prepared that this one will take time. Life serves many such challenges. There are some that you can see beforehand and therefore can prepare yourself for the fight ahead. Board exams, an entrance test, a job interview and other such challenges are those that you can prepare for. However, there are some challenges that may not come with a warning sign and may hit you harder. A loss of a dear one, unexpected financial troubles, loss of a job or a natural disaster. Remember, warned or not, ‘this too shall pass away’.

You will be able to beat the odds. It is a matter of time before you will be able to pick yourself up and fight your way through grief, demotivation, under-confidence, financial difficulties or any other loss that you may encounter. Have the confidence and believe in yourself!

Licorice Larry Does Not Live Forever

Licorice Larry may show up its ugly face at times, but these times are few and far between. Don’t assume that all levels will have competition and that the ‘witch’ will show its ugly face with green slime. There might be times in your life when people seem to cheat you, let you down or hurt you. Others will compete with you and try to push you down.

Don’t assume that everyone is like that! Giving up your faith in humanity is one of the deadliest of all diseases. It works on the law of attraction and when you look at people with distrust, you only attract those kinds of people. It then becomes a never-ending loop that is very tough to get out of. This is the syndrome that has brought us to where we are today!

Take your lessons but don’t generalize what one person did to you to include all humanity. The thrill of a relationship is only when you can have faith and be ‘yourself’.

There Will Always be Help

You know those wiggly little fishes, stripes and bombs that you create along the way. Those are always there to help you pass a level. There are different types of helps that you will get. While some are relationships that you have nurtured in the past, others are your capabilities and assets. Different levels require the use of different ‘helps’ and the fishes are most important when you need to release other fishes. This cannot be done in any other way.

Don’t undermine the importance of any one trump card that you have in your pocket. It may be impossible to ascertain which ace you will need to pull out. While saving money, planning for children’s education and retirement, they forget that there is a specific kind of help that you will need which is not so material in nature. Nurture relationships (these are your fishes) without any specific expectation of getting something back from them and you will realize how precious this trump card is!

So, go ahead – enjoy the game of life!

PS: I was speaking to a young girl of 16 about the topic of this article and she happened to mention something that I was immensely impressed with. While her statement does not really fit in the theme of this article, I just had to mention it here for the sheer genius of it. She said, “So, is the lesson to be learnt from Candy Crush that – while some pieces may fit, they may not last forever”.

Mull over this and let me know if there are any other life lessons that you thought of while matching three!

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