The Truth of Life in the Game of Sequence

sequenceHave you ever played the board game Sequence?  We got a child version of it, and I’ve been playing it with my 5-year old daughter.

It’s a game where you have several cards in your hands at a time, and you’re trying to line up chips on the board.  You lay one card at a time, and put the chip on the corresponding spot on the board.  You win if you have 2 (1 on the child version) lines of chips — and they can be made either horizontally, vertically or diagonally.

And in the process of me exploring my new life as a freelance musician, it really struck me how this is similar to life itself.  Here are some of the parallels I noticed:

You only have a few cards at a time.

You know what your goal is, but you can’t get there instantly.  Sometimes, you don’t even have cards that make any sense, ones that really don’t seem to add or contribute to your goal.  But you just have to put one card down, what you consider the best one at that given time.

You don’t know how the chips are going to line up.

It’s silly to say “I want a vertical line in this corner.” Because you just don’t know what cards you’re going to get.  Yet, sometimes I find myself focusing on one set of chips, instead of looking at the whole board and exploring all possibilities — simply because that area of the board contains more of the chips I have already laid down.  Sometimes, the chips line up in places you don’t expect.  Sometimes, they are about to line up and you didn’t even realize.

Don’t be quick to judge the value of your next move.  Just play your hand.

I read a quote from Steve Jobs (CEO of Apple) saying that you can only connect dots in your past, not in your future.  You just have to trust that dots will connect again, just as they did in the past.  Similar, the game of Sequence is teaching me to just play the best card in my hand at every turn — or just play a good card, not even worry so much if it’s the best one — and just trust that somewhere down the line, if you keep playing, the chips will line up.  Perhaps in a way I don’t expect, perhaps in a way it’ll surprise me.

Do you know how you want things to work out?  Great, but don’t get too attached to it.  And don’t worry if your next hand doesn’t seem to get you there.  Just play your hand.

Or maybe you don’t know how things are going to work out.  That’s OK, too.  Just play your hand.  They will line up somewhere, some time.

The good thing about life is that it’s not a competition.  As long as you stay in the game, you’ll win, sooner or later.


  1. This is so true. I usually stress too much on mapping everything out. But life seems to have it’s own mind. I concluded it doesn’t make sense trying to work out everything (have to keep reminding myself of this). Just do your best for today and the rest will fall into place (even if we don’t understand how or where right now).

    Avani´s last blog post..Following My Heart

  2. Nice analogy,

    You got that quote from Steve Job’s Stanford speech, right ? Epic stuff.
    And I share the same mindset ! Follow your inner voice and stay in the moment, play the cards
    you have. Just trust the universe – let it unfold.

    Life can be so easy-peasey !

  3. Pingback: Connecting Dots |

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