Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

Becoming Comfortable With Failure

Monopoly is not a good board game. Whoever has the most properties becomes the master of the board. If you have little properties, you’ll eventually be squeezed out of every dollar until you go broke and lose.

So you come to understand that money and possessions are the only way to keep score. And that you can only win at life by financially ruining your opponents.

Hah, what a trite message. Not to mention false. No, that’s not what most people will take away from playing Monopoly.

Unless you’re eight years old, you’ll realize that when you lose at Monopoly, it’s not personal. After one person drives the other players bankrupt, everything goes back into the box.

It was just a game.

Maybe you didn’t get lucky with the dice. Perhaps you bought Boardwalk instead of the oranges. But whatever you did, it didn’t matter because you can play again tomorrow.

So there’s no need to get heated, no need to beat yourself up, no need to flip over the board.

All this probably makes perfect sense to you.

Where I lose most people is when I say to take that Monopoly mindset and apply it to life. Apply it to your flubbed job interview, apply it to your failed business, apply it to your Facebook post that nobody replied to.

You didn’t get the pay raise you were hoping for? That’s eerily similar to landing on Tennessee Avenue when someone else built 4 houses on it.

It sucks, but you can try again later.

We’re playing a game with billions of people, moving pieces around, buying properties, and calculating what we have to roll next.

If you can look at life’s hardships like it’s a game of Monopoly and keep your cool, you’ll do better. You’ll do better, because you aren’t crippled by fear or going ape from anger.

Didn’t get the publication deal for your book? Think Monopoly, take a breath and go, “Shit. Well, let me try again later.”

That’s infinitely better than thinking, “I’ll never get published. I can’t do anything right. I’m going to die a failure.”

A rejection from a publisher isn’t fatal. Neither is losing a client or not getting promoted.

Failure is far less deadly and far more Monopoly than you may think.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach