Thursday, February 24, 2011

Life Lessons Through Sudoku

I love Sudoku. The game with grids and rows and columns and 3x3 boxes which must contain the numbers 1 through 9 without repeating themselves. It is challenging and addictive once you get to catch the hang of it, but it won't be labeled a vice unless you neglect your survival duties in the pursuit of its solution.

My own experience with Sudoku is sober and uneventful. I have come to regard it as a useful tool for those of us on this life path looking to better ourselves and find solutions to obstacles we may encounter. Sudoku is a good way to learn about strategy, tactic, patience, and perception of the big picture.

As you look at a Sudoku puzzle, you realize that that it needs solving. It is incomplete. However, there is trust and understanding that whoever put it in the paper has the answer and has determined that it can be solved with the numbers that are pre-given. We can also choose to look at life in this manner whether we believe our destinies are decided by fate or freewill, divine or nature.

Our lives have purposes that will require thought and action in order to fulfill. In the big sudoku puzzle of life, there are also other smaller puzzles, each of which must be solved in such a way that they line up well with others. We must design strategies that take us where we want to go. These must be sound and reasonably promote success.

Once we have decided on a strategy, then we need to look at each box and square and decide which number would work there. We must be able to conclude where each number will be put based on the placement of other numbers. Judging where one should begin and how to populate barren areas.

Knowing where to place a number and when is key to solving a sudoku puzzle much as knowing what to do and when to do it is important in being successful in life.

At times, however, during the course of attempting to solve a puzzle, one can find that no solution- no matter how much thought is expended- will come to light.  Sometimes after staring at a half-finished puzzle for over a quarter of an hour without progress, I have stood up and done other things to clear my mind and come back and solved it in less that two minutes.

You will need a break from whatever  issues you're tackling in life if you are to succeed. Though this isn't true with everyone, it's the case with the majority of people that we will experience burnout if we don't take a break from time to time. That's why there are weekends, vacations, and holidays.

The ability to discern when and how to take a break might be crucial in how successful you are.

Finally, sudoku will help with one's ability to perceive the big picture. Your strategy and tactics will only be successful if they take into account all the squares in the puzzle. If you overlook even one square, you might find that the last number of the puzzle will not align perfectly with others. Be aware of where you put the numbers based on where other numbers are.

Sudoku puzzles, as do life situations, will take you a varying amount of time to solve, but the issue is in being aware of where you are going, how you will get there, and the methods to best get you there. Once the analyzing and agonizing over seemingly impossible solutions have been weathered, however, and you have solved whatever was laid out in front of you, the exhilaration is priceless.

How can you describe, let alone put a value, on a process that puts you in alignment with the path of your existence?

Happy Solving!!!

1 comment:

  1. Love to play Sudoku. Just today, my niece (7 yrs) saw us adults trying to solve a sudoku page, and she wanted to do one too. It was amusing to see her, so intent on writing numbers in the grid.

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