After about 15 years of teaching other players the Do’s and Don’ts of craps it’s become apparent to me that we all live our lives more or less like actors in a play. There are good guys and bad buys, winners and losers, supporting characters and character actors. Depending on the players, there may be singers and dancers, a dog or two, and a perhaps even a cool cat. There will be people you love to hate and others you hate to leave. Life’s a stage – and we’re all on it.
So if your life is a play I have one question for you. Are you the star? Do you struggle and fail, then get up, dust yourself off and try again. If you fail a second time do you give it a third shot? By the way, I call that the “rule of three” in literature and most genre stories follow that approach. Goldilocks porridge was too cold . . . too hot . . . just right. The three little pigs build homes of straw, wood, and bricks. If you’ve ever read trip reports from some of the better known gaming authors you’ll frequently see this approach. We played and we lost. We played and we lost more. We played one last session and we won back all of our losses plus a substantial amount more, were comped our hotel rooms and meals, and lived happily ever after. Yeah, right.
A lot of people struggle to write fiction. For others it comes quite naturally. But I’m not talking about writing fiction today. I’m talking about your life play. Ask yourself a question. “Who is the director of my life play?” Hint. It had better be you.
You should be the writer, producer, director and star of your life’s play! Unfortunately, many of us let others direct our stories. “Others” may include people close to you – friends and family. Or it may be the mortgage company or the company you have your car financed through. Perhaps it’s your boss at work or the job itself. Maybe it’s some crap between your ears – the dregs of some old head injury from years past. Or maybe it’s someone you have given some degree of power over you, including your Svengali-like pal who has all of the charisma he needs to con you and anyone else in the room. In any case, if you’re going to be the star of your play you’d best be the director of it as well.
What sort of a character is the star of your life play? Is he a good guy or a bad guy. Is he liked by others, despised by others, or simply ignored. Is he someone you want to see win the big gunfight, get the girl and ride off into the sunset to live happily ever after? Or do you find yourself rooting for someone else? Because if you want to be the star of your own play you absolutely must give yourself permission to be the star. And therein lies the point of this article.
Have you given yourself permission to star in your life’s story? Do you allow yourself to be a disciplined player. Are you giving yourself the opportunity to be a star shooter by practicing your toss over and over and over – regardless how many times you try and fail? Do you have a side-kick who has your back when things get tough? Do you allow your light to shine on your star? Because giving yourself permission to do these things means you’ve also given yourself permission to break discipline, make stupid decisions and fail from time to time. Just remember the literary “rule of three.” You try and fail. You try and fail a second time and learn a valuable lesson. You try a third time and succeed.
Go on. TRY and fail. Then DO and be a star.