Changing Routes: The Importance of Having a Flexible Goal

I also posted this blog on LinkedIn which can be viewed here.

Ticket to Ride

Have you ever played the board game Ticket to Ride? For those who haven’t, the objective of the game is to score the highest points.

Points can be accumulated throughout the game by reaching destinations or placing down train routes using train cards, which can be picked during each turn.

The premise for scoring points sound simple. However, in practice, the game becomes more challenging as other players obstruct your pathway thus hindering you from making your destinations.

What happens then?

Well, you could lose points for not being able to make your destinations or you could take a detour.

How does this relate to real life?

As cliché as this sounds, life is full of surprises. Therefore, it is important to have a flexible goal. In Ticket to Ride, the strategy for scoring optimal points includes:

  • Having a backup plan -if your pathway gets blocked, have an alternative plan ready at hand instead of putting all your eggs in one basket.
  • Choose a route that could lead to more pathways -a part of having a good backup plan is to have a plan that would allow for multiple opportunities.
  • If your backup plan fails, create a new plan -if you really cannot make your destination, you can find other ways to “score” by choosing new destinations or occupy more routes.

Here’s my story.

I find that my “destination” plan changes as a result of my ever-changing circumstances. As I gain more experiences, I learn more about myself and pick up new skills along the way that I have never considered before.

For instance, I would have never imagined that I would graduate from university with a degree in philosophy; I decided to major in this program only when I discovered how much I enjoyed critical thinking. In fact, I was initially enrolled in a science program. Even more recently, I discovered that I want to specialize in content writing after publishing a few articles and blogs and learning how these are valuable marketing tools.

I find that when I am not embracing new opportunities to something different, I find myself stuck. I do not find myself progressing when I cling on to my old ideas, which prevents me from opening to new experiences and perspectives.

Similarly, in Ticket to Ride, sometimes you end up “stuck” with your destination card. When that happens, you should change your strategy if you want to continue to score optimal points.

Looking at my parents, I can see how this tactic works. They have never thought of immigrating to Canada in their youth; in spite of this, they have established a life and a career here. They were able to do so by having concrete goals while embracing change and uncertainty.

Goals are essential.

It’s important to note that even though plans may change, it’s important to at least have an aim in order to move forward in life. Without a goal or an aim, you would find yourself in a limbo -I can speak from my own experience that it was not a very pleasant state to be in.

Your goal is something that gives your life meaning. It involves intention in which you are trying to direct your ambitions and values towards what the world has to offer.

So keep striving while adapting to change. There are so many routes to take.

Choo Choo.

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