Snakes and Ladders is one of the many Indian board games that most of us would have encountered at some point. According to Indian folklore, the game was invented sometime in the 13th century. The ladders signify good deeds, and the snakes represent bad ones.
It can also be said that on the player’s journey from 1 to 100, they come across good situations in the form of ladders and pitfalls in the form of snakes.
Here are some takeaways from the ever-popular snake and ladder game concerning life as a whole:
1. Snakes and Ladders Symbolize Virtues and Vices:
Snakes and Ladders can teach about the effects of good and bad deeds. The ladders signify virtues such as generosity, faith, and humility, while the snakes can be said to represent vices, lust, anger, jealousy, etc.
Being on the straight and the narrow is always more complicated than taking the easy way, which is full of vices and usually involves rubbing people the wrong way.
2. Life Like the Game Has Ups And Downs:
There are always two sides to every coin, and the game of Snakes and Ladders showcases that vividly. One moment you’re rising rapidly up the ladder, and the next, you’re sliding down because of an adverse situation that the snake highlights.
Life is full of duality, such as day & night and up & down, to name a few. Take things in your stride, and you will be better off than worrying about things you cannot control.
3. Have A Goal:
In Snakes and Ladders, the goal is clear. To win the game, the player needs to get to 100.
Life works similarly. First, identify your goal and then work backward to figure out what you have to do to attain that goal. It could be financial freedom, running a lucrative business, or looking to exit the rat race for a more meaningful life. Once you identify your goal, work on it by aligning your actions to achieve the end result.
You may come across things that do not match your life’s goals, so work towards leaving them aside so that they do not hamper your objectives.
Attaining financial freedom could be one of the biggest ladders in life. An article in the Economic Times explains the importance of financial independence using Snakes and Ladders as a metaphor.
4. Snakes & Ladders Can Give A Lesson In Humility:
Resist the temptation to look down on people less fortunate than you. While playing the game of Snakes and Ladders, you may find your fortune turning in an instant. Up the ladder on the roll of the dice one time, and the next time you may find yourself landing on a snake.
Likewise, in life, success is temporary, and there will be pitfalls. So be grateful for where you are at this moment and with what you have. When you fall, be sure to dust yourself and get back up.
5. Reconcile Yourself To The Outcome:
Whatever the result in this game or the real world, be it win or lose, accept it gracefully. Both good times and bad are a part of life and are cyclic in nature. The real-world connection to being a sport while playing is to take things in your stride and not fret over what is clearly water under the bridge.
Contemplating and learning from your negative experiences will ensure that the next time you come across life’s hurdles, you can ensure a positive outcome from it.
6. Play The Long Game:
Patience is a valuable virtue that one can learn from this game. While you may encounter snakes more than the ladders, do not let that fact get you down.
Likewise, when the player comes across any form of adversity, the best thing to do is be patient and keep plugging away consistently. When you do this, you are chipping away slowly at the obstacles in your path, and indeed, life will take a turn for the better.
Be sure to maintain your composure and do your best not to feel demotivated or get distracted.
7. Always Keep Moving:
When all is said and done, it’s not the symbolic number of ladders or snakes you come across that will determine how far you go. No one wins the game based on how many ladders they climb. Instead, it is the ability to keep moving and take even baby steps if necessary.
As long as you’re consistently making steady progress, no matter how small, you will eventually get where you wish to be.
8. Relish Your Life:
An individual can get carried away in pursuit of wealth and become a workaholic. While playing both the game of life and snakes and ladders, be sure to focus on something other than the result.
Just as we play games for entertainment, life, too, can be enjoyable. Do indulge yourself in the many pleasures life has to offer. Life and board games both have twists and turns in equal measure, and it’s up to us to make the best of our lives.
No one said life would ever be easy. It is the triumphs in the face of adversity – both big and small give life both meaning and purpose. How we surmount the many challenges in the form of colleagues, bosses, partners, friends, etc., that will come our way will determine how far we go in life.
These stumbling blocks are the snakes in life, which we will surely overcome with plenty of grit and determination.