A “Candy Crush” Saga

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[dc]I[/dc]f you have a Facebook, then you have received a “Candy Crush Saga” request from someone. Not since Farmville, Words with Friends, and Angry Birds has a game gone so viral. I, too, have been a partaker of the “BeJeweled-like” fun.

Masquerading as a nice, free game, Candy Crush lures its “victims” with cute characters, bright colors and easy puzzles, at first. Once the player is past the “gateway” of this game, the puzzles become more difficult.

If the difficulty of the puzzle wasn’t enough, players are subjected to long waits until they earn another life, or forced to beg for lives from friends on Facebook. Of course, lives (and other things) can be bought for a meager fee.

As I fell into the trap of this game, I have learned some very key principles about myself. Hopefully these lessons can be shared to help others.

There is always “One more level” to complete
Many players begin the game with the intention of casually completing it However, once a level is complete, the game automatically moves you to the next. The desire to just “try it” is extremely tempting.

The same is true in life. We often think if we add one more “thing,” our life will be complete. However, there is always one more thing. Don’t fall into the “one more thing” trap. Be content.

Your friends can help
One of the somewhat cool things about Candy Crush, is the idea that your friends must help you get past certain points of the game. No one can complete the entire thing alone. Those who choose to “go it alone” have to pay a price — usually 99 cents.

Those who decide to go it alone in life also pay a price. They may pay the price of failure, damaged relationships or deteriorating health. We were created to be in relationship with one another, and there is no shame in asking someone else for help.

Chocolate candies are evil
Those who make it to the “chocolate candy” levels in Candy Crush know how annoying they can be. While they don’t look all that bad for you, they keep popping up — ruining potential moves. Left unchecked, the chocolates will consume the entire puzzle board.

We all have “chocolate candies” in our own lives. Those people who look harmless – or even appealing – but end up taking all our time and energy. Like the game, these “chocolate candies” must be eliminated first, so the player’s attention can return to the puzzle.

Some levels can’t be completed right now
I often find myself struggling with a certain level in Candy Crush — usually around bedtime. I will play it until I run out of lives and am forced to stop. Later — usually the next morning — I return to the level and complete it within just a few tries.

The same is true outside of the game. We often have challenges that cannot be solved immediately. We need to take a step back and return later to solve it. The time away allows for improved perspective and decision making.

Keep playing the game
Candy Crush can be frustrating. However, there is a lot of satisfaction associated with solving a difficult level. While another level awaits, no one can take away the accomplishment.

In life, we will always have challenges. Sometimes things will go our way. Sometimes they don’t. The key is to recognize that it is just “another level.”

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