You only know what the next piece is.

Superstar biographies, genius interviews, teachers advice and parental anecdotes, might lead us to believe that, success or failure in life depend only on us making the right choice(s), on tracing the right steps, from beginning to end. Unfortuntaly these well meaning advisors couldn’t be more wrong, as Tor Bair shows in a great piece: Your Life Is Tetris. Stop Playing It Like Chess.

Life is more like Tetris than chess, because it is neither causal nor a closed system. To the individual life and its challenges are chaotic and random. Well, there might be causalities, but their sheer number and interconnectedness makes it impossible to read them on more than a local or statistical level. “You only know what the next piece is.” It is therefore futile to tackle this mess with a mindset that assumes absolute visibility, causality and a well defined set of rules, such as chess. And a way better (and healthier) approach to assess each situation, each piece individually, and make the most of it, just as in Tetris.

And, while, the simple, the obvious truths about life are often the hardest to life by, with a Tetris mindset, you still got plenty of tries left.