Pinball is fun when you are the playfield and not the ball.
The playfield is the part of a pinball machine that all the cool dohickeys reside.
The place where pinballs get trapped, ramped, orbited, flipped, and bumped.
Are you the playfield or the pinball?
Do your clients and students affect you? Or you do affect them?
Do problems bounce you around, or do you bounce around a problem?
Do you imagine your life, business, voice, etc. happening to you? Or do you happen to them?
Do you feel trapped… by a spiteful colleague, a rude student, a non-payment client, a plagiarist of your blog, a liar, a cheater, a stealer of your ideas, a poor review… ?
Are you able to hold gently, for just a moment, the problem at hand, and thinking, before popping it back into play, to be dealt with effectively?
This world teaches us that going with the flow, bending so we do not break, letting go is everything.
The world would have us believe that in order to do that, we must become the ball.
But I think in order to do this, we must become the playfield.
Let’s play this out:
You get a text from a students mom saying that they no longer need your services. Then your hair appointment gets canceled, and you’ve got a gig that night. THEN, your kid gets a call home because they hit another kid.
To top it off, another client gives a month notice because they are moving. And you read a paper that directly quotes an email you sent on a subject you’ve been researching for ten years… presented as the authors own ideas.
If you are the ball, and all these things the playfield, the bumpers, ramps, flippers, etc? What is that like? Does it feel safe? Controlled? Are you pleased with how things are getting handled?
Now imagine that each of these things is a separate ball, and you are the playfield. That you are Tommy, and you can handle multiple balls in play. (Okay, maybe not Tommy, as that would be dark. Scratch that.)
Anywho, imagine you understand the game.
You know not to just randomly leave flippers up, on high alert, because that increased the chance for ball drain.
Imagine that you hold problems, and spring them back into play, only to gain you more success. Imagine what it is like to have permission to nudge, and the savvy to tilt, to get the balls doing what you want.
How does that feel? Is it more or less stressful than being the ball?
What would it feel like to master the game rather than having the game master you?
Next time a series of craptastic things happens to you take a few minutes to become the playfield and not the ball:
- Take your stance. Every player has one. And they don’t care how it looks to others.
- Accept that the multiball level has begun, and you have all the tools available to you to solve the problems.
- Use your flips wisely. Don’t waste a flip. Be smart.
- If you drain a ball, the world doesn’t end. You’ve got an infinite amount of tokens inside you.
- Remind yourself that it’s 100% to be frightened, overstimulated, and anxious. SO many lights and buzzers!
- Now remind yourself that the game tells you things, and when you listen to that small voice, it will give you clues to what is going to happen next.
Leave me a note and let me know what you think! Where can you take this analogy further? Where does it break down for you?
Try out this reframe and maybe you’ll hit jackpot.