Kevin and I just returned from vacation. We spent a week on the road, stopping in various places on the California coast and then spent a week at a beautiful beach house in Lincoln City.
When we first arrived I noticed that they had the game Yahtzee. I LOVE Yahtzee. For those of you haven’t played, it’s basically poker with dice. You have three chances each turn to roll three of a kind, four of a kind, a full house (two of one number and three of another), various other “hands” and of course Yahtzee itself (all the same number.)
Kevin has played a few times but isn’t as familiar with the game as I am. When we were in the middle of our first game, he rolled a 1, 2, 4 and two 6’s. Looking at his score sheet and recognizing he still needed fives he said, “I’m going to go for 5’s.”
I said, “But you didn’t roll any 5’s!”
He answered, looking at his sheet, “But I need 5’s!”
“Yes,” I said, “But the way to win at Yahtzee is to work with whatever you get on your first roll. For example, you have two 6’s.”
“Oh,” he said. “I didn’t even think of that!”
And that’s when it hit me. Yahtzee is a great way to understand why it’s important to detach from outcomes.
(You know you’ve been on vacation for awhile when you start finding life lessons playing Yahtzee.)
The need to detach from outcomes has come up a lot in my work recently, particularly with lawyers. And it’s a hard concept to understand. On one hand, we have to detach from the outcome so we can focus on what’s right in front of us. On the other hand, we care, and should care, very much about the outcome. So how is it possible to do both?
Look to the Yahtzee young grasshopper. Look to the Yahtzee. Continue reading: “Yahtzee!”