The game of monopoly is a fun and educational board game about acquiring property. It puts out real life scenarios to help you learn the ins and outs of property management.
When I’ve played the game with others I’ve come to learn some important things that may help you too.
Here are 10 life lessons I got from the game of monopoly:
1. Focus on what you want
You tend to attract what you focus on. If you focus on what you want you will see it come to pass. The opposite is true in that if you focus on the negative it will tend to come your way. I learned this each time it was my turn to play.
When you’re in a situation where there’s many players in the game chances are high for getting into trouble. You can easily land on someone else’s property and be forced to pay rent. This is daunting when you’re low on cash and face the prospect of selling properties to pay off debts.
What I learned to do is identify the dice score(s) I needed and focused my mind on getting them. As I rolled the dice I’d keep those scores in mind and declared them as I did. Does it work all the time? Not at all. It does work for me most of the time and I’ve managed to escape deadly situations as a result.
2. It doesn’t matter where you start
Whether you start off with the game working in your favor or not you can still end up with a positive outcome. I’ve played many times and seen other players in good positions lose their wealth to the other players.
I’ve been in situations where I was dealt a bad hand but little by little managed to build my portfolio. This is a great reminder and one of the biggest life lessons you can get from playing the game of monopoly. It doesn’t matter where you start in life.
Whether or not you are disadvantaged has no major bearing on where you could end up in life. The key elements you need to have are a dream, belief that you can make it a reality and the determination to see it through. When life gives you a lemon, make lemonade out of it.
3. Keep your emotions in check
I have heard a saying that goes, “the higher your emotions the lower your clarity of thought.” Making emotional decisions tends to bring disaster in any situation. You have to be in the right frame of mind when you’re making decisions.
When you’re playing and everything seems to be going your way it’s easy to think that you’re smart and get carried away. When you get to this point you may find yourself making moves that will cost you a lot. You may lose money and property because you didn’t think it through.
The opposite is also true, however. You could be experiencing setbacks on every play you make but it doesn’t mean you’re doomed. You have to keep calm and believe that you can still win and achieve your objectives.
If you start acting out of desperation instead of proactively you’ll make foolish decisions that will cost you big time. Keep your cool and think your choices through.
4. Greed will kill you
People with a lot of money are who we tend to think of as greedy but it’s also true for people who don’t have a lot. People with little have a tendency of acquiring expensive looking things to show off to people they don’t like. On the other extreme there are people who no matter how much stuff they have are never satisfied.
The game of monopoly has a way of revealing your true character and those of your fellow players. These are people who make irrational decisions in an attempt to achieve their goals by any means necessary. I’ve been like that myself and others I’ve played with too.
While you can get away with some irrational decisions in the short term they’ll come back to bite you in the long term. Be content with what you have at any given point while you think through how you can get to the next level.
5. Sportsmanship pays
Making money in the game of monopoly comes from rentals and some bonuses here and there. It’s natural to wish your competitors doom and gloom so that they pay you rent. By wishing evil on someone else you’ll find that same evil come upon you when you least expect it.
This was the case with Haman and Mordecai in the Bible from the book of Esther. You just have to play your game well and trust that your good choices will pay off. You will find foolish players in the game at some point and their choices will play into your hands. However, you don’t need to wish hardship on any of them to prosper.
The Word of God says you are to love your neighbor as you love yourself. That’s a golden nugget of wisdom to keep in mind in everyday life.
6. Faith is essential
Hebrews 11:6 says that without faith it’s impossible to please God. Faith is necessary to achieve anything you aspire to in life. Closely related to the earlier point of focusing on what you want faith helps you to attract the positive things you want to see in your life.
“Faith attracts the positive. Fear attracts the negative.” ~ Edwin Cole
When it’s my turn to play in the game of monopoly I don’t focus on the dice score(s) I don’t want. I focus instead on the score(s) I want when I throw the dice and say a prayer as I do. It may sound ridiculous but I’ve seen it work many times for me and I make money in the process.
If you’re afraid of landing on someone’s property and focus on that chances are high that’s what will happen. How do you acquire faith you might be wondering. You acquire faith by studying the word of God and applying it to your daily life.
7. Time and chance happen to all
The tables can turn at any given time and could happen when you least expect it. The question is whether or not you’re prepared to take advantage of the situation. This applies whether your situation goes from having a lot to having a little or vice versa.
For example, your cash reserves might diminish through paying taxes, rentals, etc. But if you have properties they can still generate income for you through rentals. That way your cash reserves can improve once again.
You may also be in a position where you have a little money and properties. Opportunities may present themselves to you to buy more property and also get bonuses coming your way. The prepared mind will know how best to capitalize on the situation while another might not even realize the opportunity at hand.
Always be ready at all times for the next thing that’s coming through constant preparation.
8. Losses are a part of life
Don’t worry when you experience losses, even the big ones. What’s important is to learn from your mistakes and do better next time. There are times when you’ll make all the right moves but still lose in the end, it happens.
While it may not make sense there’s something you can learn from the experience that will apply at a later stage in life. As someone that’s quite competitive I don’t like losing and at times I get a little emotional.
I get frustrated the most when I’m giving my best and making the right moves and still sink lower. This happens in other areas of life. It reminds me of Joseph in the book of Genesis who ended up in prison in spite of his faithfulness.
It was God’s way of developing his character for his ultimate purpose of governing the land of Egypt. Some of your setbacks could be God preparing you for a much greater purpose.
9. You have to be strategic
The most foolish of people are those that go through life without a clear plan of what they want to achieve. When you don’t know what you want you’ll fall for anything. To win any battle you need to have the right strategy and the right resources.
The most successful people in life have carefully thought out strategies and plans to execute them to achieve desired outcomes. When you start the game of monopoly every player gets the same amount of money to use in the game. Every player also starts in the same place but not every player ends in the same position.
The difference is that one player has the right strategy and another may be winging it. It’s evident in everyday life. How many people do you know you grew up with that have achieved more than you or even less? Many I’m sure. Each of you had different game plans, some more effective than others.
10. Your words create your reality
The words you speak have the power to bring life or death into any situation you encounter. There’s more than enough evidence about this fact. Even when your situation looks impossible you must speak life or say nothing at all. Your words create your world.
I’ve been in situations in the game of monopoly where I’ve declared that I’ll be rich when it wasn’t looking good. I’d be literally hanging onto the end of my financial rope and praying for a breakthrough to restore my fortunes. Line upon line, precept upon precept my words would become a reality.
How it happens I can never really tell at times but it shows that our words are more powerful than just our actions. Imagine what Ezekiel must have been thinking when God commanded him to speak life into the dry bones. He probably thought it was crazy.
Your job is never to figure out how something will happen but rather to declare that it will happen based on God’s promises to you. God is not at all constrained by your situation and He has given you His word to declare to escape from death to life.