Life Lessons from Frogger: Obstacles are Fun!

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I’ve seen too many times where people raise a possible problem then give up on the project all together.  They act like they created a wall when all they did was highlight an obstacle on the course of success.  These people need to take a lesson from my favorite childhood video game: Frogger.

In Frogger, you play a frog that is trying to get to the safety of its home.  Unfortunately, you are on the other side of a busy road full of traffic that inexplicably alternates directions with each lane. (How does one pass on such a crazy road, I will never know.) After you get pass the busy road, you land on a stretch of grass that’s home to moving snakes that will kill you. Now, you just have to traverse a crazy river of hazards just waiting to end your worthless existence.  Apparently, the water itself contains a chemical that kills frogs and only frogs as turtles and crocodiles swim around in it just fine.  Be careful not to land in a crocodile’s jaws or stay on a turtle that dives underwater, though.  And heaven forbid you travel to the edge of the game, apparently there are giant nets that will push you off whatever you are riding.

Still, if you pay attention and avoid all the obstacles, you make it safe to your home (assuming a crocodile doesn’t sneak in and kill you first).  You might even pick up a sweet little hunny on the way!  What’s your reward for making it to safety?  Having to do it all over again with even harder obstacles!

Why do we even bother when the entire game is clearly set up to get us killed?

Um, BECAUSE IT IS FUN!!!!

We do it because it is a challenge.  We do it to see just how far we can go.  Even though we know that we will eventually die and the game will end, we do it because the game itself is fun.

The obstacles are there to show us what to do.  Imagine if your jerk brother threw a ball at the TV and cracked the screen so badly that you couldn’t see the road or the river.  It wouldn’t be much fun then, would it?  You’re just blindly moving the frog around, hoping to get to the end without dying.

Having problems with your project is a blessing: they tell you what you need to do to reach your goal.  If you have no problems, you are working in the dark.  The problems are still there, you just don’t know where they are.

Thinking of obstacles as challenges or puzzles to solve will get you a lot further and have more fun  than just giving up and walking away.

Good luck and enjoy your problems!

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