“The universe is like a safe to which there is a combination. But the combination
is locked up in the safe."

-Peter DeVries

One of my children’s favourite games is ‘warmer/colder’. For those of you who
haven't been kids for a while, the game works like this:

1. A friend hides an object in the room.

2. As you get closer to finding the object, your friend calls out 'warmer'; as
you get further away, your friend calls "colder". (When you get very close, they
call out "hotter", if you get even further away, "icy cold".)

3. You keep going until you find the object or give up.

Simple though the game seems, there are several skills that make it work and make
it fun. The first is that the person searching for the missing object needs to
be extremely flexible in their behaviour. If they aren’t willing to continually
change directions to provoke and in response to feedback, it will take them
considerably longer to find what they are looking for.

Similarly, if the person giving feedback is either over or under-responsive, the
game can become both frustrating and increasingly difficult to play. This is why
it is so important to play the game with friends – if the person offering up the
feedback doesn’t want you to win, you probably won’t.

It has long struck me that this is an excellent metaphor for how we can best
pursue our goals and dreams in the world – by playing a giant game of
warmer/colder with the universe…

1. We set a goal or begin moving in the direction of something we want.

2. The universe provides us with feedback in the form of impossibilities (colder)
and synchronicities (warmer). The more ‘on track’ we are, the more seeming
miracles we encounter, as doors open and ‘just the right person’ appears to help
us at just the right time.

As the Scottish Himalayan explorer W. H. Murray put it:

“…all sorts of things occur to help one that would not otherwise have occurred. A
whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favour all
manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man
would have dreamed would come his way.”

3. We keep going until either we get what we want or we give up.

Of course, the key to how we experience the game is in how we define ‘warmer’ and
‘colder’. And the key to that, as Albert Einstein once said, is this:

“The most important question we can ask is whether or not the universe is a
friendly place…”

Today’s Experiment:

1. Think of a goal you have been pursuing. If you really were playing a game of
warmer/colder with the universe, what is it telling you now?

2. What are some of the signs you interpret as ‘warmer’? What are some of the
signs you interpret as ‘colder’?

3. If the universe was truly a friendly place, how might you approach the game

Have fun, learn heaps, and follow the heat!

Until next time,

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