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Sunday, August 25, 2019

Estremera: Focus and don't lose it

I'M hooked on this word game app on my mobile called Languinis. It's a game where you make words out of letter tiles with several challenges thrown in. Like make this number of 5-letter words. Stuff like that and more.

Since I am now on the 100-up levels, completing a level has become tougher as many have multiple challenges starting with the number of points you must reach, sometimes a low 20,000 sometimes more than 50,000 points, plus several other challenges like form a particular word. With such challenge, you might think spelling the word "hoax" is easy, until you realize that the "x" tiles do not appear often. In addition to that, the level might require you to get ten words with seven letters or more, and blast 30 blue gems, and free the Languini to boot! A Languini in this game is an Aztec-inspired masked being that appear on top of the tiles and which you should bring down to the bottom by zapping the tiles in between using words formed.

Having just encountered levels with these many challenges I was keeping track of everything. Where the Languini was, how many blue gems I already zapped, and how many more seven-letter words I have to make, in the process, I lost track of the remaining number of moves and before I knew it and even before I could complete any challenge, I was already out of moves. Fail! Game over.

Having realized that, I also kept an eye on the number of moves as I tried one more time.

I ended up not completing the level and with just one challenge completed. There must be something to be figured out in this, I told myself.

I then resolved to focus on bringing down the Languini with the longest words I can form and the least number of moves. True enough, by the time the Languini was freed, I still had enough moves left, just two more seven-letter and above words to form, tens of thousands points to reach and just a few blue gems to blast. I focused again on the seven-letter words using the letters with the higher points, doing my best to form the longest I can in the least number of moves I needed. In the process, I was racking up points as well, and the blue gems were just forming on their own and popping away as my letter tiles were blasting off.

I have since been doing that -- focus on just one challenge and let the other challenges just be the offshoot in achieving the focused challenge -- and thus have been completing levels upon levels in rapid succession.

That brought to mind a quote from US President Abraham Lincoln that was brought to our collective consciousness by President Rodrigo R. Duterte sometime in 2016.

The quote:

“If I were to try to read, much less answer, all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. I do the very best I know how - the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what's said against me won't amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference.”

That is what we have been told over and over again. Focus. But of course, we don't. We get into a lot of things thinking that multi-tasking means getting into the heat of everything, and realizing later on that not one has been accomplished. We even do all these while being distracted by social media, whom we engage and pick up fights with. All these, and nothing to show.

Languini challenge figured out, I am now trying very hard to disengage myself, because... while there is fulfillment in completing a level, playing a mobile app is still a useless endeavor. *Back to work, slave!* And yes... focus.

saestremera@gmail.com
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