There are numerous idioms about being present in life, that the secret to success, to happiness, to lifelong bliss is to just show up. There is wisdom is this, I suppose, because we can certainly …
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There are numerous idioms about being present in life, that the secret to success, to happiness, to lifelong bliss is to just show up. There is wisdom is this, I suppose, because we can certainly snooze our way through the years. But that what we really need to aim for is stepping up and ringing in.
I’m taking this lesson from Jeopardy, of course.
I missed my chance to be on Jeopardy again this month, though. Between work and writing commitments, I wasn’t able to take the online test. In a bit of optimism, I did register, but when the online test was available, I just couldn’t make it. I never even found time for the practice test.
Mind you, I’m not saying, even if I somehow squeaked by with an acceptable score on the test, that I would ever advance in the process. Of the people who do score well enough, only those selected in a random lottery – which would take about a year – are ever contacted. From these, even fewer are invited to audition, which still doesn’t mean you get on the show, after about another year.
Of course, it does happen, and Colorado and the Denver metro area have been well represented recently. A friend of mine also competed a year or so ago, and she was well positioned going into the final round. Although she didn’t win that day, she was pretty darn impressive and I am pretty darn proud of her.
Many of us have probably – many times, probably – thought, “Hey, maybe I could do that,” whether it’s conquering a tricky face on a rock climb, or placing those last stitches in an intricate quilt pattern, or achieving a diploma or an assignment or an accomplishment of any kind that at one time had seemed just out of reach.
That’s sort of how I feel about Jeopardy. Yes, I can shout out answers in my living room with the best of ’em (not in question format, however), likely because I can read the clues really fast and – this is key – I don’t have to beat anybody to the buzzer. In other words, I don’t have to ring in.
In the actual on-the-set TV game, knowledge (deep and wide and specific knowledge) is only one part of three needed to succeed. To me, wagering and ringing in are as important as the right answers.
Strategic maneuvering is also a part of wagering, and has been on exquisite display in the last week or so. James – who has all that knowledge I mentioned, and more – is still on the show as of this writing, and is the largest single-day dollar-value winner in Jeopardy history.
James starts at the bottom of the categories with the most difficult and most valuable clues so that if he finds the Daily Double, which he often does, he has a lot of money to wager, which he also often does.
All his strategy and all of his knowledge, however, are for naught if he isn’t able to ring in.
I absolutely and completely believe in showing up and being present in life. Now, though, I’m adding an additional goal (no, not being on Jeopardy, although that would be so cool). I’m going to step up and ring in.
Andrea Doray is a writer who would love to play in trivia games and quiz bowls. Contact her at email@example.com if you would like her to try out for your team.
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