My inspiration comes through exposure from trying new things. I used the lockdown as an opportunity to learn new skills outside of work. In the last 16 months, I’ve learned sign language, tongue-drum and contract bridge.
This isn’t your ordinary card game. It puts your memory prowess, strategic thinking, communication skills, cognitive agility and most importantly, ability to perform under pressure to test. Unlike other card games which factor in an element of luck to win, this game is about how you play the cards you’re dealt with. And your ability to accurately interpret the risks around certain probability-based outcomes.
Contract Bridge is a trick-taking card game using a standard 52-card deck. It is played with four people sitting across from each other who form partnerships of North?South and East?West. Players not only compete with their opponents but also with the ‘field’ (comprising other players who play on parallel tables).
It is said that Bridge is like life. If you don’t have a good partner, you must have a good hand! Much like it is for me at Zoo Media, the game involves a high dependency on your game partner. The game teaches you about the importance of balancing relationships, instead of working in isolation to create a winning plan. Communication is key to make good on the hypothesis that you formulate with your partner. Playing to each other’s strengths and understanding risk profile while devising a strategy is imperative. While the probability of the cards dealt are finite, the number of outcomes by trying permutations are endless. The learning curve with each game gives you a thrill as the challenges and strategies differ every time.
In contract bridge, as well as in business, high risks yield high rewards. There are bonuses to be earned for every strategy that is meticulously implemented. And there are penalties to pay if one lets their guard down, is swayed by failure, or makes aggressive decisions. Of course, in business the stakes are higher. But if you play it right, you will get a chance to make up for lost points and bad moves, because you’re playing the ‘game’ for the long haul. Contract bridge, while an exhilarating stress buster for me, is a reminder that if you’re playing for the win, you need to fearlessly take calculated risks.