Books That Have Changed Us - The Game of Life & How To Play It by Florence Scovel Shinn




In 2011, I was lost. I had gone through countless losses and challenges in my life from losing a baby, to a divorce, to losing my livelihood. I was spiralling into despair feeling that I had failed at my life and would never be able to turn things around.


I spent a long time feeling angry at myself and others, feeling like I had ruined my life at the age of 33. Thankfully through a process of changes, I got myself out.


One of the fundamental changes that happened was my mindset, this was a result of learning a lot, a lot of personal development and some therapy too but it all started with one book! A friend gave me "The Game of Life & How to Play it" by Florence Scovel Shinn, a really small and old book, that was first published in 1925.


When I first began to read it, I thought it a bit 'odd' as its written in quite a religious way, but I persevered and adapted some of the religious aspects to make it more comfortable for me. I soon realised that the references to religion where symbolic and purely represented having hope and belief in something bigger than myself.


The book taught me that a lot of the present pain and suffering I was experiencing, was not due to the events that had occurred, they had already happened, but were due to me focussing my mind constantly upon the negatives. In doing that, life seems to give us more of what we focus upon. Most of all, I realised that these thoughts were all fear based and it was not my past experiences that were now hurting me, but my fears.


A theme that is repeated over and over in this small but mighty book, is that whatever we send out into the world, is what comes back to us.


"The game of life is a game of boomerangs. Man's thoughts, deeds and words, return to him sooner or later, with astounding accuracy." - Florence Scovel Shinn

This gave me a huge realisation that I was responsible for the negativity I was experiencing - that doesn't mean I was to blame for all the bad stuff - but it means I needed to take responsibility for myself to move forwards.


I started to write some of the quotes from the book on sticky notes and put them around the house and reminded myself daily that 'life is a game of boomerangs'.'


Since 2011, I must have come back to this book 10 times and each time I find a new meaning in something I read. It's also one of the books I have gifted the most!


What book has changed your life?

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