My favourite game at primary school was marbles.
Every day we would play under the big oak tree, which had the only dirt patch in our concreted schoolyard.
We would draw a triangle in the dirt and place our marbles in it. About 4 metres away we would draw a starting line.
Each player in turn had to shoot his marble from behind the starting line and knock out a marble from the triangle.
If you were successful you would keep the marble you knocked out of the triangle.
I would always come to school with only four marbles in my bag. Other kids had a bagful.
Why only four marbles?
It made me focused and determined to win, because if I lost all my marbles early on in the game I would be forced to watch others play for the rest the day. For a young kid this was intolerable.
Because of my four marble policy, I usually won and came home with a bag full of marbles. It also helped that I used my lucky marble, the bloodsucker, which was red and white.
Reflecting back now, it makes me think that often when you have the most to lose you are more likely to be most successful.
Maybe if you are serious about achieving your goals, you need to risk losing your marbles!
First published in Starlink – Jan 2007
© Chris Bennett