Snakes & Ladders of health and happiness

Allow us the pleasure of introducing the Complete Wellbeing Snakes & Ladders Version 1.0 — a life-enhancing game derived from the timeless classic, Snake & Ladders

Snakes & Ladders board

Life is a bit like the game of snakes and ladders, you would agree. Self defeating habits/beliefs—snakes— take you down, whereas the self-empowering ones —ladders— take you up. But in life, it’s not the throw of the dice that determines your movement— it’s your conscious choices.

This is where our version of Snakes and Ladders differs.

Truth, repackaged

Man and woman reading how to play the gameIt is said that truth repeated too often loses its potency. But if the same truth is expressed in an uncommon manner, it regains its lost influence. That’s what we have done in this game-based cover story. It not only breaks the monotony but also adds an element of fun to the otherwise boring process of self-improvement.

Chances are, you are already familiar with many of the ‘snakes’ and ‘ladders’ we have featured here. Yet, it’s a good bet that you will still find yourself exclaiming—sometimes because of realising that you have missed a truth, which was staring in your face all the while, and at other times, because of sheer revelation.

One more thing before we leave you to play. The game covers a wide array of aspects ranging from health and fitness to self-growth and spirituality and lots in-between. While it still can’t be called exhaustive, we believe its depth is enough to point out the direction in which you’re headed so that you can make the appropriate course correction. No one is perfect. Likewise, no one is totally hopeless. We’re all somewhere in the middle. So, some of you may score higher in health but lower in relationships, while others may score well in relationships but end up at the bottom in self-growth. This means that even though your final score may tally, you may identify different areas of improvement. The idea is to take the game’s intent seriously—not the scores.

So go ahead. Begin the game. You will discover that it pays to play.

The Complete Wellbeing Snakes & Ladders© v1.0

Welcome players!

Your aim is to identify the snakes and ladders of your life with the intention of eliminating the snakes and scaling as many ladders as you can.

About the game

We’ve listed 100 things that we all think, do or believe in our day-to-day lives. Typically, we don’t give them a second thought. But some of these things augment our life, while others set us back in some way. In the game, we help you understand what serves you and what doesn’t by designating each as either a ladder or a snake.

Just like in the board game, the ladders here take you higher and snakes bring you down. Except, the scores are fixed—every ladder gets you a +5 while every snake gets you a -5.

What you need

A pen/pencil, a little imagination and lots of enthusiasm.

Number of players

Minimum: One

Maximum: There is no restriction on the number of players, this game is good as a solo game as well as a group game.

How to play

Sit in a quiet place—either alone or with your game buddies. Though a quiet setting is not mandatory, it’ll enhance the experience.

In the game, you’ll be faced with Snakes and Ladders in seven phases that represent seven spheres of your life—Body & Beauty, Health, Diet & Exercise, Relationships, Work & Money, Personal development, and Mélange.

The 100 Snakes & Ladders correspond 100 squares on the board.

The first square of the first phase is the start line. If a snake/ladder applies to you, add that to your score accordingly. If it doesn’t apply to you, you get a zero. A zero is a neutral marking and does not denote negative points.

Move from point to point, stopping at each snake/ladder to check if it is relevant to you and give yourself a score. At the end of each category, add your points and write it down in the space given at the end of the category. That is your category score. It shows you how you fare in that sphere of your life. You will be instantly aware of the need for improvement in that area. [Note: If more than one person is playing the game, they can write down their points elsewhere].

Finally, when you reach the finish line, you’ll get seven separate category scores. Add them all to arrive at your Grand Snakes and Ladders score!

For best results, save your scores for later reference. Play again in a month or two. In the interim, work on the areas you scored less. Then compare your scores. If you played in a group, all the players should compare their scores with their own old scores and against each other as well. This is one competitive game with zero collateral damage.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Try to get maximum plus points by collecting as many ladders as you can.
  • Don’t compromise the quality for speed—spend enough time on each to ascertain if it really applies to you.
  • If you make notes of how you plan to convert your snake into a ladder as you play, it helps increase your score the next time.
  • Play to carry the learnings of the game to your life, not to impress anyone.

Cardinal Rules of the Game

Don’t take it too seriously. After all, it’s just a game—designed to help make life easy, interesting and better than before. Have fun! [That’s the whole point behind this exercise….err game].

Be honest. You’re cheating no one but yourself.

And now, let’s play…

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1. You smother your skin [-5]

blank Caring for your skin is good, but showering too much attention on it can come back to bite you [pun intended]. Over-exfoliating, trying every new skin product, or using make-up each time you step out of home are sure-shot ways to wear out your skin.

2. You don’t sleep enough [-5]

When you sleep, the production of collagen in your body increases and this keeps the skin tight and youthful. On the other hand, if you’re a night owl, you might just end up looking like one—with dark circles, fine lines and crow’s feet to complete the look.

3. Zero-fat? Minus five! [-5]

With a zero-fat diet, you may lose pounds but all the same you may also lose that sheen on your face.

Woman touching her skin4. You keep picking/touching your face [-5]

Fingering your blemishes not only aggravates them, but also attracts unwanted attention to them [not to mention germs].

5. You steer clear of the salt shaker [+5]

Good news. Because both, dermatologists and Ayurveda experts blame excess sodium for dry skin, which is more prone to wrinkles and early ageing.

ladder-16. You always use sunscreen when outdoors [+5]

Super! If you use a sunscreen with SPF 30 [at the least], not only are you screening 97 per cent of harmful UVB rays, but you are also keeping off wrinkles, age spots, sunburns and reducing your risk of skin cancer.

7. You pick creams that suit your skin type [+5]

When it comes to skin, one type never suits all. Dry, oily, combination, sensitive—there are many skin types and each has differing needs. If you always match your skin care products with your skin type before buying them, pat yourself on our behalf.

8. You’re too lazy to remove make-up before sleep [-5]

Cosmetics hold on to pollution, and you’ll end up sleeping with a load of free radicals on your skin, which can contribute to early ageing, says New York based dermatologist Howard Sobel. But what’s the worry? You can always hide the damage with more make-up.

9. You know your skin extends beyond the face [+5]

Often we become so face-centric that we forget that even the rest of our body is covered with skin. But, if you are among the few who care as much for the skin on your body as for the face, celebrate! It will be ages before age catches up with you.

10. You care for your personal care products [+5]

Now that is thorough personal care. Cleaning your product containers and storing them in the right place ensures that they are not exposed to germs, heat or sunlight and hence remain safe and effective longer.

11.  You regularly clean your cell-phone/desktop/laptop/tablet [+5]

LaptopYou’re a rare breed. Unlike you, few people are aware what a health risk these devices pose, which are significant, by the way. For instance, your cell phones have more germs than a public toilet!

12. You use the same toothbrush for too long [-5]

If you wait to change your toothbrush till it starts looking like Einstein’s head [with its bristles sticking out], there’s nothing intelligent about it. The plaque and germs from your mouth keep piling on, waiting to jump back in. [WHO recommends changing your toothbrush every two months or after 50 uses]

13.  You don’t rinse enough after shampooing/conditioning [-5]

Then you might as well not shampoo at all. Because dust, sebum and grease will remain stuck in your hair leading to dandruff, oiliness and hair loss. What’s worse, you may even pass some of the grime onto your back and shoulders.

ladder-114.  You clean your tongue daily [+5]

Now, isn’t that a breath of fresh air? Scrubbing your tongue is as important as brushing and flossing. By removing the soft plaque from the tongue, you eliminate most of the bacteria and other debris that cause halitosis, tartar and tooth decay.

15.  You don’t share personal care products [+5]

This is one place where being selfish is good. When you lend your personal care products, you may get germs in return.

16. You walk around your home in your outdoor footwear [-5]

Outdoor shoes carry dust, germs and sometimes even creepy crawlies and you never know what else. You may argue that the floor is clean or you’ve cleaned your shoes off at the door mat but it still doesn’t convince us.

Your Body & Beauty score =


17. You regularly do eye exercises [+5]

You are a true visionary! Most people limit exercising to the body, forgetting that our eyes too need workouts. Even the ancient yogic wisdom advocates doing so.

Man sleeping with his cell phone close to him18. You sleep with your cell phone close to you [-5]

It’s like sleeping with the enemy. As per a Belgian study, those who sleep with their cell phones are 50 per cent more likely to wake up tired than those who don’t because of the harmful radio frequencies that cell phones emit.

19.  You don’t floss as you find it cumbersome—plus, it also bleeds [-5]

Very well then… at least make sure your dentist is good-looking because you’re going to be seeing her a lot in the near future. Not flossing significantly increases your risk of periodontal disease. The bleeding you experience is nothing to get alarmed about—it usually stops after a first few uses.

Man listening to music on his headphone20. You love maximum volume on your mp3 player [-5]

Hearing loud music on your headphones damages your eardrums, doubling your risk of hearing loss, says a Swedish study. Are you listening?

21. You drink till you see double [-5]

A survey found that 60 per cent of college women diagnosed with an STD were drunk at the time of infection. Another study discovered that two-thirds of domestic violence occurs when the abusive partner is drunk. Drinking like that is nothing but trouble.

22. You get your daily dose of sunshine [+5]

Excellent! Sun rays are needed for the body to produce vitamin D, a lack of which causes weak bones, weight gain, heart disease and cancer. All it takes is 10 minutes in the sun.

23. You clear all your doubts before leaving the clinic [+5]

You’re in control of your health, no doubt! Acquiring information about your health conditions from your physician is not the same as getting it from the internet. However small or embarrassing the question, asking your doctor is the best way to find the answer.

Gym bicycle24. You exercise too close to bedtime [-5]

For exercise, bedtime is bad time. Normally, exercise promotes good sleep. But when done too close to your sleeping time, it does the opposite. It stimulates the release of adrenaline, which can make you too alert to relax and
fall asleep.

25. When it comes to sleep, you listen to your body signals [+5]

It shows that you respect your body. Rest is best, when the body needs it most. On the other hand, forcing yourself to bed when not sleepy only makes you anxious and disturbs your body’s rhythm.

26. You reserve important discussions for bedtime [-5]

Then when do you sleep? Discussing sensitive issues before bedtime often eats into your sleep schedule and may keep you tossing and turning through the night. Chances are you will wake up tired and agitated.

27. You work on your bed [-5]

You don’t sleep at your desk; then why work on your bed? When you bring work to bed, the body gets confused as it does not associate the bed with alertness, which in turn, leads to difficulty in falling asleep.

ladder28. You are particular about your sleeping ambience, pillows and mattresses [+5]

You probably look and feel much younger than you are. A quiet, dark, and cool environment facilitates sound sleep, while using the right pillow and mattress keeps the spine aligned.

29. You have worked out a winding-down routine [+5]

If you do an unwinding routine—taking a shower, reading a book, listening to soft music or practising relaxation/meditation—your body gets used to it and begins to anticipate sleep and you ease yourself from wakefulness to sweet slumber.

Pillows on the mattress30. Your pillows are forever [-5]

And by now they’ve turned into petri dishes with bacteria growing in it. Sleep specialists recommend that you change pillows every 3 – 4 years as they accumulate dead skin cells and mould—both sources of allergies and acne.

Your Health score =


Glass of cola31. When you’re thirsty, you reach out for colas [-5]

You deserve a minus 100. Carbonated drinks give you empty calories, unwanted caffeine and cause tooth decay. They also disturb the acid-base balance of the body and cause belching and bloating.

32. For you, O is for Omega-3 [+5]

If you’re an Omega-3 fan, cheers to your wisdom! Omega-3 is a super supplement that protects your heart, helps fight asthma and eczema, and is good for the skin… well, it’s good for everything.

Burger33. Burgers and fries too often—and you’re loving them! [-5]

“Why not! They taste so yummy.” But don’t forget they also raise your risk of heart disease by clogging up your arteries. Fried foods are coated with harmful trans fats, which lend them both—the great taste and the grave danger.

34. When you eat, you consciously chew your food well [+5]

You might never need to go on a weight loss diet as a Chinese study found that when you chew food for long, you consume 12 per cent less calories.

Woman having strawberries35. You’re obsessed with eating fresh fruits [+5]

This is one obsession that’ll bear fantastic fruits—weight loss, stronger immunity, glowing skin and healthy hair, improved digestion…you get the drift. Drinking fruit juices is good too but mind you, juices are lost on some of the fruity benefits.

36. You take a heavy dinner [-5]

It’s a good bet that you are overweight… or are getting there. That’s because your metabolism begins to slow down towards the end of the day, and your body needs fewer calories even as you’re giving it even more.

37. You love your green tea [+5]

Green tea may not score very high on taste, but it more than makes up in its health benefits—it protects your heart, liver and teeth; it lowers your risk of cancer; it helps you maintain your weight; and increases your life span.

38. You rely on weight loss formulations to lose weight [-5]

You’re obviously trying the shortcut route. But the thing about shortcuts is that they backfire—weight loss formulations are sometimes known to produce the opposite result.

Orange juice39. You don’t drink enough fluids [-5]

You better start drinking up if you don’t want muscle cramps and heat exhaustion. A healthy, average-sized person sweats about 946ml of sweat in an hour of moderate to vigorous indoor exercise.

40. You’re never stranded without food [+5]

Doubly good if you’re trying to lose weight or if you’re diabetic. Carrying a snack with you—a fruit or an energy bar—means that you don’t reach a point where you’re so hungry that you eat anything you lay your hands on—healthy or not.

100-snakes-ladders-1641. You don’t believe in warm-up and stretching [-5]

Then you probably believe in soreness, cramps and muscle injuries! Warm-ups before a workout, and stretching after it, are not optional.

42. You make time for yoga every day [+5]

Brilliant! If you consistently and seriously practise yoga, you are going beyond physical fitness—you are strengthening your mental and emotional health too.

43. In the gym, you don’t adjust the equipment before use [-5]

That could be awkward, uncomfortable and dangerous—it can injure you. All exercise equipment need to be adjusted to suit individual strength, endurance level and dimensions.

44. You belly breathe consciously [+5]

Terrific! This helps you take in more oxygen, which is good for your health, including your complexion. It also helps you in lowering stress by calming your nerves and slowing down your heart rate.

Your Food & Fitness score =


45. You prefer meeting your friends the old-fashioned way—offline! [+5]

3 FriendsGood for you! In addition to that feeling of being loved, you’ll reduce your risk of obesity, depression and heart disease, says research. And, isn’t slapping each other’s backs better than poking on facebook?

46. You spank your kids to discipline them [-5]

Child specialists the world over are against the practice of hitting children, whatever the circumstance, as there is evidence that it leads to aggression, long-term behavioural problems, and low IQ in them.

Woman and her child playing with paper boats47. You talk to your kids and listen to them [+5]

Wonderful—for your children and for your relationship with them. Spending quality time with your kids and engaging them in active communication boosts their self-esteem and makes them expressive.

48. You believe division of labour works well at home [+5]

It also multiplies your happiness. Researcher Nick Stinnett found that sharing chores is one of the key characteristics of strong families—it helps them bond better.

49. You are casual about your promises to your kids [-5]

snakePromises are not meant to be broken…certainly not when dealing with kids. Because, doing so communicates that you are unreliable and cannot be trusted. Commit only when you are absolutely sure you will fulfil.

50. You control your child’s daily schedule [-5]

And in the process, subvert her creativity and imagination. Keeping your kids busy in a relay of activities doesn’t make them sharp, it makes them dependant on you for every little thing.

51. You read to your child [+5]

That’s very wise of you. Reading to your child on a regular basis introduces them to different worlds, stimulates creativity and sparks interest in reading books. Of course, it’s also a good bonding ritual.

ladder52. You give your child constructive feedback and avoid criticism [+5]

Kudos! Your child is more likely to receive your views in the right spirit and make the desired changes. Criticising—by constantly pointing out mistakes—de-motivates the child making her feel unloved and unworthy.

53. You express appreciation for the things your partner does for you [+5]

Well done! Appreciating the little things your partner does for you shows that you value her and also reassures her that she’s not taken for granted.

54. You’re happy to give your spouse some time alone [+5]

Man and woman happy with their lifeAbsolutely! Just because you’re married doesn’t mean you cling to each other at all times. Friend, you have unlocked the secret of a happy, lasting marriage,

55. You know your partner’s dreams and encourage him to follow them [+5]

You really love him, don’t you? Else, you would not have cared to understand your partner’s dreams, let alone support him.

56. You crib about your in-laws [-5]

And you know it doesn’t help. In any marriage, differences are natural as two families and their cultures come together. If anything, cribbing and criticising only increases the distance, putting undue strain on your marriage.

57. You’re so busy, you can’t find time for your spouse [-5]

A successful marriage needs time. Being too busy is a lame excuse that reveals that there are other things more important to you than your marriage.

Your Relationships score =


Woman planning her day58. You plan your day ahead [+5]

Planning is the 10 per cent of the effort that [if done well] produces 90 per cent of results, say time management experts. With planning, you get an early start, use your time efficiently and prevent tasks from becoming urgent.

59. You love your work so much it’s become an obsession [-5]

This obsession doesn’t ‘work’ for you. Workaholism is linked to high rate of divorces, marital conflicts, and unhappy relationships with children, finds a Japanese study.

60. You think that texting during meetings is harmless [-5]

Fidgeting with your cell phones in meetings is downright rude to other members. It also shows that you don’t mind missing out on the proceedings of the meeting.

61. You invest in yourself [+5]

Updating your skills by reading, taking courses and attending workshops is what separates a great [and successful] professional from a good one.

Employees together having a chat62. You always appreciate your co-workers for their support [+5]

You are a team player. Nothing motivates people more than genuine appreciation. A ‘thank you’ or a ‘great job’ can go a long way in strengthening your workplace relationships.

63. You always give a solution when you report a problem [+5]

Our guess is that you are a favourite with your bosses. Managers swear by employees who are solution-oriented rather than those who simply keep pointing out problems.

64. You’d rather be somewhere else than in an office [-5]

Then you should be! Seriously, you should look for a new position because those who continue in a job they don’t enjoy, remain stuck where they are. Moreover, the frustration pervades other aspects of their life.

snake-165. You live and die with the financial markets [-5]

Terrible! “If you’ve invested for long-term, ignore the day-to-day fluctuations of the market. They’ll have little bearing on the final tally, but will exact a costly toll in dashed hopes or inflated expectations every time the market dives or soars,” advises G Gaynor McTigue.

66. You invest impulsively, often on hearsay [-5]

Such recklessness can prove costly. Good investments emerge out of a well-thought out investment strategy that takes into account your short- and long-term financial goals and your available resources.

67. You always pay your bills on time [+5]

In addition to being good for your credit record, it makes a lot of financial sense. You avoid penalties and the stress that comes with defaulting on your payment —disconnection/ discontinuation of services.

68. You feel negotiation is beneath you [-5]

Keep thinking this way and you’ll always get less value for the price you pay for a product/service. Negotiating is not for fools, it’s what smart people do to get the most out of their money and more.

69. You use credit cards only for convenience, not for credit [+5]

Credit cards in walletYou are a smart cookie because you make purchases without paying cash, don’t pay any interest on it and then get rewarded for doing so. Besides, at over 35 per cent interest per annum, it’s almost criminal to use credit cards for credit.

70. You love playing the lottery [-5]

In other words, you like to trash your money. You will probably change when you discover that according to expert estimates, your chances of being struck by lightning are 6 – 45 times more than those of winning the lottery.

71. You keep your financial papers in order [+5]

Research is on your side: 72 per cent of those who are organised about their financial matters are well off. And why not? After all, it gives them control over their finances.

Woman investing in piggy bank72. You save/invest on a monthly basis [+5]

You will retire rich. The law of compounding interest will ensure that your savings, however small, will multiply manifold to give you handsome returns.

Your Career & Money score =


Woman riding a bicycle on the beach73. You never compromise on your “me-time” [+5]

Talk about healthy self-respect! Setting aside some time for yourself is a powerful prescription for many modern-day ills. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most underestimated.

74. You are extremely self-critical [-5]

Perhaps you think that being so helps you improve yourself. But beware, habitual
self-criticism can cause low self-esteem and may even lead to depression. Try gentler ways to appraise yourself.

75. You forgive and forget easily [+5]

Bless you! Forgiveness is perhaps the single most powerful healing technique that does wonders to your physical and mental health, besides helping you channel your emotional energies in the right direction.

76. You avoid multitasking [+5]

Then you are protecting yourself from the stress and rage that multitasking is known to induce in its patrons. And by the way, contrary to popular opinion, multitasking is the opposite of efficiency.

Man upset77. You never express your hurt or sadness [-5]

It’s a miracle your mind hasn’t exploded with negative emotions. For your information, unexpressed, stuffed emotions not only cause psychological problems but also lead to several physical problems.

78. You are always aware of what’s not working for you than what is [-5]

Big mistake. If you keep looking at the negative in your life, the law of attraction that states ‘like attracts like’ will ensure that you get more of it.

79. When you get angry, you go for a jog [+5]

A productive use of natural resources, we say. Anger is a form of energy, which when channelled, serves you and not consumes you. Venting anger is never a good idea anyway, as according to research, an outburst makes you feel worse, not better.

80. You don’t take vacations [-5]

snake-2You are setting yourself up for a burn-out as you are constantly operating in a high-alert, wound-up mode not giving your body and mind the necessary down time to unwind.

81. You eat when you’re sad, lonely, depressed, angry, happy, stressed [-5]

So what do you do when you’re hungry? Emotional eating is when you eat to feed your emotions, instead of your body. Not surprisingly, you choose all the wrong foods—pizza, chips, colas and ice-creams—that add nothing but weight.

Woman laughing82. You allow yourself to laugh easily [+5]

What a wonderful way of feeling and spreading wellbeing. Laughter is an instant makeover for your face, exercise for your internal organs and a spiritual tonic recommended by spiritual gurus across ages. Bonus: it helps you remain childlike.

Man meditating83. You meditate daily [+5]

The benefits of meditating regularly are just too many to list here. Suffice to say that it enhances the overall quality of your life and helps you maintain a balance between its different dimensions.

84. You gave up meditation because you didn’t experience anything spectacular [-5]

You’ve got it wrong. Meditation is not about levitating or getting an out of body experience, but about establishing a different relationship with your thoughts and yourself. It is about learning to hang out with yourself just as you are.

Your Personal Development score =


85. You always check your bill before paying [+5]

BillAnd always return smiling, we bet! A consumer study has found that those who check their bills are less likely to exchange their purchases and are satisfied with their shopping. This is because they catch an anomaly in time—over billing, wrong pricing or free stuff missing.

86. You often forget to check the expiry date [-5]

Unfortunately, you can’t expect to step on a snake and get away with it unless you are incredibly lucky. Likewise, buying products without checking their manufacturing/expiry date can come back to harm you big time if your luck runs out.

first aid kit87. You carry a medicine kit [+5]

You are one smart traveller, for you know that the medicines you need may not be available in the town you are visiting. Carrying your own medicine ensures that you don’t miss your daily dose and avoid unnecessary health complications.

88. You shop with a list and a budget [+5]

When you shop with a list, it saves you time because you finish shopping early. And a budget ensures that you don’t blow money on things you can do without.

89. You often shop on an empty stomach [-5]

Then you probably spend at least 17 per cent more. That’s because hunger makes you irritable and clouds judgement, fooling you into buying things you may not need, especially food items.

Man searching for location in the map90. You research the place before taking the trip [+5]

That’s a sensible thing to do. Armed with information, you are less likely to encounter rude, unpleasant shocks that spoil your trip—and your memories.

91. You always stock up too much [-5]

Are you expecting a famine? Why else would you buy so much at a time? You don’t just waste money but you also end up consuming more than you need.

92. You leave a copy of your itinerary with your family [+5]

It is in the nature of emergencies to strike when least expected. Keeping your family in the loop about your travel programme ensures that you can be reached in an eventuality.

93. You don’t take pains to conceal your valuables [-5]

That’s tempting fate…and pickpockets. Flashing valuable items like your gold jewellery, expensive gadgets or cash is like roaming around with ‘please rob me’ written all over you in bold.

94. You disregard your comfort to keep up with trends [-5]

It’s important to look good but not at the cost of your comfort. Besides, no matter how great the outfit, you cannot look good in it if you feel ill at ease wearing it.

95. You wear strong perfumes/ overuse perfumes [-5]

Strong fragrances annoy others. When using perfumes, follow the golden rule of “less is more”. Be careful if you use a certain brand regularly, for your sense of smell becomes immune to it over time and you tend to spray a lot more than needed.

Pregnant lady exercising96. You are pregnant and experimenting with exercise [-5]

If you’ve never exercised before, then pregnancy is not the best time to try out the latest fitness fads because taking up a vigorous/unfamiliar regimen can hurt you and your baby.

97. You’re expecting so you eat for two [-5]

Then you’ll end up weighing twice as much. What you need to ensure is that you eat the right stuff with sufficient nutritional content and avoid excess of anything.

98. You try to do/see as much as you can on your leisure trip [-5]

But it’s beating the purpose, isn’t it? If you don’t leave time for leisure and slow down your pace, your vacation will end up being as stressful as your normal workweek.

Man confused as to which tie is suitable99. You sometimes wear brown shoes with blue trousers [-5]

You may not care much about matching your shoes with your attire but make no mistake: it makes you look careless, or worse, someone with poor taste.

100. You always try before you buy [+5]

That’s why you are always well-turned out. Sizes printed on labels are not an accurate indication of the fit—best to visit the trial room before heading to the payment counter.

Your Mélange score =

Welcome to the end!

Since you’ve reached this far, we’re assuming that you’ve completed the entire game. Congratulations! You’ve made it.

We hope you loved coaxing the hidden snakes out of the different areas of your life and are feeling proud about the ladders you have climbed. It can be a little dizzying to be pulled down by a snake one minute and taken up by a ladder in another—all that up and down action—the emotional effort to confront both the pluses and minuses from all areas of your life at once can be unsettling.

We suggest you take a break—walk around, have some water and come back. Proceed further when you’re ready.

Ready? Good. Now, just check if you’re scored yourself correctly.This is important because the scores are not just about winning or losing the game—they are indicators of your performance in the relevant sphere of your life.

Did you….

  • Consider honestly if a snake/ladder applies to you and note down its score?
  • Keep a separate count of all the snake and ladder scores in every category ?
  • Add the snake scores to the ladder scores at the end of each category to get a category score?
  • Combine the scores of the seven categories to get your Grand Score?

Now consider each category score. What does it tell you about that area of your life? Think about it. Spend some time considering how you’ll better your scores in that area, the next time around. Remember, unless you really work on curtailing the influence of snakes from your life and increasing the count of ladders, your scores will remain unchanged—and so will that aspect of your life. That’s when you’re lost at the game. But we believe in giving chances. So shake it off, and aim for better scores the next you play.

This version of the game has no time limit.

You might have realised by now that no matter how many times you finish playing a full round, the game never ends.

Play. Enjoy. Improve; Play. Enjoy. Improve; Play. Enjoy. Improve


A version of this was first published in the November 2011 issue of Complete Wellbeing.

Magnifying lens over an exclamation markSpot an error in this article? A typo maybe? Or an incorrect source? Let us know!


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