The Matchstick Trick

There is this fun bar trick with matchsticks. Use matchsticks to form a martini glass. Break one to use the tip to be the olive in the glass. Show it to someone and ask them if they can get the olive outside of the glass by only moving two of the matches and without touching the olive.

I see this, like everything, as a metaphor for life and wellness. We look at our circumstances and see theoretically what we want, but no matter how hard we reach for it, no matter how many angles we perceive and attempt, nothing seems to work. Sometimes, unfortunately, we give up. Like every good bar trick though, there is an answer. The funny thing is it is usually pretty simple once you know.

What if we look at life the same way? Instead of thinking we CAN’T, or that dream is IMPOSSIBLE, what if we look for more creative possibilities; different paths that could lead to the same end. Sometimes we just need to try it differently. Because of course, we all know “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”

What if, for argument’s sake, we look at losing weight or getting healthy that way? The usual road of course is dieting, but we rarely get to the “destination” and when we do, we even more rarely stay there. Perhaps something other than dieting is called for if we are going to solve such a tricky puzzle.

So how do we get the olive out of the glass, you wonder? Simple. Use the matchstick that is the bottom of the dome of the glass, and move it only halfway. Then move the one matchstick portraying the left side of the glass to the opposite lower side. It then forms the martini glass upside down and the olive is outside the glass. Like I said, simple. We often think things we struggle with MUST have a complicated answer.

Perhaps it is actually much easier. Maybe we need to make a change “halfway.” Perhaps this means more moderate or reasonable goals. Perhaps this means smaller changes. Perhaps this means more moderation and less deprivation. More life and less restriction. Perhaps if I say perhaps one more time you are going to scream. Ha ha ha 😊

Living life one trick at a time,

Nikola Rosa

P.S. As you may have noticed, the picture contains toothpicks and a sticker vice matchsticks. This just goes to show how what you have on hand changes with parenthood.