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What brings you joy? Makes you think? Makes your day?

Before the alarm goes off, I crack my bleary eyes open and grab my phone.


Hitting the NEWYORKTIMES.COM app, I search for #wordle and spend a few minutes competing against friends and family.


Then, I share my results hoping to be the day's winner!


What a great way to kick-start my brain!


Later, if there's time, I'll play a few other games including the spelling bee, crossword and that crazy tile game.


All of this is fun. But, it's also great for cognitive brain function.


A recent study published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry found that doing such puzzles improves memory, attention, the executive function of the brain and information processing.


I've always been a 'word nerd' so these types of games, as well as competing at Banana-grams and Scrabble are my sweet spot.


No one in my family wants to play with me anymore!


Recently, though, I accepted a Wordle scoring challenge among friends. The loser had to buy the others breakfast.


But there was an additional penalty which was a surprise.


Early on, I soared ahead in the scoring and was sure I'd win. But, my ego got the best of me and one day I forgot to enter my score.


I thought it wouldn't matter because I was ahead.

But, it was mind-boggling.

I lost!


Here's the lesson I learned: Play every game and see every challenge to the end. Don't assume you've secured a client, a sale, or any win before you've seen it through.


Not only did I have to pay for breakfast.

I had to wear a DUNCE cap!

It was all in good fun - but it won't happen again!


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