While scrolling on Instagram recently, I came across a post from investor and hedge fund billionaire Ray Dalio. But he wasn’t doling out business advice or sharing investing tips. He was talking about a card game. “That’s strange,” I thought, feeling compelled to keep watching. “Why is he sharing this?” In the video, he talked about the importance of meaningful relationships in his life and discussed the card games he and his family play to help deepen their connection. The games, from a company called Live Deeply, sounded like a fun and interesting way to reconnect with loved ones. I didn’t think I’d be getting relationship advice from a hedge fund manager that morning, but you don’t become one of the most successful businessmen in the country without doing some stuff right, so I decided to look into Live Deeply to learn more.
Live Deeply is a company that wants to help people have more meaningful relationships, deeper conversations, and transformative experiences. Through their unique and engaging card games, they help people to connect in meaningful ways and move past small talk. I really like the idea of deepening connection - in some ways we’re more connected than ever (phone, email, social media, etc.) but it feels very superficial. I wanted something real.
I decided to order the Meaningful Relationships Collection, which is what Dalio had been promoting, to use during the holiday season with family and friends. The collection includes three of Live Deeply’s most popular games - Origins, Life Stories, and Slip! - which I was excited to try out at upcoming parties and dinners. When my order arrived, I was super impressed with the product. The cards are beautiful and really high quality. (It’s obvious why they cost more than a regular deck of playing cards.) Plus, they are made from sustainably harvested recyclable paperboard printed with vegan inks, and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, so you can feel good about ordering them.
Prior to a small dinner I was hosting for old friends, I looked through the games to determine which we wanted to play that evening. With Origins, you interview your family members and discover your legacy with questions like, “How did you get your first job and what was it like?” Life Stories is designed to help unlock memories that may have been forgotten or untold with fun prompts that will help you discover gems about each other. And Slip! is arguably the silliest of the games, with cards containing a unique phrase guests must say — verbatim — during dinner.
I decided to try out Life Stories and Slip! that night. As we had a glass of wine before dinner, I brought out the Life Stories cards and had everyone draw a card from each deck (Situations + Feelings). We then took turns responding (and listening) to the prompts, and learning a ton about each other in the process! My friend and I had been close since college, but without the prompt “A time I felt triumphant in high school,” I never would have known that it was when she successfully stood up to someone bullying a younger student that she decided to go into law. She now works for the Legal Aid Society helping to get justice for hundreds of people a year.
During dinner we played Slip! Prior to sitting down at the table, we each picked a card that had a phrase we had to subtly say during the meal. Trying to slip in phrases like, “Jacuzzi bathing is my hobby” without getting caught made for an engaged and hysterical dinner conversation.
The Live Deeply games were a massive hit. Everyone was asking where they could get them and saying how they would be perfect presents for holidays and birthdays. Since that dinner, I’ve played with lots of groups of people and the result is always the same. Overall, I feel so much closer to the people I played the games with. They really are a perfect way to connect consciously with the people you love (and a perfect gift for the holiday season!).
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