Game: What Lights Up Your Brain the Very Most Right Now?

December 12, 2023

Up for something different?

The holidays are upon us. Relatives and friends will gather around large dining tables to share special meals and talk. Here’s the problem: he who talks the loudest and tells the funniest stories, wins. I used that pronoun on purpose. It often seems like the loudest men at the table require so much attention from the rest of us. Does listening to their stories (often on reruns) fill your tank? Me neither. Do you learn anything new about anyone at the table? Neither do I. Do the quieter folks get a chance to share something important to them? Rarely.

Hence my desire to change things up a bit when we gather for large dinners. Playing a game like the one below ensures that everyone gets a chance to talk and, more importantly, that loud guests have to listen to quieter guests. Not easy for them.

Just copy and paste the questions below, print, cut them out, fold them up and toss them in a bag. Each person picks one and answers. I promise you will learn something new about each person at the table.

  • Tell us about a mistake you made recently. What did you learn from it?
  • Tell us about something you handled well in 2023.
  • Tell us about a book or movie you read or saw recently that you enjoyed.
  • Tell us about something you should probably change sometime soon.
  • What would you tell your 10 year old self if you could reassure her or him about the future?
  • Tell us about the last time you experienced AWE–as in something that took your breath away, made you stop everything to watch, gave you a thrill?
  • What’s something you did in 2023 that would like to do again in 2024?
  • If your muscles could talk, what would they say to you today?
  • What do you remember about the last time you were on a train?
  • Do you think it’s important or valuable to know your neighbors?
  • What lights up your brain the very most right now? If we had you attached to a neuro scanner that could measure brain activity, when would we see your brain most active, engaged, and alive?
  • Do you remember your dreams? If so, what recent fragment can you tell us about?
  • How would you describe an excellent day for you?
  • Which two or three words come to mind when you think of your Dad?
  • Which two or three words come to mind when you think of your Mom?
  • Do you ever say any kind of prayers?
  • Do you like being in the ocean, immersed, under water completely or does it scare you? Tell us about this.
  • If you could give the person to your right one piece of advice that they would willingly and openly consider, what might that be?
  • Who is the last person to make you laugh out loud? What happened?
  • Who is one person you know who is probably struggling more than yourself?
  • What do you usually do when you’re on a plane?
  • What’s the smartest thing you do when you’re stressed out or upset?
  • Do you believe in heaven or some version of an afterlife?
  • Tell us about a mistake you made. What did you learn from it?
  • What’s one piece of advice you would like to give to one of your parents?
  • What’s one thing you find confusing or difficult that might surprise others?
  • Tell us about a skill you honed in 2023–something you improved upon?
  • What do you find disappointing lately?
  • Tell us about the last time you saw a sunrise or sunset.
  • Tell us about an ideal breakfast for you on a weekend.
  • Did you have braces or headgear?
  • Do you order popcorn when you go to the movies?
  • What are your thoughts about ghosts or signs from the deceased?
  • Describe your ideal New Year’s Eve
  • What is something about your routine that might surprise the rest of us?