Play. Why can’t life be seen and participated in as if it were a game?
I believe for some it’s too silly of a thought, for others somehow it’s insulting to their important problems, important successes, important ‘things’. Obviously I’m being a bit tongue-and-cheek here, but I want to unpack this a bit today.
What is a game?
Is it a choice? – Most commonly it is.
Is it meant to be fun? – Most commonly, yes.
Who plays games? – Everyone, in all societies, at some point.
Who typically loves playing games?
- people who love to ‘play’
- people who like to have fun
- people who have experience playing games
- people who like trying new things
- people who are competitive
- people who like to win at ‘things’
- and risk takers.
At one point or another, everyone has taken a turn at rollin dem’ dice—some do it more than others but all in all, HUMAN BEINGS love playing games.
But what makes a game a game?
In order for a game to be played, there needs to be a player, an objective, and a measurement for qualifying one’s progress. That’s it.
We know games like Monopoly, Snakes & Ladders, Yahtzee, Uno, Skip-Bo, Poker, Soccer, Football, Hockey, Basketball, Baseball, and hundreds and hundreds of others. Some games were created with kids in mind, some youth, and others adults.
For a moment, bring yourself back to a memory where you were playing a game, preferably one with another person.
In your recollection, was it a linear experience or, was there a ‘back-and-forth’ narrative?
Typically, playing a game involves a relationship with another person where you make a choice, then they do, and you either progress ahead or digress somehow. This combination of back and forth continues until somehow, there’s been a finale—someone has succeeded in the objective prior to the other player.
Now within your memory of playing a game with someone, what types of FEELINGS did you experience?
- Reset fun?
- Renewed excitement?
- Re-inspired anticipation?
- Elevated heart rate?
Within a game, whether it’s on the hardwood floors with kids, at the table with friends, or on the turf with a team, humans experience THE SAME types of emotion while playing a game as they do living their day-to-day life.
If that’s true, couldn’t there be a MASSIVE benefit to ‘playing’ out our days as a game, rather than experiencing them as something altogether separate?
Consider living your day-to-day with this MINDSET.
Rather than participating in your day and experiencing setbacks or obstacles as something personal, ones where we victimize ourselves because of ‘what was done to us’, how about seeing what happened in our day as part of the game of life?
Now you might be thinking, “David, that’s bullshit, you don’t know what happened to me today; I was hurt; someone did ‘x’ to me; or I fucked up today; I hurt someone today; I’m in trouble now…”
But here’s my response: ‘Okay, that happened—fine, now what?’
Look, you ALWAYS have moves to make, pivots to take, ladders to climb, wild cards to play, or free-throw shots to sink. In the game called life, yes, there are rules, consequences, challenges, and setbacks, but there are also highs, when you’re ‘on a roll’, and when the cards are stacked in your favor.
Again, you might be resisting this way of thinking, and that’s fine, but what I’m suggesting and is ultimately true, is that when you CHOOSE to see life like a game, you take your victim-hood off, take experiences less personally, and begin to see choices as plays that maybe do or didn’t work.
From that perspective, you CAN’T lose!!!!!
Do you get it—the only way you lose at the game of life is when you give up, sit on the side, bitch about your life, take other teammates down with you, and waste your time on the field.
Maybe even then you don’t lose, but you sure as hell hated playing the game while you were alive.
Is that what you want? Cause don’t fool yourself, people are going to remember your number and last name from the back of that jersey when you’re gone—how they remember you is up to HOW you choose to play.
If you are interested in winning, or at least being the MVP of your own life, then PLAY!!!!!
Have fun, see setbacks, obstacles, and fowls as part of the game THAT DAY.
‘Okay, that happened,’ and then ask yourself, ‘how do I want to pivot, change my approach, score more regularly, get the ball more frequently, and shoot better?’
‘Are my teammates ones that help my performance or jeopardize (wink) it?’
‘Do I want to abandon my current approach, do I want to get better training, attend the gym more often, speak to my coach about how I can improve…?’
This is ‘game-thinking.’
While I’ve chosen at times in my life to think of myself as a sole player, one without resources and options, and chose to sit and bitch, for sometime now It’s been a continual CHOICE to live each day from the PERSPECTIVE of play.
At the end of the day, what I’m suggesting is a REMEMBERING a way of SEEING which, when practiced, changes the stories you tell yourself about who you are, the day, and the people in your life.
What you perceive about anything is what you believe is reality. How you see the world and be in it is not correlated to what you experience in life, it is what causes your experience in life.
The experiment to run today is:
‘Where in your life would it serve you best to REMEMBER that you are playing a game?”
Consider your relationship with someone who’s hurt you, is hurting you, and or your own self-inflictions.
Consider your relationship with your partner, your kids, and or your co-workers.
Consider your relationship with your business, your financial goals, and or your 2017 benchmarks.
Consider your relationship with your health, and or your body weight, fitness goals, or daily self-development practices.
And finally, if you noticed anything you’d like to change in your game and know how to do it, GO AND PLAY!!!!!