Come With Me If You Want To WinFeb 03, 2024
Read time: 4 1/2 minutes
Your thinking depends on metaphor. You understand and process new information based on what you already know.
Contemplating the meaning of life or the human experience is difficult without comparison. Thoughts need guidance.
Throughout time, life has been compared to many things.
- a journey
- a river
- an adventure
- a garden
- a puzzle
- a riddle
- a flame
A profound and stirring essay could be written with any of these as its theme.
But for me, there is one metaphor for life that (metaphorically) stands above the rest. It guides my thinking and my choices in practical and applicable ways. It makes life more exciting and less intimidating. And the (metaphorical) cherry on top? It makes life more fun.
Life Is A Game
I see life as a tragic comedic game that no one ultimately wins. But like with any game, you play to win anyway.
Enjoyment of the game is in the pursuit of victory.
There are small wins along the way. As well as devastating setbacks.
And when it's over...
It all goes back in the box.
You are conceived. You snap into existence, and the hourglass turns over. At first breath, the game begins.
There are rules to the game of life. Tactics and strategies. There are instructions, tokens, and obstacles. There's a theme, a scoring system, and a turn structure. There are dice to roll and cards to draw.
Like with almost any game, you start with a strategy and work toward a desired outcome. You make small, consistent moves across the board. Every now and then, a huge opportunity presents itself. A big move that's not without risk.
The game of life is a game of choices. And you make choices all day long. Every day, for the duration of your life. Your choices determine your placement on the board at any given moment. And in the end, you win or lose based on the culmination of your choices.
Since I see life as a game, I also see every person as a player. The problem, as I see it, is that the majority of people in the game have no concept of the gameboard.
They're lost in a (metaphorical) maze. Wandering through life, living day to day, from womb to tomb, never understanding the game at all.
These unfortunate players aren’t aware of the rules. They believe that circumstances control their lives. Instead of the other way around. They think that some people are lucky, while others aren’t. Some grow so accustomed to losing that they think that cheating is the only way to win.
They are not playing the game. The game is playing them.
These passive game players (typically) fall into one of two groups.
The Conventionalists structure their lives around safety, comfort and security. They pattern themselves to go through the same motions every day. They:
- Get dressed
- Go to work
- Go home
They tread in a (metaphorical) stream and let the (metaphorical) tide take them to and fro. For the Conventionalist, every new day is as predictable as the one before.
Rebels give the impression they’re revolting against convention. They withdraw from the game completely. They live from moment to moment, letting chance decide the direction of their lives.
Members of both groups avoid taking charge of their movements on the board.
Before I started playing the game, I was a rebel.
The game of life is governed by a law that cannot be broken. It shapes the course of all events and determines the final outcome.
It is the law of Cause and Effect. Otherwise known as the law of laws.
“Everything in the entire universe operates on the law of cause and effect. There are no exceptions to this; nothing happens by accident. For every result, there's a cause. You have only to take care of the cause, and the effect will always, without exception, take care of itself. Good cause, good effect; no cause, no effect; bad cause, bad effect. It's as reliable as the rising of the sun.”
- Earl Nightingale
Every move you make (or don’t make) corresponds to a cause. Which then leads to a specific consequence (effect) that shapes the course of the game.
Understanding the mechanics is crucial to your gameplay. You learn to strategize and make moves in accordance with the law of Cause and Effect. This leads to more thoughtful and intentional decision-making while you play.
If the cause is right, the effect will be right. If the cause is wrong, nothing can make the effect come out right. Except for chance, which I will address later.
Cause and Effect is an immutable law of life (regardless of metaphor).
The next aspect of the game, however, is more subjective.
That’s right. The objective of the game is subjective.
Meaning it’s up to you to determine your own objective for the game.
What outcome do you want? What does winning look like for you?
Only you can answer these questions. To succeed, you must determine what success looks like.
This is the tragedy of most people’s lives. They fail to establish what they want. They operate with no clear vision of their future.
A house isn't built without a blueprint.
A destination isn’t reached without a map.
Your life is no different.
Understanding this is the key to mastering the game of life.
To me, the objective is a well-lived life.
Sounds pretty basic, doesn’t it?
Perhaps. But if it’s such a simple, achievable outcome, why are so many people unhappy? Disappointed. Sad. Regretful. Bitter.
A well-lived life is not as easy as it sounds. It takes courage, effort, patience, determination, and much more.
If you commit to living a meaningful life. If you align with reason and moral virtue. If you develop and exercise your unique human faculties. If you engage in virtuous actions and behaviors. If you cultivate harmonious relationships with others. You will achieve what Aristotle referred to as Eudaimonia.
“A life of eudaimonia is a life of striving. It’s a life of pushing yourself to your limits, and finding success. A eudaimonistic life will be full of the happiness that comes from achieving something difficult, rather than having it handed to you.”
- Aristotle (Nichomachean Ethics)
It's well documented that people want happiness more than anything else in the world.
So, essentially, I'm playing to win happiness. Or a well-lived life.
That, in my opinion, is the primary objective to strive for in the game of life.
But what exactly does happiness look like? Beyond a momentary happy feeling?
I will dive deeper into this metaphor of life as a game next week.
Components I will cover:
- The scoring system
- The gameboard
- Theme and presentation
- The rules
- Your opponents
- & more
In the meantime, The Self Reliant Way will officially launch next month.
I will be announcing the details and ways you can participate soon.
Book a call with me if you're interested.
Or message me on Telegram: @BennyWills
Until next time.
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