If Life is a Game, What Does It Mean to Win?
If life is a game, what does it mean to win?
How you define your “game” will define your life.
When you accept someone else’s definition of winning, you hand over your power to that entity—whoever or whatever it may be—to bestow their accolades upon you. If winning for you means acquiring approval, things or power, you’ve placed the measuring stick for your happiness and sense of success in someone else’s hands.
With the “winning through approval” approach to life, any victories are fleeting. There is no rest, no sense of accomplishment, no crossing the finish line for those who require the approval of others to feel whole and complete.
Of course, we rely on the goodwill of others to achieve some things in life. To keep your job, you need the support of your boss. To stay in your marriage, you need the commitment of your spouse. The question is, do you greet the challenges that these relationships engender as grist to become a better version of you, or do you surrender or hide the inconvenient, unconventional, essential parts of yourself to fit in and get by?
It’s your game. How you play with others is how you play your game.
Personally, I believe the goal of life is peace. First, and foremost, to be at peace with myself. Then, to find peace with others—all others. And ultimately, to contribute towards a shared peace that provides every being with the possibility of being the best that we can be.
My personal “rules” for playing this “game” are to:
- Be the best expression of myself I am capable of in any moment and in any situation.
- Be guided by my own sense of what is right and true.
- Make a difference that serves a greater good.
I strive to have no regrets, which for me means, I’ve honestly tried to honor my principles to the best of my ability, even if how I show up or what I accomplish is less than what I aspired to. Some of my greatest “successes” might look like failures to others. I’m okay with that. As long as I’m learning, I’m making progress. And as long as I’m doing my best to translate what I’ve learned into ways to make the world a better place, I’m good with whatever else happens.
My approach to life is what I would describe as a coaching approach. In truth, I don’t personally define my life in terms of winning or losing. My measure of success is whether I feel at peace with myself, or not. Personally, I find the greatest sense of inner peace when I am challenging myself to be the best expression of myself that I am capable of. That’s my game, and that’s how I play it.
How about you:
What game have you defined for yourself? How is that game helping you to “win” in ways that are meaningful to you?