How often have you stopped and wondered, “What is going on with my life?” “Why is all this stuff happening to me?” and “Is there any purpose to all of this?”
“Life is just like a game. First, you have to learn the rules of the game, and then play it better than anyone else.” – Albert Einstein
When we play video games or board games, we never want to get to the end too quickly, as completing the game is not why we play. We play to experience each of the steps along the way. It is the steps that give us the highs and lows and keeps us immersed in the experience. We are always excited to see what will happen next. Playing would never be as much fun if the game was too easy or finished too quickly.
It is the flow of the game that entices us to keep playing by stimulating emotional responses from us. It is our emotions that keep us fixated as we compete with ourselves and others to try to better our situation. We play intending to overcome the obstacles and challenges in our path to come out victorious, and this is our purpose for playing. This is also the purpose of participating in the game of life– to learn from the circumstances presented to us, to make the most of all situations, (the good and the bad,) and come out ‘feeling good’ knowing that we played our game to the best of our abilities.
If Life Is Like A Game, How Do You Win?
It is the journey, the day-by-day dramas, victories, surprises, anticipation, hopes, and dreams that elicit emotions from us that keep us here, immersed in the experience, engrossed in the journey. We did not come here to reach the end of the game in a matter of moments, but instead, to be absorbed by the challenges we meet each step along the way and to enjoy the shared experience with other like-minded adventurous souls. We win when we are emotionally participating in as much of the journey as we can, just for the pleasure of it!
If life is a game, I can choose to have all the best things all the time.
Imagine if you were eighteen years old again, and now imagine meeting a wise Being who offered you the “Secrets to Life.” This all-knowing Being is willing to make it so that you can avoid all suffering, all doubt, all fear, all pain, and just live the rest of your life in absolute bliss, peace, and abundance with everything that you desire all the time. Sounds great, right?
Ok, so day one of your remarkable life begins. You eat your favorite foods, watch your favorite movie, visit your favorite places, drive your favorite car, and you feel great. Days two, three, and four are a repeat of day one because you only want to be doing the perfect things all the time…. You don’t need to do anything else because the best of everything you desire is at your fingertips at all times….. only the best things!
Day five comes along, and you are repeating the previous days, but something is different! You are not as ecstatic as you were in the earlier days. Why, what’s changed? All the exterior circumstances are the same; You still have the best of everything at all times, so why are you not as happy as you were before?
And as time goes on, you become less comfortable and more bored by being exposed to the same ‘great stuff’ over and over again… and pretty soon you will reach a point when you come to resent having all this ‘great stuff’ all the time!
Why will I become bored with life when I always get everything I want?
There is virtually no opportunity for personal growth and development if everything is ‘perfect’ all the time. By nature, we need ‘contrast’ or different experiences to give us opportunities to learn and grow. If this were not the case, we would be born fully formed and knowing everything that we like, and have access to it all at all times.
However, the reality is such that we are not born fully developed or with any ideas of right and wrong, good or bad, and like and dislike!
Even though we are born incomplete, we have the ability to develop our bodies and minds in many ways. We arrive into this world as a bundle of ‘potential,’ and it is the journey that we are on (how we play our game) that ultimately determines our level of satisfaction or dissatisfaction with our life.
We are shaped through time, mentally, emotionally, and physically, by the environment we grow up in and the corresponding thoughts and beliefs we accept as our own during our journey.
It is the contrast in our environment and in how those around us feel about the situations that provide us with guidance on ‘how we should feel’ about stuff that happens to us throughout our life. And it is only because we have this constant contrast or diversity, that we are afforded the opportunities to have a range of thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
Our thought processes begin to separate things into ‘good and bad,’ ‘wanted and unwanted,’ and ‘liked and disliked.’ And the good stuff makes us happy, and the bad stuff does not…. we don’t need to be a rocket scientist to understand that the more good things we encounter and seek out on our journey, the happier our overall life experience will be.
Do I really need to have some ‘unwanted’ experiences mixed in with the good stuff?
Our universe works because of duality. We have up and down, in and out, day and night, black and white, left and right, and good and bad. All things exist with their opposite to maintain balance.
Up cannot exist without down, just as left cannot exist without right. We can’t know one without the other. The good stuff is only experienced as good because we can see/imagine/feel the other stuff. This duality is necessary for our continued growth, expansion, and evolution as an individual and a species.
Everything that we are exposed to, yes, all of it, has the potential to make us wiser, more experience-rich, and eventually happier. And it all depends on only one thing…. how we respond to it.
It is only by being exposed to and experiencing a range of diverse circumstances/events/emotions/feelings that we can determine that they are different. We can, therefore, rank them and hopefully avoid more or the stuff that we don’t like. However, bad stuff is actually not bad at all, unless we choose to think of it that way and then react to it in a negative way.
The ‘bad stuff’ does not need to ruin your day!
Just because we see stuff happening around us, in different places, cultures, religions, political movements, etc. it does not mean that we need to become emotionally involved in it. Stuff can only upset us, annoy us, make us angry, etc. if we invest our thoughts and emotions into it in a negative way.
I do not mean that we should avoid all things that are not to our liking so that we will only be exposed to the stuff that we like, but suggest that we can view this ‘negative stuff’ in a neutral or positive way instead of having an adverse reaction which will eventually manifest as dis-ease in our bodies and minds.
By avoiding adverse reactions, we will maintain our overall sense of well-being and not be disturbed by things that are, in effect, happening outside of our control and outside of our bodies. Why would anyone want to feel stress, anger, anxiety, jealousy depression, etc. within their body and mind about stuff that is happening external to them and that they have no control over? Seriously, it’s worth considering, isn’t it?
Humans, to our detriment, are the only life form in all of nature that worry endlessly about the past or the future. Other animals, plants, insects, etc. just get on with living even after terrible disasters befall them. They never sit around feeling sorry for themselves or complain about things to their neighbors. Instead, they just make the best out of the time they have.
So, how do we make ‘good’ out of a ‘bad’ situation?
If we keep doing the same things that we have always done, reacting to the same situations/events in the same way as we have always done, then we can only ever expect to get the same results we have always obtained! We will just be stuck on the same level of the game, repeating the same lessons over and over again. This means that if a particular situation/person/event has always upset you in the past, and you are exposed to it again, you are most likely to repeat the same habitual negative response, and feel the same negative emotions.
As with any game, there are always multiple ways to play. We could take one step forward and one step back, or two forward and one to the left and then one back, or we could just remain where we currently are.
The wisest choice is to keep moving forward with the expectation of achieving our dreams. However, Moving forward means changing…… and change can only happen when we learn something new.
This means that you need to become aware of your habits and put effort into breaking them so that you can evolve beyond the limits you are currently living. It’s necessary to change because your brain is a record of the past, and if you don’t learn anything new, you will just live out your lives repeating the same experience over and over again.
Awareness of your thoughts and habits will allow you to realize that you have the option to change the way you respond. So instead of unconsciously reacting in ways that you always have, you can choose different conscious thoughts and actions (practice mindfulness) that will be of benefit to your personal growth and development. This will eventully result in an increase in overall happiness and satisfaction with life!
Make the most out of all situations and events, no matter how much you dislike them, just by training your point of attention to go where it will produce the desired good feelings and emotions, is always the best option.
How is life like a game?
In a game, we learn the rules, identify our objective and proceed through the game, step by step, in the hope of eventually arriving at the end feeling satisfied that we have played a good game. In life, we can do the same!
None of us come here to purposefully choose a crappy life experience, but many people seem to have nothing but bad luck/ill fortune befall them. However, if these people learned the rules of life, they would easily be able to improve their experience.
Once you uderstand that a range of stuff exists to experience, you can make decisions as to what sort of life you want to live. You can then seek out the information and experiences that will give you more of the stuff that makes you feel good.
And eventually, you will arrive at a point where you are playing (living life) just for the love of the game and are consciously expecting to enjoy all the steps along the way. And this is what will give you a great life experience.
If, however, you choose to believe that life is hard and full of obstacles, then this is what you will attract (through The Law of Attraction) into your experience.
You will benefit the most when you focus on your own experience and check in with yourselves regularly, many times every day, inquiring, ‘How am I feeling now?’ Your answer to this question will give you an indication of what you have just been thinking about.
If you are not happy, for whatever reason, you can change our thoughts to ones that will immediately elevate your level of happiness. If you do this regularly, you will break down the negative, self-defeating thought habits that currently inhabit your minds. And from here, you can then begin to build beneficial habits that will help you achieve a higher level of overall satisfaction with your life. Becoming a happier person is the way to win at the game of life.
It is important to remember that contrast and diversity need to exist, but that this does not mean that we need to allow all experiences to become part of our lives. Other players may need some of the stuff that we see as undesirable to learn what they need to learn. We should be happy for them as they are receiving what they need to help them evolve to the next level of the game. It’s none of our business what other people are doing and we should be concerned with putting our focus where it belongs…… on becoming the best player that we can be so that we will get to achieve the awesoe life that we want to be living.
As with any game, it would be boring if there was nothing to challenge us, surprise us, and keep us guessing what is coming next!
Enjoying the Game Of Life is a moment-by-moment choice dependent on what we are thinking about at any given moment…..
So, what are you choosing to think about Now, and Now, and Now? Please, let us know in the comments section below how you are winning at the game of life…
7 thoughts on “If Life Is Like A Game, How Do You Win?”
A very interesting and thought-provoking article. I got a bit stuck on the concept of the dualistic world we occupy. Why did we get fixated on the dualistic world I wonder. Wouldn’t it have been fun to move on to a tripartite world and hang out there for a while, thoroughly exploring all the permutations of a trinity? I’m using a little “t” here. I mean we can spend ages thinking about all the possibilities around I) the object of knowledge, ii) the knower, and iii) the process of knowledge. Or I) the object seen, ii) the seer, and iii) the process of seeing. i) the doer, ii) the thing done and iii) the process of action. I could go on and on but there are a lot of possibilities here. You may indeed recognize that one source of this way of looking at subtle layers of life, existence, and everything is the Vedic tradition. If I am not mistaken these were thoughts that adherents of Pythagoras were chasing. After all, if life is a game then it can also be a game of numbers. Then I guess when we have had our fun with seeing everything in threes and twos, we can get back to pondering the unity of it all.
Another thought – somewhere at the astral cocktail bar at the end of all of our lifetimes we’ll be sitting back, sipping our ethereal G and Ts and saying to each other – and there was another lifetime when we thought XXX (fill in the blanks) was important. And we would chuckle to ourselves like tolerant parents etc.
As I said, thanks for the thought-provoking article. I hope my thoughts made at least some sense.
I am a firm believer that if I want something different, I must do something different, and that goes for every aspect of my life.
I agree… moving forward we should acknowledge that change, for the better, is necessary to break bad habits. Thinking negative thoughts excessively which becomes the “norm” for some people is a bad habit.
The mind can be a dangerous thing if we let our thoughts control us and not control our thoughts.
Being positive is vital.
I could go on and on about this type of stuff but I will stop here ?
Great post. This type of self-help is very important.
Hi Ashley, Thanks for your comments. Yes, being positive is vital if we want to live a happy and healthy life- and why wouldn’t we want this for ourselves and our loved ones. By being the best we can be, we set a positive example for those around us and maybe they will be inspired enough to want to make improvements in their own lives.
Cheers mate. I wish you a wonderful day, everyday!
Very interesting take on life and life’s experiences. It is really clever to compare it with playing a game, without saying life is a game. Love your point of view ?
Thanks for taking the time to read my article. Most people take themselves to seriously and don’t realize that life would be a lot more enjoyable if they relaxed a bit and viewed life as a game. Maybe they would then take time to pause and review their options more frequently and hopefully, they would realize that they have many more options than continuing to live within a narrow restrictive mindset that currently defined who they are. The possibilities for more freedom, more fun, laughter, love, and abundance are everywhere. It just takes courage to break free of our conditioning so we can move forward in the game, with the goal of achieving more of the stuff we want, more of the time.
Have a great day ?
What a fantastic article and some real thought-provoking analogies in there.
I’m only too aware of how my own negative self-talk and sensitivity to others’ opinions can directly impact my day.
However, your reference to “life being like a game” and there being “multiple ways to play that game” makes a great deal of sense. Plus, I guess without day-to-day challenges, good or bad, I wouldn’t be able to grow as a person, and life would become pretty boring.
With that said, I realise that my emotions often get the better of me before I’ve even had the chance to appraise a situation.
Any suggestions for “catching” my emotions and being able to take a step back would be greatly appreciated.
Anyway, as I say, a great article, thank you.
Hi Partha. Many thanks for taking the time to reply to my post.
Other people’s opinions about you are just that….. just their opinions! They are neither right nor wrong, but what they are is NOT IMPORTANT. ‘They’ see the world and other people in it through their own programmed set of beliefs, so unless they are ‘perfect’ you should not worry what they think. And, if they were perfect, they would not be judging you in any way what so ever, because they would understand that you are walking the perfect path that you need to walk for your continued growth and evolution ? What I’m trying to say is…. don’t worry about others and their opinions. It’s none of your business. Just live your life in the best possible way you can and reach for the stars, and expect to get there!
Most of us are ‘people doing,’ and by this, I mean that we don’t take the time to consciously think before reacting to stuff. We just repeat or ‘do’ the same reactions that we are familiar will because we have done so many times before. To grow, we must learn how to become more conscious of how we act and interact with the environment and thereby become more of a ‘human being.’ We must ‘be’ more consciously aware and more ‘present’ more of the time so that we can have a meaningful and beneficial reaction and relationship to what is happening to us and around us at all times.
Zombies walk around reacting without thinking, but wise humans should strive to be awake to what is happening and contribute in a way that benefits all concerned.
If you can pause before unconsciously reacting, you have the opportunity to become conscious and therefore aware of different options available to you. Closing your eyes and taking a few slow relaxed deep breaths is a really good way to begin breaking the habit of mindless reacting.
I hope that helps answer your question about what you can do to catch you emotions before they get the better of you.
You may also like to read a couple of my other articles to give you more information of using your emotions to you advantage, https://healthywealthyhappyandwise.com/what-is-emotional-intelligence-and-why-should-i-care/
and becoming a more conscious ‘human being’ https://healthywealthyhappyandwise.com/are-you-a-human-being-or-a-human-doing-human-beings-have-better-lives/
Shared with much love and appreciation for all players in this game of life ?