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2 Ways to Play the Game of Life

Of course life is not a game…or is it?

My corporate training/consulting mentor, Larry Wilson, Founder of Wilson Learning Corporation and an interviewee in my OOP book, Finding the Great Creative You, talked about the two strategies for playing the game of life.

There are two basic ways to play the game:

Way 1:  Playing not to lose

Way 2:  Playing to win

When you choose Way 1 – Playing not to Lose – you are actually playing a zero sum game…a way that blocks and limits you from ever achieving your goal.

Way 2 looks risky, and it can be scary because the idea of playing to win is loaded with protective advice from your beta-mind programming, which usually sounds like don’t…meaning:

Don’t try, don’t move, don’t change, don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t speak up, don’t stick out, don’t risk….

Larry always said, “Get into the game and stay in the game”.  You can change direction, you can learn new things and choose anew everyday, but the most important rule for yourself, if you are serious is…never give up.

When you are dedicated to playing not to lose, you are dedicated to playing it safe.  And playing it safe is exactly how you can get stuck. When you embrace comfort and the familiar much more than you crave expansion in your life, you can easily fall into a hypnotic state that causes you to miss opportunities, options and new ideas.

The playing not to lose choice may keep you in a job that tries your soul. Not-lose choices keep you in the state of getting what you have always had, rather than freeing you to a full life, and the ability to get what you have always wanted.

When you wait until you are ‘totally’ ready to start something new in your life, if you are still collecting data, thinking about change, making lists, reflecting…it is already too late, for now.  However, you can change that in an instant!

The willing-to-win choice requires you to embrace the willingness to go as far as you can, using all you have.  It requires you to be willing to experience the potential temporary set-backs that may arise, to be willing to accept that things could even potentially look worse before they are clearly better.  If you are only willing to take a chance on a sure thing…thinking that there is only one road, one way, one direction…then you likely have already failed.

It doesn’t matter where you start – it matters where you end up.  To really change, you need to be willing to dig in, commit and move forward. When in doubt, act!  You can’t move forward without forward-moving action.

In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.   ~ Bill Cosby


By Katie Garnett, a contributing blogger for JenningsWire