Life is a Game

‘Life is a game.. In order to have a game, something has to be more important than something else. If what already is, is more important than what isn’t, the game is over. So, life is a game in which what isn’t, is more important than what is.’ Werner Erhard

Life becomes very exciting when you treat it is a game. Our understanding of games is that games are fun, exciting and challenging. It becomes even more exciting when the opposition team is a good solid team and come what may, you want to win the game against this opposition. The thrill of beating an opposition considered better than you is unparalleled. And this is when the game is worth playing.

Consider now that your life is a game. Meeting your targets at work is a game; bringing up your child is a game; getting into shape and being fit is a game; earning an adequate amount of money to afford the lifestyle that you want is a game.

There are two types of games that you can play. One that you have always been playing every day, and even winning. Some people play the game of simply waking up in the morning and showing up at work. This is their game and they seem to be satisfied with this game. It works for them.

Does this work for you?

Right now, you are playing a game – the question is – Is this game that you are playing now worthy of you? Games have to be worthy of you. Can you imagine Vishwanathan Anand playing a game of chess with a local player and enjoying winning the game with him? Similarly, can you imagine Ratan Tata investing his time in acquiring a 10 -15 crore company. No chance! These people are playing games that are worthy of them.

The idea is to make it large; to make this game mighty; mightier than you are; bigger than a game you have ever played before. There is no fun in playing games that are not a challenge; that are not bigger than you are; and in effect; that which are not worthy of you!

Ask yourself, is simply going to the stadium your game? (and right now do ask yourself this question!).

I can tell you, if you answer this question honestly, a lot of you will say ‘Yes’ to this question. And if so, I suggest you get on to the court – Feel the heat of being on the court! Feel the pressure of playing an exciting game!

This can be different for different people.

Games are played and for your life to be a game, you need to ‘play’ the game of life. So, what does play mean?

The dictionary meaning of play is ‘Exercise or activity for amusement or recreation’; now, look at how close the meaning of the word ‘Work’ is. Work is defined as ‘an activity that is productive’. So, both words ‘play’ and ‘work’ mean ‘activity’, however, one is for amusement or recreation and the other is activity that is productive.

Now look at any successful person that you know off, and you will realize that this person did not differentiate between work and play. For them work was indeed play and play was work itself. They are involved in activities that are for amusement or recreation and are also simultaneously productive.

So, in conclusion, dismantle or collapse the difference between work and play. Go out and have fun. Make that fun productive for you; and so that you indeed expand, take on a game that you have never ever even imagined before!

I can guarantee you – you will surprise yourself!!

Sameer Dua, Founder Director, Institute for Generative Leadership, India