Imagine that life is a game. It could be a board game, a card game, a computer or video game. It could even be a game you play on your phone. Looking around me it seems like lots of people are playing at life on their phones. So, it’s not much of a stretch to think of life as a game.
Next, let's Imagine the games: Monopoly, Solitaire, Fortnite, Candy Crush, or my personal favorite, Mario Kart. Now, in this game, no matter which one you choose, you have all the resources you need to be able to level up. That’s right. You had all the resources you needed, and you could never die.
Sure, it would be fun at first, you’d be able to play as recklessly and as sloppy as you want. But after a while, might you be a little bored?
The very idea of playing a game is to meet challenges and overcome obstacles. You need to problem solve, collect the right cards or materials, make the right connections, and sometimes even get help from other players to be able to get what you need and to go where you want to go. That's life!
Each time you fail at a game, or a level of the game, you are not really failing. You are walking away with the feedback you need to attain something immensely valuable: experience. With that experience, the next time you get back in the game, you apply what you’ve learned to move forward to the next level. Remember, this doesn’t always mean you get it done on the second or even third try. But each time you gain more skills and more knowledge that will help you throughout the game.
For instance, let’s say you fail a test at school. What does that teach you? It may teach you about how to really prepare for a test: how much you need to study, when you need to study, how much sleep is optimal for your concentration, or that cramming the night before might not be the best preparation method. So, failing a test is feedback on what you need to do to improve next time.
The death of a pet teaches you a life skill about grief and how to process it. Later, when you’re faced with the death of a loved one, you have more skills to cope with your reactions to the loss. You’re better able to grieve and process through that. That's a life skill.
When you break up with a boyfriend or girlfriend, especially when you’re younger, it is feedback on who we are in a relationship. It lets us examine what worked and what didn’t work. Ultimately, it gives us the experience to know what kind of person we want to be for ourselves and within a relationship. It also gives empathy for those who are experiencing a breakup or divorce.
Just like elementary school prepares us for middle school, and middle school prepares us for high school, and high school prepares us for life or college or whatever the next step will be; each obstacle we face, every challenge in this game of life, prepares us for the next one, the next one, and the next one.
TREASURE CHEST OF RESOURCES
First, let’s acknowledge that Experience is a resource. It constantly informs your ability to make the best decisions for yourself as you move forward through life. If you do not learn from the feedback life has given you, your decisions will reflect that.
That being said, of the many resources you have available, these are three of the biggest.
There are other resources to consider in the game of life, not the least of which is relationships. What are those relationships that are important to you in life? They run the gamut of all you do. There are the fun friends you like to go out with. There are others who are deeply invested as you as a person and are there when you need support. These two don’t need to be mutually exclusive, but they are different parts of your life that are enhanced by the relationships you have.
You know the old adage, “Time is money.” It’s true in as much as time is valuable. If you had all the money in the world, you could just buy whatever you wanted on a whim. You’d have no appreciation for need. When your funds are limited, like most peoples are, you need to make conscious choices about how you spend your money.
The good news is that time is equal for everyone. We all have 24 hours in a day. We can all make conscious decisions about how we spend our time. If you had all the time in the world there’d be no urgency, no motivation to get anything done now.
Recently, four friends and I were on a phone call to find out when we could all get together that week. We all have very busy schedules but by the end of the conversation, we were able to narrow it down to one time. Our time together is important to us. It’s limited and we need to make the most of it.
Education is another resource you can use to level up your life. Whether it’s formal education, reading up on relevant topics, or just finding sources of information, you can learn to develop your skills and enhance your abilities.
My 16-year-old son is learning all he can about how to get the money he needs to get a car, what kind of car he can realistically afford, and how much does a car’s maintenance cost. He’s also discovering that there may be benefits owning a car may offer him, like the ability to get to and from a job or school.
Being a lifetime learner is essential to the process of leveling up. Whether it’s learning your new CRM software, how to cook healthier meals, how to best save for retirement, and yes, even on how to buy your next car, education is a resource.
Your resources are not limited to these three resources, but these are some of the big ones.
So, I encourage you today to think of your life as a game. What experience do you have? What resources? In short, what can you do to level up your life, and live the life you want?