Treat Life Like a Game If You Want to Start Winning

If you want to start winning and succeeding in life, you’re going to have to change the way you think about things. Obviously, the most important thing to change is your attitude and your mindset. If you exchange negative thoughts for positive ones and start thinking in a new way, I guarantee that things will start to change for you. However, I recognize that simply “flipping a switch” is not always easy.

In this article, I would like to discuss one tip that I heard from a friend on how he helps to keep himself on track for continual growth and improvement.  This is in addition to his ability to stay motivated and to maintain peak performance. In his words, “if you want to start winning, you have to treat life like a game.” After thinking about this, I came to the realization that this is phenomenal advice.

Games Are Often About Competition

go cart racingIn any game, there is going to be some element of competition in it. Competition usually helps to drive people towards success. Sometimes, the very thought of beating a friend can help give you the edge and motivation that you need to succeed and win. Even if you’re not a competitive person, thinking about aspects of your life in terms of a competition can help motivate you to achieve bigger and greater things. In business, we like to say that the competition is fierce but healthy. It drives innovation, creativity, and perpetual improvement. Without competition in a free market, there would be little incentive to grow.  In some ways, life is just like this.

Accept Progressive Challenges

For any game to be fun and enjoyable it has to have a challenge. If you have ever played an easy game then you have likely noticed that it can be conquered quickly.  Once you beat the game, it becomes boring and loses its appeal. On the other hand, if you try to play a game that’s too hard or complicated to play, then it’s likely that you will give up quickly before you can accomplish anything of significance. The best games are the ones that start off easy so you can learn how it works and then get progressively harder the longer you play. In this regard, life is very much the same.

Ladder Rock WallsFor example, when you start a career right out of college, you’ll likely get an entry-level job. In this position you probably won’t be managing any employees. Once you master your new role, you’ll likely be promoted or you’ll find another job that suits your skill level.  Eventually, you’ll move into middle management and then some day you’ll find yourself moving higher and higher up the ladder. This progressive increase in career challenges mirrors that of a challenging and well designed game.

In order to progress up the ladder, you must accept the challenge and work hard to increase your knowledge and skills. Similarities between progressively challenging games and almost all aspects of life can be found. When you conquer the challenges in life, you’ll feel exceedingly good about yourself. In addition, you will have grown stronger and smarter for having made the journey. Like the old saying goes, “if it were easy then everyone would do it.” Success, climbing to the top, and achieving victory has to be challenging for it to be worth it.

Train Often and Practice Hard

Dartboard bullseye target centerTo beat any game where skill is the main producer of victory, it’s likely that you are going to need to train often and practice hard. Of course, some people seem to have natural luck at winning games. However, luck will only get you so far in life. By training and practicing a game, you’ll be able to hone your skills so that you can attain the edge above your competition and eventually start winning more often.

When it comes to life, there really is no difference. If you want to get ahead in business or in your personal life, then you need to start training and practicing. You can do anything that you put your mind to. Practicing and training can include a lot of things like: 1) getting an education, 2) taking online courses, 3) attending seminars, 4) reading books,  or 5) just simply developing better habits to work smarter and faster. Success comes to those who work hard. Therefore, put in the time and the effort and you’ll get better at everything you do. Even a tenth of a percent increase in your effort to develop yourself could result in giving you the edge needed to finally start getting ahead.

Keep Score

Arcade score top screenIn most games that people play, there is often the system of score keeping. The score is the predominant way in which a winner or a loser is determined. In life, keeping score can help you stay on top. Don’t misunderstand me here; I’m not talking about getting even with people or maintaining an “eye for an eye” for misdeeds. Revenge is never something that will help you win in life. When I’m talking about keeping score, I’m talking about tracking your progress on your goals and keeping a log or a journal to help keep you on track.

When you keep score by writing out your goals and your progress towards achieving them, you’ll find that reaching those goals will become easier. Another thing that a journal does for you is that it can help to clear your head and articulate your thoughts properly. These notes can be used to help spur creativity in moments of a nebulous mind. Writing things down, especially progress and daily accomplishments, will go a long way towards keeping you motivated and on track.  Using this technique can help you achieve any goal you can think of.

Follow the Rules

In any game that you’ll ever play, there are rules that define the parameters for which a winner will be determined.  If you cheat in a game you will eventually get caught and lose. Even if you don’t get caught cheating, you’ll probably feel guilty. You know within yourself that this is not a legitimate win. Just like the world of games, life also has a set of rules.

When it comes to rules, one of the main purposes of government is to set up laws and boundaries for which everyone has to operate within. These legal limits help level the playing field for everyone who’s just trying to succeed in life. Could you imagine a world without rules where people could steal and otherwise do whatever they wanted without consequence? This would not be a great world for people to succeed in. When everyone plays by the rules, no one will have an unfair advantage and everyone will have an equal opportunity to succeed on their own merits.

Save Often

Vacation feet on a beachMost electronic games these days have a built-in feature that can be used to save your game. This allows you to come back to the game later to pick up where you left off. In many cases, games cannot be beaten in one sitting, let alone one day. In fact, most modern video games will take several weeks or months to conquer.

When it comes to life in general, you literally have an entire lifetime to succeed. You can’t continually work day in and day out forever without eventually succumbing to stress and burning out. It’s important to press pause on a big project, learning endeavor, or your career so that you can take a vacation and recharge your batteries. One of the good things about “saving your spot” and taking a vacation is that this gives you time to de-stress. With less stress, your mind may become more relaxed and more creative which can help you to develop new ideas or formulate new plans. You’ll return to your regular life and career feeling refreshed and perhaps posses a new ability to do things differently and more efficiently. Taking time to rest can also help achieve your goals faster.

Final Thoughts

When treating life like a game, you’ll often see things in a different light. This alternate perspective can change the way you go about your everyday business. For every successful milestone that you achieve, it’s like adding “points to your high score.” For every new skill that you learn or new ability that you obtain, it’s just like you “leveled up.” Treating life like a game can make things fun and interesting ultimately enabling you to find success faster and more easily.

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