Life is a game. The greatest game.
One where everything matters until it doesn’t. Where no one gets out alive, except some who don’t even live along the way. Where things are hard until you get used to them. Where expectations are rarely met, but more often than not, surpassed. It’s a game of the highest stakes yet seriousness doesn’t deserve to be the most listened to emotion.
Instead, a priority is placed upon love for the game, strategy, & players.
The game is as real as you want it to be and, well, you’re reading this & here so you might go ahead and get good at playing.
"Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards." - Vernon Sanders Law
The human experience is single-player.
The sense is that you’re the main character and the center of the universe. Not in an ego way exactly, but that’s what the POV feels like.
Your thoughts, emotions, dreams, and desires are self-contained in your subjective experience. Luckily we’re all alone together. This allows us to cross-verify recommended ways of living as well as ways to steer clear of.
It’s an unsettling (and inspiring) notion to realize there are people who have come from worse than you and ended up leading a better life than your current trajectory.
These high-agency individuals took their experiential ingredients, incoming opportunities, and circumstances to maximize their fate.
If the individual is the subjective player at the center of it all, then the world is the always-on playing field.
The phenomenological landscape arises out of an eternal stream of present moments with its infinite depth, interactive nature, and river-like flow of sensory inputs. And it helps to get a grip on the world. Pick up at least a few patterns, strategies, and maps - especially those who’ve been through it. The course of human history serves as a table of contents to how our ancestors dealt with the world (or failed to).
In this light, it would seem ridiculous not to tap into the life wisdom of formidable individuals outside your immediate circumstance.
I’d never trade lives with anyone. I’m too obsessed and in love with my own story. BUT, there are countless individuals I look up to and want to be like for specific character traits and abilities.
I don’t care to reinvent the wheel, I want to put it all together in a new way as I see fit for the best possible outcome. And thinking this way takes a bit of the pressure off when you realize most of your problems are solved problems. The answer is already known but overlooked or in a place you haven’t looked at yet. The chances of you encountering a type of life problem exclusive to you and beyond anything that any human has ever handled seems unlikely.
As with many things, once you know prosperity is possible, it’s hard to unsee it.
Beliefs are without a doubt your most expensive liability.
You pay for your beliefs with your behavior, conscious or not. Want to know what someone believes? Study what they do, not what they say.
They act out the code underlying the behavior. You don’t want rigidity.
You want your beliefs broken from time to time.
Not so that you fall into a pit of despair, but instead so that you rise up into a more beneficial pattern of behavior.
Beliefs are windows.
They help you see what others don’t or at least ignore what others can’t. Never will you find someone else looking through the exact same window as you. There will always be a slightly different angle and a sub-100% overlap. It’s fun to see where the differences lie. Sometimes it’s miles off, and others it’s pretty damn close.
Don’t be afraid to look through another’s window to at least glance at their vantage point.
Does your worldview get brighter? Do you feel more capable with that scene?
Take a few notes if so.
And of course, you can see what the results of that belief have been.
Based on what they were aimed for, did they get what they wanted? If not, I see little use in wasting much more time or energy with that particular belief. Jot it down in your ‘Steer Clear’ section, it will not serve you.
It’s the most exciting topic of study precisely because it dictates so much of our lived experience.
Endless fascination. Endless possibilities. Endless upgrades to be had.
(At least that’s what I’m choosing to believe)
Turns out there can be a lot of overlap between building design and building a life. John Ruskin (unknowingly perhaps) tells us how to live life better.
It's never too late to stumble upon an underlying principle of reality. (Especially one that can be put to use immediately)