Today's article is a little different, different as in - I didn't write it. My colleague from Canada, Kalem Fergusson wrote it and I thought it was so beautiful that I asked if I could share it here for all of you to read. Kalem said "Sure!".
Kalem is a dear friend and fellow Coach based in Canada. He is a wonderful soul and one of the realist people I know.
He specializes in helping "change makers" experience transformational growth & everlasting fulfilment, through exploring purpose and deep connection.
What I loved about Kalem's post is the fresh perspective he brings to the idea of looking at Life as a "Game".
To me, one of the biggest ways we screw with life is that we take it so damn seriously; our habits, our goals, our way of creating success, our mindsets, our jobs, our relationships, our health, our family and our wealth.
We beat ourselves up so much about optimizing these areas in our lives that we forget the underlying Truths and Principles that are present behind the scenes. We forget that there is an intelligence behind the system - and if we just stopped screwing with life for just a moment - we'll see it. And when we see it it's like....OH, the game of life is actually A LOT easier than I made it out to be in my thinking. We then make SPACE for this ease and grace to work through us.
I’ve recently gone through one of the most difficult times of my life in the past 6 years. Amongst taking a DEEP dive internally, having some life-shattering insights, letting parts of myself die as new understandings come to life, and beginning to get very clear on what I want and where I’m going from here, I’ve also made some time for me just to BE, and have fun.
Part of what that meant was hanging out for a couple of hours every weekend with my brother Nikon playing video games, and in between games having deep conversations about life...
And without shame, because of that “Successful people don’t watch Netflix or play video games” shit... Lol.
Game on. 🎮
I found it was actually highly valuable because we can explore just about ANYTHING, and find a useful reflection of truth.
I soon realized how much playing any game, whether it's a video game or real life, pertains to the journey of mastery with anything.
Here are 10 things that I was reminded of:
👉 #1) Mastery takes time, Let it!
So I tried to pick up where I left off so long ago, and in a new game. I wanted to be as good right away as I knew (thought) I was. I began to play and realized that without consistent practice, even what I was once good at needs continual effort and purposeful practice to become masterful.
In short, I sucked at the game, and it was a little frustrating at times, and oddly okay because I still have fun.
👉 #2) Maintain a Spirit of Play in your game, Whatever that is!
I used to take playing games so seriously.
I know, sounds contradictory right?
Games aren't to be taken seriously, are they?...
I was reminded that regardless of the outcome, if I remain playful and unattached,
the game is lighter, more FUN, and I'm actually more productive and grow faster as
a good player.
👉 #3) You don't have to win to learn and have fun while playing!
I think this insightful reminder impacted me the most because I truly experienced it while playing the game. I get better and better at the game, even through losing. And I still had fun and learned in the process, without giving up before getting better (or as good as the next guy).
There was always just the next game, and I can drop it and pick it up whenever I want. The only limit is around our thinking.
To be honest, my biggest question through this was...
'Why is it so fun and easy compared to business and life sometimes if it works so similarly?'.
The best I came up with is that the only difference is that we know (think) one isn't real, and one is. (I'll dive more into this at the end).
👉 #4) You don't have to do it alone!
In fact, I refuse to do it alone. It's all about connection.
Whenever I've decided to play a game, and there's no support, and nobody is there to share with or strategize with to play bigger, it's not as fun. My thinking becomes limited to what only I know, and I'm stuck with that in order to try to play. And while it can work, it works a lot slower than surrounding myself with a community that's willing to help.
Many of the high performing creatives, leaders and entrepreneurs that I’ve known have had a history and secret of feeling completely alone. There’s another way to play.
The game is so much more fun and effortless with people there to deeply explore with and support us as a team.
👉 #5) Purposeful direction is important. Too much of anything without conscious awareness can be destructive and wasteful.
When I'm not aware of the purpose in playing the game, when there's no direction or conscious choice, it can become a distraction. Just a chain of compulsive actions.
Time is wasted, there are more reactions than responses and less freedom.
On the contrary, consciousness brings more freedom, choice and integrity to my actions and where they're leading, and I become more efficient at growing in that place.
Even if the purpose isn’t much other than slowing down and having a little bit of distraction fun, consciously choosing that helps!
I try to remember to always bring purposeful awareness to practicing consistent actions in the journey of mastery, with any game!
👉 #6) There's no such thing as failure, Only feedback.
This was a very clear awareness and reminder. I keep on failing/losing as I play, I'm not even the slightest bit good sometimes. And don't get me wrong, it can be frustrating (depending on my thought about it in the moment), but it's never stopped me from making the decision to just play the next game when I'd like to continue, and doing it with full involvement.
And when I'm tired, I honour that, I rest and let go. Next time, I use the experience as feedback to play the game a little better!
👉 #7) Thought creates our reality.
This is my favourite reminder, whenever it happens. There's so much power in it!
It's a reminder that nothing has meaning until I give it meaning (via thought). It's a reminder that how I feel is just a reflection of my mental landscape. I found I could look at taking a break and playing a game for a bit as a waste of life (as I used to), or I can do it consciously, with priorities still in check and aware that if done unconsciously, can end up steering me off of my path. It can become a form of practicing the fundamental principles of mastery, in any game!
The time it becomes compulsive, is when we spend more time thinking about something than taking the action (like thinking about the game too much while not playing it. Or thinking of business too much while not working on it or engaged with life).
Also: Don't let shame driven thinking hinder your fun/learning/presence, it's just a thought.
(Queue Self-Reminder... ✔️)
👉 #8) Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose!
That's the fun in games, is that it goes both ways. Remain grateful for the highs and graceful with the lows. It's beautiful.
Winning or losing, you have a choice to think of it as something serious. You can still have a great deal of fun with a game, while remaining sincere about your commitment to playing full out. It only ever makes it more enjoyable!
When in doubt, you may not be as skilled as the best, you may not have a great loadout/toolkit in the beginning, you may not feel good or have full health, but you can always do your best and grow in through that experience. Because even if you don't win, there's always the next game, and always little wins!
Keep in mind that even if you don't win the game, experience always helps you level up your in-game character, even if you're a n00b! 😜
👉 #9) Embrace the journey, not the destination!
This has always been a challenge for me, even with games. All of my life I've been taught to be driven by results. Because where was I valuable if there's no results?!?!
But there's a freedom that comes with realizing that I can commit to playing the game, to walking the journey of mastery, and not the result. (Why not? There's more substance to it! Life isn't an ESPN highlight reel).
The process can be challenging, and painful sometimes. So what's the point of hitting our heads on the wall over and over (not enjoying the process), just to feel good when we stop? (Getting the result).
That isn't happiness, that's a relief.
So where are you seeking relief to your self-created pain in the game of life?
The key is the difference between relief and happiness. Relief is outside-in, the victim's approach. Happiness and fulfillment is inside-out, the owner’s approach.
👉 #10) Everybody dies in the game at some point, whether it's sooner or later than others.
Now from the actual game's perspective, this is great. I can just play without fear of dying, without fear of not being good enough because there's always just the next game to grow. I may be afraid, nervous, focused, intense, etc.. and this is nothing more than a reflection of thought.
Because that feels real, just like in a realistic situation where one would feel those feelings, but they're completely different canvases.
That's the reality of thought and our experience.
If we have two canvases to paint on, and one painting looks more realistic, and one doesn't as much, they're both still made up, created with careful strokes of our paintbrush of thought. 🎨
The only thing really afraid of dying here is the Ego, in my experience.
Yet on a real-life level, if we keep procrastinating on playing our game of mastery, whatever we choose that to be, the game will be over before the world hears our music.
I meet many people, even high performing leaders that I work with that have so much more to give. So much more that they want to experience in living. Don't die with your music still inside you (as Wayne Dyer would say). Reflect openly and explore this more than concluding it...
Here’s a simple question:
‘If you knew that it was all made up anyways, What would be different for you?’
🤝 Also, as I write here... When I say “You”, I mean Me Too. We’re all made of the same stuff.
Have YOU ever seen any of these present in playing your game of life? Please share if you feel called!
Also - Thank you, Nikon, for being an incredible teammate. And not just on our 2 hours of PlayStation the last few Sundays!
Stick with those teammates in your life that you’re blessed to have around, and that encourages you to live fully.