The Game of Life (Intro, Part 1 of 4)

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This blog post is the first of a planned series of four posts that outlines my philosophy on life.

This first post stands as my take on life in general, but subsequent posts will cover:

Money and what it really is

-Managing interpersonal relationships

-How to win the game of life (and “winning” is relative)

Life in general is a game. I know that it is blasphemous to seemingly condense something as sacrosanct as life to something as inconsequential as a game, but not all games are inconsequential. One truism that validates this point is that life tries to kill us everyday and what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.

I enjoyed playing the Hasbro board game The Game of Life as a kid and I have a new appreciation for it as an adult. That game taught me that life has a lot of written and unwritten rules that you must heed in order to succeed.

Some rules are universal and other rules differ from place to place and change from time to time, but there are always rules and the person who doesn’t recognize this fact of life is in for a world of pain.

It should go without saying that the truisms that “rules are made to be broken” and “the rules are different for different people”, or “the rules don’t apply to everyone or every situation” are indeed truisms. However, my point is that we have rules in life and being cognizant of them and of the people who break them (whether they should break the rules or not) is essential to building a good life.

I say all of the above to say this…

Life is all about the choices we make.

I might add that time is only on our side if we don’t waste it and take advantage of the fierce urgency of now.

The decisions you make between the ages of 18-29 will almost irrevocably determine the rest of your life.

Young adults have a tendency to stay focused on short-term gain or pleasure without considering the long-term consequences or results.

Most of us think we have more time than we really have, especially young people, and thus, tend to waste time on people, thoughts, emotions, and endeavors that don’t serve us well in the end.

Twenty-somethings think they have all of the time in the world, so they never expand their experiences or circles of friends and acquaintances beyond a certain point.

Many people interpret the saying “keep your circle small” to simply mean not having a lot of friends or keeping a small group of close friends. While that is sound advice, because your inner circle should be exclusively small, it does not mean you should not have a large network.

A small circle of friends and family has a very useful and fulfilling utility, but to limit yourself to the same small group of people limits you as a person because it limits your ability to grow and expand beyond your circle.

Most jobs are not advertised and the best jobs and business opportunities are the result of “loose connections”. The friend of a friend of a friend is often how exclusive opportunities come your way.

Many in your circle want to keep you inside the circle and in a box. Some friends and family do not want you to succeed or see you do better than them. That is actually worse than having enemies because you know what your enemies want to do to you, but a friend’s or family member’s nefarious intent towards you is far harder to discern. Having friends of friends and a vast network are key to forging and maintaining a successful life.

As the saying goes, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

I might add that who you know gets you through the door, but what you know will keep you in the house.

-The Rational Ram

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