In ‘The Game of LIFE,’ did you ever notice that, although you might have a few different choices here and there, every player’s objective is pretty much the same? You have to get through the LIFE board, filling your car up with as many kids as you’re gifted, and make it to retirement. That’s all fine and good. But is that really a good analogy for real life? I’m skeptical.
For one thing, there are a lot more crossroads in real life than there are in the game — a lot more decisions to be made that can take your life in drastically different directions. But I think the most unrealistic part of ‘The Game of LIFE’ is that it assumes that everybody’s “win” is the same.
It assumes we all want to buy a house, work our buns off, collect tiny pink and blue children in our minivans, and then at some point we’re blessed with retirement where we can finally rest. That idea just seems silly to me.
I think we all have our own — different — priorities. We each have our own values, our own little quirky things that make us happy. Maybe you do want kids, and that’s great! Maybe buying a house is high on your priority list and you’re saving for that already. Maybe your 9–5 job feels soul-fulfilling! Maybe the traditional retirement route feels freeing to you right now. All of that is wonderful. But my guess is that there’s something — even if it’s something small — that doesn’t feel like a win to you that you’re doing anyway, because you think you have to. Or because you think that’s just what life is.
That brings up the possibility that, if your life doesn’t feel as fulfilling as you want it to be, maybe your “win” looks different than the one-size-fits-all path originally paved for you.
On a small scale, maybe you feel refreshed and renewed by being outside. That could make sunshine a daily “win.” Maybe baking a fresh batch of cookies feels like joyful memories and makes your entire rented apartment feel like a vacation to grandma’s home, so you do that once a month. A monthly “win.” Maybe your “win” feels more drastic than that, like a big life change. My question for you to ponder is:
If you were winning at real life right now, what would that feel like? What would that look like?
And keep in mind that having a different kind of “win” than the so-called “norm” doesn’t mean you’re doing real life wrong! It means you’re tuning into what’s important for you, playing a game all your own, and defining a “win” that will actually feel like you’re winning.
Blog written by Christina Dunlap. Check out her website at www.christinamarie.com.