A few examples of games we could choose to play –
Increasing the number of gym work outs in any given week.
Doubling the number of likes we get for our tweets.
Goofing around with our kids for the longer stretches of time.
Messaging and staying in touch with a growing number of acquaintances and friends via Whatsapp.
Reading more books every week.
Surprising our partner with one romantic outing every week.
Working harder than our peers to deliver superior outcomes.
Being more content with what we have.
It is easy to nod at a few of these and look at some of the others with contempt and a smirk.
But, the truth is that there are no “right” games in this list. If you want to be a social media influencer or build up the social following for your side hustle, measuring likes for your tweets may be a meaningful game to play this year. And, maybe staying in touch with folks over instant messages works as a great starting point if you are socially awkward.
On the flip side, maybe being content with what you have isn’t the best way to inspire yourself to do better work. Or, maybe your partner would appreciate if you helped out around the house and the kids more than any romantic outing.
There are always attempts to label games people play. There’s a heated ongoing debate among a few popular entrepreneurs and executives on Twitter about whether long hours are a necessity for success for example. Some assume long hours is a bad game to play. Others assume it is a good game.
If you’re reading these threads, I’d suggest taking away the fact that there is no objective answer and that it is on us to decide if the game is stupid or meaningful. When we do that, we quickly realize that one person’s stupid could be another’s meaningful. And, interestingly, a game that was meaningful to us at one point at our life may be stupid at another.
So, at this point (or any other), we must simply remind ourselves that the more games we choose to play that are meaningful to us, the more meaningful rewards we’ll get.
And vice versa.
But, most of all, choose.