A Game of Life
“A man who dares waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life” (Charles Darwin). In fact, life is a mathematical function of time. How many of you believe that your time is used at its full potential? How many of you feel like you are wasting your life? We all know what it feels like going to bed with regret and disappointment in heart, over a day wasted.
It’s tough. Who wants to admit they are making hundreds of mistakes on a daily basis? Who wants to look at themselves in the eye, in the mirror, and speak the truth: “I am not living up to my potential. I could be better than I am”.
No worries, I will help you become that person which does live up to their potential. I will help you by offering a new perspective on life. One that will make you think TWICE before every action and decision you will ever undertake, from this moment onwards.
I’m an Engineer, I speak Math. And to me, life is a mathematical function of time. What I mean by that is simple. Your quality of life goes up and down, as you go about your days, months, years.
Think of the graph as the sum total of everything that you have, do, and, are. It aggregates together all areas of life: from physical appearance to relationships, to mental wellbeing, to wealth – into a single unit.
The little points on the line are the countless decisions and actions that you make, from the day you are born, until the day you die.
Now, If that’s true… If life is a mathematical equation of time … Which one would you rather have? The nice green line, or the red one? Would rather climb up the ladder of success, achieve all your goals, and constantly improve? Or would you rather plummet into an endless sinkhole of denial, failure, and misery?
It all depends on how you play the game of life.
Is the Game of Life Fair?
Now, in this game, some people are given a bad hand right from the get-go. They start from below zero. Perhaps, they are born into poverty, or to an outcast group. Maybe their parents are abusive idiots. Or perhaps, they have some life-crippling disease or accidents.
Others seem to be touched by God. Blessed with good health, good looks, and great wealth. They get a good head start. I agree it seems unfair. But in this game of life, it’s not how you begin, only where you end and how you play.
Everyone can climb up and make to the top. It all depends on how you play, on the choices that you make every day…
Decision Node – The Power of Choice
In the graphs, you will see little points, leading up or down. I call them decision nodes. These are all your daily decisions and choices, from the day you are born, until the day you die. Those critical points are your strengths. They are the only place of power and influence that you have over your life.
Each decision point is a node. A fork in the road, which leads you to different paths. Each one can elevate you to new heights, or bring you crashing down. This morning, the alarm screamed, waking me up. I was in the bed, but that was an illusion. I was also in a decision node. Half asleep, and barely holding on to consciousness I could have hit that SNOOZE button and take an extra two hours of shut-eye. Or, I could have jumped out of bed, and go out for an early run, as I planned to do. One of those decisions would have lowered me slightly, having wasted 2 hours of free time. And one of them would have lifted me up, having taken one extra step towards losing those extra pounds.
Countless decision nodes present themselves on a daily basis: watch TV or go out with friends, and build relationships. Read a book, or learn a new skill. Be disciplined or be distracted.
How Efficient Can You Be
In Geometry, nodes have a funny feature. It’s called a slope. It defines steepness – how rapidly do you go up or down. In our life analogy, slope means efficiency. Imagine you make a good decision, and it improve your life quality by a certain amount.
The question is: How fast can you implement that improvement? How efficiently can you act on the decision? Will it take you 3 weeks, 1 week, or a day? The faster the better, and the more you gain and climb upwards in this game of life.
We all remember that famous 1% rule, don’t we? Fastest way to mastery… I presented lots of learning and efficiency strategies in this blog.
Thinking about life this way was for me the best antidote to aimlessness. I have a newfound respect for my time and my decisions. And you know where I learned this from? It’s not an accident that my article is artfully named Game of Life.
Guess who thought me this lesson. In the TV series “Game of Thrones”, I met my spiritual teacher, Littlefinger. And he offers what I consider to be the most powerful and epic dialogue in modern day cinema:
“Every time I’m faced with a decision I close my eyes and see the same picture. Whenever I consider an action, I ask myself: Will this action help to make this picture a reality? … Pull it out of my mind and into the world. And I only act if the answer is yes. A picture of me, on the iron throne, on top of the world.”