“The game’s not big enough unless it scares you a little.”
-Jonathan Frakes as Commander William Riker
Well, nothing reveals humanity as well as the games it plays. Though, some would argue that it’s revealed best in how we play.
First things first, what is the game? It’s the game of Life, of course! I mean, what other games do we play other than games that are designed to entertain some necessity to elevate ourselves against our peers? I don’t know of any games that would operate under any other principles that didn’t suggest some level of competition, do you?
I don’t like to think that Life can necessarily be won or lost, at least in terms that would give significance to the idea that we are competing against each other. I don’t believe that any individual is comparable to any other. I believe that we are all different that our unique combination of intellect and individualism create our own statement. Thus, making the conditions a lot more favorable to support that belief.
I like to think that the objective of Life is to have one that at changes the world we live in. Personally, some of the most fulfilling moments haven’t come from buying things or going places. It was doing things that I thought that I wouldn’t ever get an opportunity to do or thought I’d not get to do again. The collection of experiences, not material, has a motivation all its own. I was like that and wanted everything new and flashy that came out. For a while, I did get have those things and they meant nothing. Sure, having those things offered convenience or an arena to alleviate stress. But, in the end, those things didn’t change the world I lived in. It just offered me a way to deal with it.
For a while, I was comfortable with living my life this way. I felt like I didn’t have too much to offer and I didn’t have much of a reason or incentive to find out. Sure, I had friends, job, and money. I figured that’s all I needed. Looking back at it now, I realized that I wasn’t afraid to do something more with what I had. It didn’t scare me. But, being older and wiser now, I realize that it should have scared the hell out of me. It still does.
Perhaps the biggest concept I’ve grappled with is how my dreams and aspirations all fit together. I’ve been victim to the right thing at the wrong time and the wrong things at the right time. You name it, I’ve been in a spot where it just didn’t work. I’m big enough to admit that my actions are my own and I won’t place blame on anyone or anything that wasn’t conducive to achieving the objective. At the same time, I also had to learn that dreams and aspirations, much like anything else that we care about, require love, attention, honor, and loyalty. Life can get in the way and I’m not making excuses for mine. But, to say that any one of us can dedicate ourselves to any one singular thing isn’t likely. However, I can attest to the idea that if many other things have a common purpose with what you want to do, then it all can create some synergy.
Honestly, the fun part of it all is alleviating the doubt and uncertainty of everything. We don’t like committing to something we are unsure about. I sure don’t. At the same time, making a decision in spite of our vision or our confidence in it creates a sense of adventure. Everyone likes an adventure because there’s really no certainty in it. Doubt just adds to the intrigue. Intrigue, to most people and myself included, is really what motivates further action. Everyone asks the question, “Why do this?” Very few people ask “Why not?” and those are the ones who wind up doing things they wouldn’t have expected themselves to. Adventure has an advantage of posing some unique challenges on their own because of the nature of the questions they pose. They require a willingness to just see beyond the normal. Normal is easy to deal with on a daily basis and very rarely would you see something you hadn’t seen before or something that wasn’t unexpected. On many times, I’ve said and will continue to say that change is essential. It honestly is. Nobody got anywhere taking the easy path and only fighting battles they knew they could win. I’m guilty of that to this day still. I’m not advocating that there’s something wrong with the easy path. What I am saying is that there will be opportunities to blaze your own trail and avenues that are suited to those opportunities.
Nobody said life was safe or that anything about it was certain. Well, I think death and taxes would fall into the latter column. However, the risk is one of the pillars of our existence. I don’t think you could find anyone who would disagree because Life is full of them. Some of us just get too comfortable doing the same old things. As a matter of principle, we take the path that yields the greatest amount of success or gain with the least amount of effort. There’s no fun in that. There’s nothing necessarily endearing about doing the same things that everyone else was doing to get all of the same things. I just don’t think there is anything enriching about conformity. It does have its merits, I’m not denying that. I just don’t find anything valuable about taking the same path everyone else is. It doesn’t showcase our intellect or individualism. Every person has their own skills and it’s important that we all showcase them as such.
Me personally, it helps to perceive the whole thing as if you were playing a strategy game. Honestly, Life is just an exercise in resource management to me. We have all of these things that comprise our daily activities. Time, money, relationships, skills, careers, or whatever else you can think of all play a role in how we participate. If we don’t have any money, we will invest more time in either our skills or careers. If our relationships are lacking, we will try and pour time and skills in order to build them. It’s rather complicated sometimes but deceptively efficient. How well we manage all of these resources directly influences our measure of success or failure. As much as I don’t really this philosophy, it seems to fit. Humanity, as a whole, is very objective based. I’m not denying that accomplishments have their place and that they should be rewarded. However, I don’t believe that being measured by these accomplishments is fair. I don’t think comparison as an entire concept is fair. But, that’s just me.
There’s nothing honorable about comparing your hopes and dreams to someone else’s. I don’t believe that they are any more or any less important or worth achieving. I can’t stress enough the important of taking that statement to heart. There’s nothing small about achieving goals and living out your dreams. They may be menial or tedious to some people but those people don’t have the power to be critical of you just because their point of view doesn’t agree with your own. That’s part of the game. If someone can talk you out of your position, then your position was too weak. If you give more meaning to the way they play, then the way you play will be small. It’s just imperative to be bigger than any amount of criticism. My dreams intimidate me. They intimidate the hell out of me. But, I don’t let that fear and intimidation shrink my resolve to pursue them. I also don’t let fear and intimidation warp their meaning and change the vision I have for them. I try to, anyway… and there lies the mystery and intrigue. Not to mention the will to persevere to see them through.