How to win at the game of life

Trying to control every outcome is impossible. Instead we should control our response to whatever life brings

We have so little control over what happens in life. No one knows what the next moment will bring. The more certain we are, the more likely we are wrong. Knowing what will happen next is not how life works.

Sure, we can convince ourselves that we “know” what will happen, but we really don’t. Even if our thinking is built upon a foundation of knowledge, wisdom and experience, we still are at life’s whim.

The better team does not always win. What should happen based on history often does not. And then there are the “out of left field” happenings that catch us totally unaware. It can be serendipity, tragedy or somewhere in between.

Spending our time trying to know and control what cannot be is a life lived filled with Noise. It prevents us from being all-in for this moment since we are cluttering our mind trying to know and control moments yet to come. Yes, at times we are right about the future, but consistency is impossible.

If we judge a successful life by whether we win or lose, whether we correctly anticipate what’s next or not, then we are headed down a path where our self-worth ebbs and flows like the tides. This is no way to live a life. Our time is better spent knowing and controlling this moment only. When we are being our best, all that we are, in this moment we have found victory no matter the results.

While we control so little, what we do control is more powerful than anything that might or might not happen. For what we control is our response to what life brings in this moment. If our mind is clear, Noise Free, we are completely engaging all that we know up to this moment in time. This is how to achieve what life is all about. We are being all that we are.

Our goal is not to always win, to never lose, to always be on top, to never be second. Results matter, but what matters much more is that we are being true to who we are, armed with all that we are, so that our response to whatever life brings is the best, most appropriate possible. This brings the best results over time.

Does this mean we win every time? No. Not possible. BUT, with this mindset, when we lose, we lose and learn and so become better and stronger. If we win, we win and learn and so become better and stronger. If tragedy strikes, we are the human being we really are — no more, no less. When things fall our way, we are the same. We respond as who we are to whatever life brings.

This achieves what life is about: being who we really are one moment at a time.

What we do with the little control we have determines how we live our life. If we allow the Noise of distrust, fear, worry, anxiety, envy, pettiness, deceit, weakness and so on to rule our interpretation of what is happening and our response, then we fall short of maximizing our potential. We become a victim of events rather than accepting them as they are and responding as who we really are. When we do the latter, we respond to what is really happening with strength, trust, fearlessness, kindness, wisdom and optimism — this is who we really are. This is what real Victory feels like.

The choice is ours. No one can decide for us. Do we make the most of whatever happens to us by accepting and embracing life as it is, and respond accordingly, or do we fight what life brings? Do we try to make it something it is not, while we do the same to ourselves? The former brings a life lived as it is meant to be. The latter falls well short.

Time to win at life by being who we really are. Time to stop trying to make ourselves something we are not and demanding the same of life.

Make the most of the control we have by being who we really are, all that we are, with a clear, uncluttered mind, free of our personal Noise. We win at life moment by moment for this moment is the only place we are, and life is. This is Victory. This is a better way to live a life.

More to come.

Home News Now contributor Eric Easter is CEO of Indianapolis, Indiana-based Kittle’s Furniture. This is his latest installment in an ongoing series called “On Being Your Best.”

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