The games of life

What defines a game?


Purpose explains a game. It delimits a game. It makes the game.

A game is anything defined by at least one purpose – a computer game, a game of chess, watching a movie, a project or job, a relationship, family – even life itself. Different participants in a game have different purposes. While the sum of the purposes defines a common game, each person ha his own version of that game – defined by his purpose(s).

So when we talk about the importance of being able “to let go“, what are we letting go of? When a person is stuck in loss of girlfriend or enraged by loosing his job, he needs to be able to say “fuck it” and let it go. But what is “it”? The now ex-girlfriend? The job he had? No. The ex-girlfriend represented a game. The job was another game. Both had a defining purpose, and that is what he needs to let go of.

To enjoy the games we play, it is important to manufacture purposes, to give life to the games in order to reap the benefits – experiences and emotions. It is equally important to be able to stop creating a purpose – to let it go. Freedom is achieved by the ability to create and not create purposes, to go into and out of games freely.

Pride, ego and “having to be right” makes it harder to letting go and to create new purposes.

In order to get the full benefits of a game, one has to give value to that purpose. The more valuable a purpose is, the more serious the stakes are, the more benefits can be harvested. Self suggestion becomes an integral part. But one can get to the point where a game gets too real and becomes overwhelming. That’s when you pull out the tool called “fuck it”. Even when you die. But until that time you might as well get maximum enjoyment out of the games of life.

Picture taken from my balcony with Sony Xperia Z3

Picture taken from my balcony with Sony Xperia Z3

Give more than you take

Today I was looking at what makes my life work well. The results I create come from the actions I do. My actions come from my decisions. And my decisions come from my attitudes, my values. So, I started looking at my values in life, and though they count dozens, there would be one central, major value that I can consider core. I came to this:

“Give more than you take”

I could add, “Take lots, but give even more”.

That sums it up for me.

“The stupidity of project management”

Brendan and I are writing a book on Project Management. While we have plenty of experience in both large and small projects and have lots to contribute through a book, I wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity to get input from the very intelligent readers of this blog.

So; what would you like to read in a book titled, “The stupidity of Project Management”?

Purpose and life

Purpose plays an important part in the article, “Processes, automation and human potential“.

Purpose gives life. Purpose drives life. The meaning of life is determined by the purposes that drives us. As I see it, we are free to give life any meaning we choose through the purposes we elect. And this may well be the only meaning life has. So diverse and complicated, yet so feeble.

In my experience in coaching struggling young people, lack of purpose is one major reason why a person could consider ending his life. While a strong purpose gives life, a lack of purpose results in a lack of life.


When a person looses a strong purpose, a valuable desire, the person “dies” to that degree. It doesn’t seem to matter what the purpose is, or whether it is a “good” purpose. A soldier returning from a war has lost a purpose to fight. When the Islamic State is defeated, a lot of people will loose a strong purpose. Loosing a job is a loss of purpose. Loosing a loved one. Being kicked out of a team. Or loosing the tools or means to achieve a purpose. They all amount to loosing some zest in life.

Having the purpose to go spiritually free or “salvaging the planet” and then thinking that it can no longer be done as one leaves the Church of Scientology – that amounts to a big loss. And it doesn’t matter that the purpose was unrealistic or the tools crappy or crazy. It still leaves the person mentally darker. It is a tough blow. And falling from such high and strong purposes, it can be really hard to mount comparable purposes to regain the level of zest and thrust.

The ability to find meaning, to create meaning in life is perhaps the most important of all abilities. Children excel at this. Adults less so. But I believe this ability can be exercised like any other ability. Training oneself to create meaning, purposes, desires and then going for it amounts to training oneself to live. Getting closer to achieving your purposes generates happiness. Happiness is a basic purpose, a good reason for living :-) But remember – achieving a purpose is also a loss of purpose. This is why one should excercise oneself to be ready to give new meaning to life by setting new goals.