Play your game.

art of encore living personal development tga Jan 25, 2023
Scott Perry promoting blog post

Play your game all in and full out.

That’s my mantra.

But what does that mean (and where does it come from)?

I was assigned the Bhagavad Gita in a 7th-grade world religions class.

I loved the story but didn’t fully understand all the references.

For instance, I remember asking my teacher, “What does ‘Look to your dharma’ mean?”

Dharma is an ancient Sanskrit term that defies easy translation, but my teacher said it was usually translated as sacred “law” or “duty.” But it was more closely related to “calling” or “vocation.”

“What’s that?” I asked.

“Play your game,” was his response.

I love that.

It felt like permission to not blindly play the game my parents, peers, and teachers had planned for me.

You know, the game of the “pursuit of happiness.”

A game of compliance that’s really a thinly disguised hamster wheel of chasing after status and stuff that doesn’t actually make anyone any happier.

After all, you can’t win playing someone else’s game.

And you can’t win a game you don’t want to play.

So, I’ve done my best to define and play my game ever since that 7th-grade moment.

At various times, playing my game has involved being a son and brother, a student, a teacher, a husband, a father, a musician, and, more recently, a coach and a grandfather.

Contrary to what Simon Sinek thinks, your “why” is not singular or fixed by age 20.

At least, that’s my experience and the people I connect with.

I recently collided with additional insight and inspiration on how to play my game through my friend and mentor Laurel Portié who connected me with the work of Nic Peterson, Randy Massengale,  Dr. Jeff SpencerThe Guardian AcademySuccess Finder. and Dan Nicholson’s fabulous book “Rigging the Game.”

All VERY worth your time to explore and investigate.

But what of the “All in and full out” part? (h/t Stephen Cope)

The short answer, at least for me, is that you can only cultivate joy and equanimity in playing your game if you treat it as an infinite game, NOT a finite one. (h/t James P. Carse)

“All in and full out” means fully committed and playing with intention and integrity AND ensuring that your right to play your game doesn’t interfere with anyone else’s ability to do the same.

Leading and living from the inside out.

What’s your game? How are you playing it all in and full out today?

Scott Perry, Encore Life Coach at Creative on Purpose

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