Cheat Codes for the Game of Life

One of the best things I’ve read online in a very long time.

I normally wake up very early — think pre-dawn — and start my day lounging in bed. After checking the day’s weather and any text messages that might have come in overnight, I head over to Twitter to see what’s going on.

Most of the folks I follow tweet about politics and I have to admit that I’m getting very tired of it. We generally agree on things, but reading about Trump’s conflicts of interest or golf outings or outrageous tweets gets old after a while. That might explain why I limit my Twitter time to early mornings, late evenings, and the occasional break in the middle of the day.

But this morning there was a treat in my Twitter newsfeed: a link to an article by Mark Manson. Eager to read anything that wasn’t related to the GOP’s attempt to deny healthcare to millions of Americans or the insanity of yet another presidential election with a right-wing nut job on the ballot, I clicked and read.

I don’t know who Mark Manson is, although his blog identifies him as ” Author. Thinker. Life Enthusiast.” Sounds like a guy I’d really like. Apparently he’s written a lot about psychology and life in general. At the end of the article was a link to sign up for a newsletter and get an ebook; I might do that. Why? Well because the article I read was so well written, wise, and completely on point.

I don’t want to rehash what he wrote here. I want to urge you to read it for yourself. It’ll take you about 15 minutes and it isn’t the least bit dull. In fact, it’s a somewhat fun read, written with a sense of humor that I can really appreciate.

I will give you a teaser, though. There are two things I took away from this that I hadn’t thought of before:

  • Five levels to the game of life. This reminds me a lot of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which I mentioned in this blog post from 2016 about making things happen for yourself. In fact, when you finish Mark’s post, you might want to come back and read what I wrote there.
  • Solutions vs. Distractions. All I have to say about this is wow. Mark is 100% right about this; why didn’t I see it that way? This has the potential to be life changing for me — and it might be for you, too.

The one thing he did discuss at some length that I already know very well is how you are responsible for yourself.

If there’s one thing I detest is how some people complain about stuff they can control and blame their problems on others. For 29 years, I lived with a man who never admitted (or apologized for) his mistakes or took responsibility for his failures. All he did was blame others. And the older he got, the more blame he threw around. He was his own worst enemy. By the time we parted ways, he was an angry old man, blaming me for his dead-end life when he had plenty of opportunities to make his life better. It’s been nearly five years and he’s probably still blaming me for everything that went wrong with his life. I can’t help but feel sorry for him.

Unfortunately, there are many people just like him. People who hold themselves back in the game of life because they refuse to take responsibility for their own situation. They point fingers at everyone except themselves. They somehow expect the people they blame to stop their own lives and fix theirs.

Of course, that doesn’t usually happen because it isn’t usually possible.

Seriously, you need to read this. Even if you’re on top of your game, you will learn something from it. Better yet, you’ll realize, like I did, that it’s a great piece for anyone who might be floundering on Level 3 — or one of the lower levels. Something you’ll want to share on Twitter or your Facebook feed to make someone else’s life better.

After all, isn’t it better to share something that can actually help people than the same old angry and hateful political crap circulating around?

Go read it now.

4 thoughts on “Cheat Codes for the Game of Life

  1. I still go with the seven stage model…

    Stage 1 “the infant mewling and puking in his mother’s arms”
    stage 7 ” sans teeth, sans hair, sans taste, sans mind, sans everything”

    But there is fun to be had in the five intervening stages.

    The first and last stages are certainties, there is no rule book for the rest.

    • He’s not referring to the stages where you’re unable to take care of yourself. He’s referring to the parts of your life when you’re able to “play the game.”

      Did you read the post?

      He’s not providing a rule book. He’s providing hints for succeeding. I think it’s sound advice and definitely worth sharing. I know more than a few people who could really benefit from what he’s shared.

    • Yes, I read his post in full.
      It contains much sound advice but he is hardly the first to arrive at these insights.
      Take his “blaming others for one’s failings”, as an example.

      Theodor Adorno noted that this was one of several characteristics that reliably typified the ‘authoritarian’ personality cluster.
      Such people often project their insecurities on others of lower status. They are often bitter and racist. Then tend to value ‘strong leaders with un-nuanced moral views’. ( lock her up, build a wall, sad, bad, all lies, send them back…etc.)

      His research was published in 1954.

    • Yes, I agree that others have likely come up with some, most, or even ALL of what he says in the article. But isn’t there value in seeing the advice gathered in one place and presented with a modern twist?

      They say that nothing is original anymore. I’ll never argue with that. I’ve come up with ideas that I genuinely believe were original from my own experiences and mind only to stumble upon them elsewhere on the Web or in books or podcasts, etc. Does that mean my ideas are worthless? I’ll argue that they’re not because other people also had the same ideas and thought they were worth sharing.

      I guess what I’m trying to say is that if something I find online that I believe is of real value to others, I owe it to others to share it with them. I’ve known — and still know — people who could really change their lives if they read and acted upon even a fraction of what’s in this piece. I’m sure you do, too. Just because someone else has come up with something similar, does that mean we shouldn’t share this? That maybe it might resonate with today’s young people better than an article written back in 1954?

What do you think?