How do we stay motivated, and how do we build our confidence?
People ask me those questions all the time.
Today I want to show you how you can make your efforts more fun and rewarding.
Ready to play?
The game of life
Yes, we’re all playing a game. Life is not a dress rehearsal. Ask yourself:
- What game are you playing?
- Who’s making up the rules? (Is that you or someone else?)
- How do you know when you win?
Answer the questions above, and you’re one step closer to living a more fun and purposeful life.
Unfortunately, a few people wait by the sidelines, and never play at all. They’re too afraid to lose so they don’t play at all.
Don’t ask for permission. Have fun, and create your own game. You already have a few to choose from.
The win-lose game
Some people play the you-lose-I-win game.
They like to take credit for others’ work, and deep down they’re terrified of losing and making stupid mistakes.
Everything is about their genius. And if things don’t go their way, they put the blame on others.
You lose, I win: that is their mantra.
The win-win game
Others play the if-you-win-I-win game.
They’re not afraid of giving others credit for their work. Instead they’re genuinely happy for others’ success because they don’t believe that happiness is a finite resource.
If you don’t win, I don’t win is the sound of their mantra.
Step up your game
You’d think that people with great talent would opt for the you-win-I-lose mentality, and that’s certainly true in some cases. But even the most successful adopt a win-win mentality, both in life and in sports.
Michael Jordan describes it well:
Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.
What game do you prefer: the win-lose or the win-win? Which game are you currently playing?
If you don’t like the arena, you can always change.
What’s a win for you?
Your win might be different from my win.
Right now, a win for me is to consistently publish a blog article every week.
Another win is to go to the library and read books for my research. If I write 300 words in one day, that’s a win.
What’s a win for you? Write it down.
(Note: Even if we have different wins, we can still play win-win. Me winning does not exclude you from winning and vice versa.)
Keep track of your score
How do you know you win?
I am a big fan of the Seinfeld method of productivity. With this method, you put a big fat cross for every day you’ve successfully managed to fulfill one of your goals.
Say you want to write 300 words in a day or meditate for three minutes.
If you complete the task, you put a big fat X over that day. Then you pat yourself on the back. These crosses add up over time, and it’s a streak you don’t want to stop. It’s a great way to start a new habit.
You make your progress more visible. And that does wonders to your motivation and confidence. So, keep track of those wins!
Get more wins on your board
These smaller wins are eventually going to make a big difference.
That book you want to write? It’s becoming a reality.
That song you want to record? People can finally listen to it.
That degree you’ve always wanted? It’s soon in your hands.
You get the point. Get more wins and you’ll build your confidence. You prove to yourself that you can do it. This is also a great way to silence the inner critic, to prove herself wrong.
Compete with yourself
The only competition you need to worry about is yourself.
It’s so easy to compare yourself to others, especially when it comes to school and work. I know, it’s easy to slip into the you-lose-I-win mentality. But ultimately, you are your own worst enemy. It’s your self-restricting beliefs that keep you from stepping outside your comfort zone.
Only you can change your game.
Remember to celebrate
Please give yourself a treat from time to time! It’s what makes the game worthwhile.
What games do you play to make life more fun? What are you celebrating?
Share your thoughts and victories with us in the comments section below.
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