Questions such as what is life, how to live etc. pop up in our minds at some point during the lifetime. It is well known that our decisions can play a significant role in our lives. Some decisions are so important that may be responsible for changing our living entirely. But Isn’t this the same like when we play a game? We have a limited set of options and need to make decisions so we can win. So, we can assume that life can be modeled to what I call, the game of life.
We have two interconnected meanings here, Life and decisions that affect each other in a very straightforward way like in an equation. From these two meanings, we can derive a very simple and basic life model that we are going to see next.
Let’s define Life
Life is a finite concept that depends on time. It has a beginning and an end, the Birth and the Death of a living creature. So we can see it as a timeline that starts at the birth time and ends with death. We can represent it graphically as a straight line.
The line of life will be our horizontal axis of our model. Let’s continue to the decisions now.
Decisions are all of our options that we have available every moment. What we actually choose to do, even if we choose to remain idle, it is still a decision. All the decisions we make have an effect on our life. Some decisions have minimal effects, but some others may be life changers. Let’s see an example of a moment that we have to make a decision.
It’s 08:00 am in the morning, and the alarm clock rings. It is time for getting up for work. You may have the following choices:
Every choice you make is a decision and has a different effect in your life. For example, if you choose to turn it off and not going to work, it is likely that you will regret it later and as a result, your action affects your life negatively in total, despite the positive temporal effect of enjoying more sleep.
Every decision you make leads you to another set of options where a new decision must be made. Your new options are heavily dependent on your previous decisions. So, with every step you make, you shape your future (It’s like the butterfly effect).
As you understand, the art of living is like walking in the path that you create step by step, moment by moment by your decisions. This is the fascinating game of life that you can control up to a certain degree. There is also another significant but uncontrollable factor, the Luck.
Events of luck may play an even stronger role in your life. Luck itself has the power to create or destroy Kings out of nothing. This makes the game of life more challenging and unpredictable. Traits such as insight, risk management, analysis, and prediction are crucial in order to take the correct decisions in critical points of your lifetime and win the game.
Winning or losing in the game of life; what actually means this? Now it is time to introduce our vertical axis of our model, which represents the effects of our decisions.
Defining the Effects of our Actions
Every action we take has an effect. This effect may be positive, negative or neutral. The effect is the result of a decision. We can say that the effects continuum is actually our mood. We can represent the effects axis with a vertical line.
Now we have all the tools to synthesize our model, by combining the Lifetime(horizontal axis), the Effects (vertical axis) and the Decision path that we follow up in every moment. A completed model looks like a tree with thousands or even millions of branches. Actually in every moment, your options are countless, we can say that are infinite. We just represent the most important and rational options.
Winner or Loser in the Game of Life?
Let’s examine two life model examples of two different persons in a fragment of their timeline. This is the best way to understand what it means to be a winner or a loser in the game of life.
In the graph below you can see the path of a winner.
The blue bubbles represent the decisions that this person made throughout a whole day. The black line represents his mood.
We see that some decisions had a negative effect on him. This is translated as a must-do decision that he makes to feel much better later. For example, you may procrastinate some obligations for a temporary good feeling, but as the time pass, a feel of guilt may possess your mind and your mood declines. No matter how much you delay your objectives, you will be forced to finish them.
Winning people most of the time do what they must do, even if it is painful sometimes. They target for the high positive effects of finishing their objectives enjoying at the end the fruits of their hard work. Winners know instinctively that they must be over the neutral line most of the time in their lives.
Let’s see now how a loser lives his life.
In the case of a loser, he makes decisions that target a temporary good feeling, but they are followed by great negative effects in the long run. The mood lines of a loser are mostly under the neutral line, collecting too much of negative effects, they are heading into oblivion by making destructive decisions.
Many people may realize this at a point in their lives, and they can change from losers to winners. They must work harder, but they know what they have to do to get to the positive side. Others they are blind to see that the reason of their miserable life is their point of view, and it is the result of their decisions.
Of course, there are examples of winning attitude people that luck hit them hard and in the end, they spent all of their life on the downside. Do not ignore luck and always calculate the risk involved in every decision. Avoid high-risk decisions as they may bury you under the neutral line.
Putting these all together, we can say that the difference between a winner and a loser is the ability to see farther in the timeline. Simplifying things we can say that it is like a chess game. The player that can see more moves ahead is the winner and sometimes he may have to sacrifice a Bishop to take down the opponent’s Queen. This is the vision, and it is a significant advantage in the game of life.