Walt's Life Rhyme #265     The Easier Game    A unique brand of inspiration by Walt F.J. Goodridge! (Originally sent as Walt's Friday Inspirations)
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''The Easier Game''

Anyone can coach you
when you play the easier game
Despite the years of joyless scores
the game plan's still the same

Everyone's an expert
in this game we know quite well
First school. Then college. Then a job.
Don't question. Don't rebel.

In time you will discover though
in this game no one wins
you'll run to play the harder game
and then the fun begins

You'll find no lack of coaches
saying "do this thing or that"
Be wary though of sideline stars
who've never held a bat

You'll choke, strike out and fumble
ill-prepared you won't know why
Take heart, it's just a different game
the old rules don't apply

New rules. New game plan. New rewards
New way of keeping score
In time you'll see: with greater risk
the payoff's often more

But some, disheartened, give up hope
and blame it on fatigue
returning to familiar fields
back in the minor leagues

So choose it if you wish but
heed these words from one who knows
that just because you're scoring high
don't mean you're in the pros!


COMMENTARY:
In a recent coaching session, a client and I discussed the "expensive" outcomes of some of the business risks she's taken. I comforted her (only partly, I'm sure) by reminding her that years ago she chose to play a different game than the average individual. Consequently, whatever outcomes she experiences, (whether "good" or "bad") were naturally going to be different than those of the average person, who chose to play an easier game.

The society in which we live is structured in such a way as to encourage us to play the easier game. The easier game is called "Employee for Life." If you opt for the security of a regular job, you can pay the bills that will keep the utilities on, keep the roof over your head, pay the car note, maintain your credit and keep everything working great! And, by the criteria of the easier game, you're high in the rankings if you manage to keep things in relative equilibrium.

However, the game of "Succeed on my Own Terms" is naturally a harder game for the simple reasons that 1) fewer people play it, 2) the strategies and rules aren't as well known, 3) the rewards, and thus too the risks are greater. Few utility companies, landlords, banks and creditors will be supportive while you work out the kinks in your strategy for playing the "harder game." So, if you choose the harder game, you've got to be prepared for greater tests of your commitment, patience, resolve and stamina. It's just the nature of the game.

So, for you passion seekers who've opted for the harder game, don't be misled by the apparent high scores (car, clean credit, working telephone) of your friends. You chose a different game, so you'll have to learn to rank yourself based on other criteria (freedom, purpose, fulfillment, creative expression) while you work out the details of your strategy! And always keep asking yourself, which game do you want to play?


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Walt's Life Rhyme #265
(The Easier Game)
© Walt F.J. Goodridge
Originally published: 10-25-2002
''I share what I know,
so that others may grow!''

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