I really like using the analogy that life is like a video game because it highlights the idea that we can choose what/how we play in "the game of life."
Could it be that at some level, we all understand this and that's why so many of us are enthralled by video games? Even if you have played just a couple of times, you will get this analogy.
When you look at it, there are thousands of video games out there. We can race cars, play sports, dance, play guitar, raise pets, fight wars, or fly jets or even balloons. Whichever one you decide to play will give you the experience of living that virtual reality: If you choose to play a war game, you will learn how to avoid danger, decide whether to go left or right in certain situations, preserve your ammo. If you are engaged in this game, you will probably have sweaty palms and an increased heart rate. The more you play the game, the better you get. There is a price to pay for this. You will be exchanging some of your time and your life... so you can feel like a warrior!
We have a game here at the office, created by the HeartMath Institute, that teaches you how to remain centred in your heart no matter what is happening on the outside: The game checks whether or not you are "in your heart." In this game, you are in a hot air balloon. The more you are in your heart, the more the hot air balloon rises. When you're not in your heart, it lowers. So at first, you are going along feeling this is easy and all of the sudden there is a tree in front of you and you think "Oh oh!" and the balloon starts descending, and that feels like trouble. You quickly need to learn to reconnect if you don't want to crash into the tree. But the more you practice, the better you become at remaining centred, no matter what obstacle they send your way. And yes, it becomes increasingly challenging as you get deeper into the game. The more time you spend playing, the more you experience "being centered." As a result, your heart rate decreases and your blood pressure lowers. You feel that heart connection and a sense of inner peace and gratitude. The price you are paying by exchanging your time and energy gives you a more "zen-filled" life adventure.
In other words, whatever video game we decide to play is the reality we experience. And if we look at life like a video game, we need to decide which game we want to play! In my mind it makes sense to play a game that brings the most fulfillment. One of my clients realized that she had been playing the game, "I will never be able to get what I want in life," and another client decided to play the game, "I always have to do the hard work for everybody." Most of these beliefs or "life games" are created at a very early age, as a response to events that impacted our perceptions. And like any game that we play all the time, we become really good at it.
Each day we wake up, we enter the video game we have chosen for our life. And each day, we become better and better at learning the rules that help us win, no matter how fun or damaging the game is. The more we live, the more real and powerful the game becomes. At night our "mind-computer" reboots, and we process all the data from the day. When we wake up, we re-enter the video game with more experience than the day before. If the day before we proved to ourselves that we are unworthy of love and abundance, for example, we start the game with this reinforced data. If we start the day feeling enthusiastic about what we have learned the day before and search to apply it in a more efficient way, at the end of the day we also have more mastery but in a game that's more satisfying.
If you look at life as a video game it becomes really obvious that choosing the right one is of the utmost importance because this is how you will be spending your time/your life. You might as well pick a game that is inspiring, like the game of "living a joyful life filled with love, fulfillment and abundance." As with any game, you need to know the fundamental rules. One of the most important rules you must learn if you want to excel at the game of a fulfilling life is to learn to use to your advantage the support and challenge that is brought to you each day. The more masterful you become at using this rule, the less attached you are to the support or repelled by the challenges. Each day you wake up willing to learn from both the "good" and the "bad" experiences; you become a better player and win more easily.
If you spend one, five, 10, 20 years playing a certain game, it will be your reality. What game have you been playing? Just check what your life looks like right now for clues. If you don't like what you see, decide what game you would really love to play.
The following are some more very basic rules that allow us to win the game of a great life:
- Life will bring us an equal amount of support and challenge. A quest for life with more support/pleasure than challenges will make us feel depressed because it is an "un-winnable" game.
- The challenge comes in the form of taking chances, believing in ourself, being courageous, having discipline... doing the work. Sometimes the challenges come in the form of unexpected events that are actually designed to make us stronger/smarter/wiser/more loving.
- Staying in our comfort zone weakens us and prevents us from winning the game of a fulfilling life.
- We need to respect self and others in all our interactions if we want to feel loved/loving/love and fulfilled in the game.
Up to 90 percent of what we do is actually subconsciously driven by beliefs we gathered along the way, especially in our childhood. We need to become aware of which hidden beliefs are helping us or preventing us from winning the game of living a great life. N.E.T. and Inner Freedom Method are great tools to help you gain more awareness.
It is a lot easier to win when we are clear about the goal of the game, as we can better use every day's support and challenge to our advantage. Just like when you play a video game, know the goals and the rules, then play to WIN!
I invite you to look at the game you have been playing so far. You will find evidence of it within experiences. If your life is fulfilling, it is because you have been entering the game every day looking for ways to fulfill your "self." If your life is a frustrating, it will be because at some level, you have the belief that life is frustrating and you don't deserve to have a great life. If this is the case, you will need to reevaluate your goals about your life/your purpose/your game and change course.
For more by Dr. Lise Janelle, click here.
For more on emotional wellness, click here.