Get part 1 here
Get part 2 here
Parameter number 1: Tools for the game
If you agree that this is going to become a game, you need to make sure you are giving yourself enough of an opportunity to be competitive. These tools include looking after your vehicle, your body. You need to make sure you are getting enough sleep, the right type of food and an appropriate amount of exercise. Tools also means having the right team mates and approach to the game. In order to give yourself a chance of doing what you want to do you need to have these parameters properly proportioned out in your life. This is what will give you your fuel to continue. You need to be strong in your mind and body to create the changes in habit and constructing a new life for yourself.
Parameter number 2: Pay the bills
Most likely you are reading this series to make some sort of change or improvement in your life. That does not mean hit the reset button and start again. I have seen suggestions in other books that you should burn your bridges and not have a plan ‘B’ because it will only distract from plan ‘A’. The fact is, you probably have a life at the moment where some things are pretty good and some are worth changing. You have to make sure you are paying the bills to keep yourself sheltered and fed. You are not trapped, you are moving through one phase of your life to another. You are not static unless you decide to be. There is nothing wrong with you, there are things about your situation and yourself that you would like to change. Wandering away from your life as it is right now is not a great idea until you have a plan of some description in your mind. So hang on in there for now. Stay in the job you don’t like until you have a plan formulated. Change is coming. Improvement is on the way. You are your own cavalry.
Parameter number 3
There are over 7 billion of us on earth at the last count. Here is the thing – no one who is alive today invented money, we all were born into this Parameter. No matter what you are doing – starting a business or a charity, losing weight, getting more content, you have to consider the money you will need to make these changes happen. So money is a part of life and so a part of the game, you will not change that easily or quickly. And when you do change it, you must do it from within the Parameters of the game. Complaining about not having enough money is pretty easy, I guess that’s why most people do it. Complaining is not going to change it. You can either accept that and play within that parameter or you can complain and blame the fact that you don’t have any money.
Parameter number 4
Saying that governments are corrupt and taxes keep rising is not new. Some people seem to look at the world and are outraged that politicians for example are not necessarily good people – no shit. Some people are good, some aren’t. The fact that someone is a politician is not the deciding factor on whether they are a good person or not. Those who are outraged and i mean the truly outraged, vibrating with anger kinds of people (they’re usually wearing corduroy and ill-advised facial hair, the men are even worse). Those people are looking at the world from the wrong point of view. They are assuming the world and the people in it are perfect and are therefore overwhelmed with shock when their rule for how the world should be is broken. Accept that the world is not perfect, the game is rigged for people in positions of power to win. You are wasting time complaining about this. You need to find a way to win regardless of those who will profit from your losing. The world is not perfect so when you are chopped down by a rival or an investor in your business is looking for an ROI, you can either deliver it or walk away.
Parameter number 5
The world is not perfect, life’s not fair. Hard work will not necessarily equal reward. The trick is to not do something for the end goal, do it for the process of doing it. However, when an opportunity arises, you need to be ready to grab it, you need to be prepared. I think of life like a sphere that you have to unlock. When you unlock it, you realise that what is inside is actually the process of unlocking it. The path is happiness. The hard work is it’s own reward. How can that possibly be true? You might be reading this thinking ‘How can driving a bus or making coffee for strangers be considered my lifes work?’ If you are asking yourself that question, then it isn’t for you. But if you are in a job you don’t particularly love then that is part of the route to where you want to go.
I love coffee so I don’t want it to disappear because we all collectively decide that it is not adding to life. If you are working in a coffee house making coffee for strangers and you hate it or worse, you are indifferent to it then try something else. And by the way, it doesn’t have to be coffee, it could be data entry in an engineering firm, it could be working as a teacher. It could be selling shoes, if you hate it or are indifferent you need to change something. The reason indifference is an issue worse than hating something is because if you are indifferent to something you are less likely to actually change anything. Grow to hate or love whatever you are indifferent about. That way it will push you to change the situation.
Parameter number 6
no one cares as much as you do. No matter how much you want that huge big shiny car, you will only ever impressive yourself with it the most. There was one time I saw a guy in what looked like a brand new ferrari and like anyone when they see a nice car like that they admire it. But the guy in the car was looking around for someone to acknowledge his very fancy car. My immediate reaction was to not give him the satisfaction….why should I?! And then in a split second I decided ‘why shouldn’t I give him the satisfaction?’. So I caught his eye and I gave him the internationally recognised gesture for ‘nice car’. He smiled sagely and we never interacted again. Now I have no idea what he has been through to get that car. I have no idea if he had been handed everything on a silver platter his whole life or if he came from a really difficult childhood. Or maybe it was neither. Maybe he had helped millions of people I didn’t know about or he made his money moving numbers around a screen for a financial services company.
Regardless of how he made his money he wanted what we all want. He wanted the one thing that we are all searching for on a daily basis, constantly. And in that 3 second encounter I gave it to him.
Parameter number 7
You will feel apathy, you will give up at every opportunity. You will find a way to not do it and you will not even have to look that hard for this.
Another issue to consider is the fact that many people know they don’t like the life they have but they have no idea of the life they want. It can feel hopeless and a waste of time to make changes because you could end up going from the frying pan to the fire. Even in the army they say you are safer if you keep moving. You are safer to keep moving around rather than staying in the one spot. Progress is a basic human condition. If you are not progressing you are probably feeling pain of some description.
So you can keep trying new things – keep moving until you find something that works for you. New Age Hippy Alert: There is no path to happiness, the path is happiness. Think about this, how many people do you know who will say that once they have this certain thing or that certain thing, they will be happy. If I can just get to this weight or that job or marry this type of person, then I will be happy. They are all the time waiting for some vague feeling from some thing in the future before they will allow themselves to be happy. It’s weird. They are putting it off and putting it off and then some day they either realise they are perpetually waiting or they pop their clogs.