On winning

Most people try to win.

The real question is, “at what?”

If you focus your sights on winning the local bowling league, the effort can consume you, and you will be aware of your progress and your competition.

Or, if you turn the poetry you’re writing into your game, with the goal of winning that next stanza–not in the eyes of a publisher, an editor or a reader, but in your eyes–you can turn that into your thing.

If, instead, your goal is to raise more money at a higher valuation in the Valley, then that’s the game you’ve chosen.

Or, perhaps, your game is to bend others to your will, to prey on yet another human you see as weaker than you are…

Often, we choose games we can’t possibly win. That approach might be working for you, as it lets you off the hook because you won’t have to work out what to do if you win.

And sometimes, we choose games where we can’t win unless someone else loses. And these games can often have long-term, toxic after-effects.

As you can see, modifying a game you’re already playing because you don’t like how it’s turning out isn’t nearly as useful as picking the right game in the first place.