You vs. YOU is the name of the game.
For a few days, my mind has been focused on this one topic, and now it's time to act; it's time to move from intention to action. It's time to share my thoughts with you. The topic is a classic in personal development--a big one. I am talking about YOU vs. YOU. I called this the game of life. I like to call it a game and not a battle because this is already a positive, constructive start.
We all play this game, and it is never-ending. It is a sum zero game, and there is always a winner (and a loser) at the end. It is a very dynamic game, and the situation can change, at any time, in one direction or another.
Now, let me explain this a little more, using my own experience as a starting point. Remember, as always, this is not about me. It is about you, and the reason I want to use my personal example is to help you relate more, and better understand how it applies to your own situation. Every morning, I wake up, I look at life, and I have many thoughts and emotions. They are positive and negative; there are fears and hopes, happiness and sadness, light and darkness. Like you and everybody else, I have mixed feelings, but I always try to push towards the positive ones, to play the game with my rules. However, sometimes I can't, the negative ones are stronger, and they win the game. What happens when the positive thoughts and feelings win instead? I feel good, positive, motivated, disciplined, and in control. I lead my day, I am productive, and I see things in a good light.
What happens when in the opposite the negative ideas and thoughts win? Then, I feel lost, deflated, demotivated, and not in control of my life. I see people and situations in a very different and more negative way. Now, this is a simplified version of the game dynamics because, in reality, it is an ongoing situation with several situations. It is like playing chess with ourselves in a loop. This is a constant dynamic and it applies pretty much to everyone. No one is exempt from playing this game, and no one is always a winner or a loser. However, some people win most of the time (the main character of life). These players control their existence, and they know it is up to them to win or lose. Other players (the ones I call NPCs=Non-player characters, like in the video games) lose most of the time, blaming someone or something for their loss.
New research into the human brain suggests that the average person typically has more than 6,000 thoughts in a single day.
Yes, 6000, and the next question is how many of those are positive, constructive, or negative, destructive. According to the National Science Foundation, around 80% of our thoughts are negative. And yes, 80% means almost 5000 negative beliefs to play against. Now numbers are relative here; however, they help understand our disadvantage in this game. We have to work hard and play hard to overcome the advantaged negatives, and overcome them with positive thoughts and a constructive attitude.
What do I do?
I meditate, practice affirmations, read self-growth books, and watch motivational videos. I also spend as much time in nature as possible. I drink pure water, stay active, and try hard-- as hard as possible--to focus on positive thinking. I constantly surround myself with positive, like-minded people, and stay away from negativity and fears.
Does it work? Sometimes, even most of the time it does, but not all the time. I like to think of this game metaphorically, like a jar with a capacity and a limited volume. The more I fill this jar with positive things, the less space there is for negative things. It reminds me of the "Rocks, Pebbles, and Sand" Story.The big rocks signify the really important things in your life--such as health, family, and friends. The pebbles are the other things that matter in your life--like work or school. And the sand signifies the remaining small stuff--such as material possessions. The metaphor here is that you will not have room for rocks or pebbles if you start with putting sand into the jar. This holds true for the things you let into your life, too.
If you spend all of your time focusing on the small and insignificant things, you will run out of room for the important things. So to have a more useful, fulfilled life, you should prioritize important things in your life, and then worry about pebbles and sand later.
Do you see the similarities?
This is another game with very similar rules and similar outcomes. Now back to the YOU vs. YOU game. These are my recommendations to start playing the game with your rules, and winning "most of the time."
Focus on what's positive in your life. In everyone's life, there is so much to be grateful for. Family, friends, pets, job, possessions, past success, etc. Direct your energy on what YOU HAVE and not what YOU ARE MISSING.
Focus on what you can control, and leave behind the external, uncontrollable factors in your life. Statistically, most of our negative thoughts, what we worry about (85%), never happens--except in our minds.
Don't compare yourself to others, and try to always be the best you can be. Remember, there is only one you in the whole universe. Leverage your uniqueness and don't fall for the "comparison game" (this is another game we don't want to play).
Journal and write down your thoughts, ideas, dreams, and goals. At the end of each day, week, and month: analyze what worked and what can be improved upon.
Practice affirmations (even better "afformations" and positive self-talk.) They are a great way to constantly reprogram your subconscious.
Adopt healthy habits in your life. Eating and sleeping better, exercising, connecting with nature has an incredibly positive effect on our body, mind, and spirit.
Start now and don't procrastinate. It is never too late and, as we said, this is a constant game, with change possible at any moment. Decide to win the game and go for it, even when you don't feel in the mood to play. You will be amazed at even just playing it can change the outcome. If you don't play the game, the game will play you.
Stay consistent and keep playing, don't give up. When you lose, start over and over again until you win. Build upon your success, and reinforce your confidence for the next contest.
Remember, this is a numbers game. So, the more positive thoughts you put on the table, the less room you leave for your opponent (the other YOU), and the more chance to win for the (positive) YOU.
"Walk the talk" is the most important of all. Action is one of the most effective strategies to win this game, and being and feeling connected to your real self is powerful and motivating.
"This is sum-zero game, so If you don't play the game, then the game will play you." - AP
I just scraped the bottom of the barrel here, and my goal is to make you think and, most importantly, start acting upon your positive thoughts.
Where to start?
I recommend watching this 3-minute video on the same topic. After that, start using (and keep using it) a journal or planner that will help you to fill "your jar" with bigger stones and pebbles (positive thoughts), limiting the space for the sends (negative beliefs and self-talking).
If you want to learn more, follow me at www.shapesensesoul.com, subscribe to our newsletter, and stay tuned.
Let's play and win this game "most of the time," my friends. AP