This past fall I had a fascinating conversation with a friend while at the Farmer’s Market. Among the many interesting topics we talked about, our conversation touched on the growing inequality in the United States and the SHOCKING distribution of wealth among its citizens. This disparity was recently publicized by a video that went viral on YouTube. (You can view the video at the end of this post)
(Before you get your partisan knickers in a knot, to be clear, the point I want to make has nothing to do with privilege, politics, the right to make a living . . . let alone a fortune, or the opportunity this country affords anyone who wishes to set out on that path of wealth. So keep reading if you want to mine the real gold here.)
After pointing out the inequality, my friend and I started talking about what might drive such an imbalance. I suggested that one reason might be the generally understood “game” in this country called, “The person with the most money, wins.” We all seem to have unwittingly enlisted in this game to accumulate money and wealth over the course of our lives.
To this, my friend responded by saying something I found to be bold and beautiful. She said,“Well, that is not the game I am playing. I am playing the game called ‘Be more kind.'”
She then shared with me that in looking at her life, she knew she was not always as kind as she could be and she was striving to be more kind to those around her. She then followed this amazing statement with one equally as fantastic, saying, “I chose not to play the money game. I could have played it. I could have chosen to be a stockbroker when I got out of school in the go-go 1980’s when the focus in this country shifted to money, but I was too lazy and had no interest in that area.”
Such a powerful and honest declaration required two important elements, both of which are key for anyone to possess happiness in life –
- Awareness (of who she is and what she wants).
- Personal responsibility (acknowledgment AND ownership of the choices she made in her life).
All of which leads to the BIG question YOU must answer in order to find that same happiness and fulfillment –
What game are you playing in your life?
If you can’t answer that question, then you will always chase the Ghost of Contentment . . . one you will surely never catch.
The only games worth playing are the ones that bring you happiness.
– R. Largman
2014 just started. Do you know what game you are playing this year?
It may be the money game for you. If so, go for it. But it may not. Maybe you want to play the kindness game. Or the creativity game. Or the parenthood game. Or the peace of mind game. Or the grow my business game. Or the . . .
Don’t get caught up in someone else’s game if it is not the one you wish to play. If you want to play a different game, be sure to know and understand what YOUR game is. Choose it powerfully, commit to it, and play it FULL OUT!!
Doing so will ensure that happiness is just around the corner for you.