Have you ever thought about life as a game?
One day, suddenly for you, you came into this world and joined something that was already running. You couldn’t see the beginning and, hopefully, won’t see its end.
At first, you were not sure what the rules were and, very soon, you realized that those rules frequently changed and so were your partners or competitors. After some years of playing this game, you know that players come and go, rules change with the context and nothing lasts forever: good or bad, everything goes by. In this game, called life, your purpose – engraved in your NDA – is survive. Live another day. No matter if you win or lose today; tomorrow you’ll want to be still in the game. At this time, you know that if you leave the game, it will run without you, exactly the same.
This is the concept of the infinite game, very beautifully explained by Simon Sinek (if you have the time read his book, The infinite game).
What I am interested in is the concept (that infinite game) and how we can take advantage of an infinite mindset to face changes, adapt ourselves and overcome difficulties.
This is a time of change and uncertainty
This is a time of change and uncertainty. In two months time, our lives changed for good: priorities, relationships, work and emotions. We are desperately looking for a new normal to fulfil the necessity of certainty, going back to the past we used to know and control. We miss that pass while trying to control the present and win the game.
What are we trying to do?
When we try a win a game, we first have in mind what the result should be. Think about a football or a tennis match. You need to score more than the opponent, sometimes in a period of time. Moreover, you know the rules for winning are perfectly clear and nobody will change them. And because of that, you don’t care what happen after the match (by the way, you know there is an end): you can get hurt because you make a big effort but it doesn’t matter. There is a time to recover before the next match. Everything is worthy if you win.
Now, try to think in your life today. We spend countless hours working, taking care of the family… getting tired and burning out while thinking how many days more this will last; fighting the situation trying to win without realising that this match won’t be over. Tomorrow, without time for recovering, we will be playing the same match without knowing if the rules or the players have changed. And yet, we play to win. To win what? There are no rules here to declare us winners.
How the infinite mindset can help us?
As Charles Darwin said “it is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change”.
We need to be responsive to change.
Change is risky and we, humans, have a lot of difficulties to adapt ourselves. Any help we can provide us to make this transition easier should be welcome. And there is where the infinite mindset approach comes to help.
What if we start looking this from an infinite mindset perspective? What can happen?
Infinite mindset brings change of perspective
First, hope: nothing lasts forever. Changes are the only constant. This is not the same of going back to the past. It is more related to the things that I don’t like today, couldn’t be here tomorrow. And maybe I’m curious about what will be here for me then.
Second, attitude: a never ending game requires a different approach. Probably you can be less stressed in winning today if tomorrow you will have a new opportunity to do things; and on the other hand you can save some energy to face the new dawn, becoming more patient. This lack of stress can come with new resources. Creativity, critical thinking and problem solving capacities are tremendously impacted by fear, anxiety and stress.
Third, decisions: the more resourceful you are, the better decisions you make. The main problem in a complex, uncertain and ambiguous context is making good decisions. An infinite mindset can help to see the big picture, stay detached from the moment and develop a long-term thinking.
Fourth, cooperation: we can go faster alone but further together. A group usually outperforms an individual, more in a very complex environment. If we understand we are not here to win the others, cooperation is more possible, and we’ll get better results.
This is valid not only for our personal lives but for business. Having an infinite mind helps to understand how to approach market, customers and employees differently being much more responsive to change.
There won’t be a new normal. There is a big change of context leading to many long-lasting changes. The sooner we adapt, the better we will play the game called life or business.
Take care and stay safe.