Why do we have more but less happiness?
Because, we have turned our life into a ” life of limited games”.
What is a ” limited game”?
According to the definition of philosopher and religious researcher James Cass, limited games are those games that aim to win and are constantly played within borders. For example, society is a limited game. The purpose of social development is to obtain titles and grab power. War is also a limited game. The purpose of war is to plunder more resources and gain more power.
What is ” limited game life?”
” The life of limited games” refers to the life with the goal of winning or being better than the people around you and always living within the boundaries of the mainstream values of society.
This kind of life is exactly what most of us are living.
When we didn’t understand anything, our parents and teachers put us into a ” limited game” called ” study hard and try our best to be the first”. every game has a ranking and a winner.
Later, the game became more and more serious. From the beginning of the junior high school to the beginning of the senior high school, to the college entrance examination, every game made us and our parents nervous. As a result, in such a round of increasingly serious ” limited games”, we finally forgot our curiosity and exploration of this vast world, and finally completely lost in the pursuit of winning or losing in the game.
After college, we suddenly had time to study, play and fall in love. However, in my junior year, I found again that there is a more serious ” limited game” called ” see who can find a good job” waiting for us outside the university. He woke up suddenly and immediately threw himself into the wave of postgraduate entrance examination, GRE examination and preparation for written interview.
In the end, we finally found a job that looked good. However, before we could catch our breath, we started another round of ” limited games”. the name of the game was ” see who gets promoted earlier, who earns more, who lives in a bigger house, whose wife is more beautiful, and whose children are smarter”. As a result, we never quit the limited game.
When we first started playing games, we had plenty of time.
At that time, we had dreams, expectations for the future, and infinite possibilities of life. However, as time goes by, we are either trapped by the mainstream values or take the initiative. We are involved in ” limited games” again and again, turning the infinite possibilities we once had into the only way.
Choice is becoming more and more important and difficult. We often feel the sense of crisis if we take one careless step and lose every game.
When we are young, we can easily make decisions to fall in love, change jobs, and study abroad. However, as we get older, the opportunity cost of making each decision is increasing day by day. We believe that we must not continue to be willful and should live a ” should …” life. As a result, most of us have already decided our final outcome when we are still far from the end of our lives.
In this process, we have made our lives exactly the same, and we have gradually become the same kind of people: people who are always within the boundaries of the mainstream values of society and whose goal is to win or to be better than the people around us.
As a result, we are constantly reincarnated in ” limited games” that are very difficult to win but can never lose. And this is why we have more and more things, but less and less happiness.
We have already confined our life to a narrow box. In this box, even though we often struggle and sometimes break through, we can’t jump out and get freedom.
However, whose choice is this?
How do we live our lives if we want to jump out of the ” box” defined by life?
The answer is: live your life in an ” infinite game.”
What is the biggest difference between ” life with limited games” and ” life with unlimited games”?
Limited games aim to win while unlimited games aim to continue the game.
The essence of finite and infinite is whether there is a boundary. In order to win, participants in limited games voluntarily set many boundaries for themselves in limited time and voluntarily gave up part of their freedom. However, the participants of unlimited games will stretch their time to a lifetime. They do not aim at winning or losing, but actively continue all kinds of unlimited games to achieve a state of fundamental freedom.
The key to a limited game is that participants agree with these rules so that these rules will finally come into effect. What are the rules? Is the mainstream values.
Games are serious, unlimited games are fun. The participants in infinite games are not serious actors in all stories, but cheerful poets.
If you want to live your life in an infinite game, you must do the following three things: eliminate the boundary of time and space, eliminate the boundary of characters, and modify the rules.
If the whole life can be taken as the time limit for playing games, instead of being limited to ” January” and ” one year”, or being limited to the belief that one must reach it at the age of 30 and 35, or being limited to ” what can I do only because I graduated from college”, ” what should I do because I am a girl”, ” I must prove myself” and ” I must win”, you will find that there are many things that one can do and achieve in life.
If we can really expand the boundary and explore the boundary, life will become very different. As James Cass, author of ” Limited and Infinite Games”, said: Limited games have scripts, while infinite games are legendary.
Because, the birth of a person is an innovation, with legendary nature. And if we want to continue to write this legend, we should live high, dig up our treasure and become our genius. At this time, our mentality is open, we are no longer obsessed with winning or losing, and we are no longer limited to various boundaries, but expect to be changed by surprise or wonder, and finally practice a grand outlook on life.
If one can have and practice a grand outlook on life, what else is difficult to solve in life?
This is ” the life of infinite games”, only it can let us gain the ultimate freedom.
How do we start?
First of all, we have to understand that all the restrictions of limited games are self – restrictions, and that in order to play some limited games, we have blocked our freedom to some extent. Therefore, the starting point is to break away from self – handicapping.
Secondly, in order to get rid of the limited games we have long been accustomed to, we should not only transform the limited games into unlimited games, but also actively design some unlimited games for ourselves.
Finally, we should put these infinite games into practice and gain a grand outlook on life.
The following are the 5 unlimited games of life I designed. Please continue to add.
Infinite Game 1: Exploring Knowledge
Russell once said: ” Three passions, simple but extremely strong, dominate my life, namely, the desire for love, the pursuit of knowledge, and heartfelt compassion for human suffering.”
Generally speaking, knowledge can be divided into two categories, one from books and the other from practice. The former relies on ” reading thousands of books”, while the latter relies on ” traveling thousands of miles” and ” reading countless people”. The two are inseparable and both are very important.
Roaming in the ocean of knowledge, the more you learn, the more you will find that knowledge has no boundaries. No matter how hard you try, it is still not enough to spend your whole life pursuing knowledge. However, this process is extremely enjoyable and hard to abandon. In the exploration of knowledge, we will unconsciously become humble, because we know that ” one mountain is higher than another”, and we will become more and more extensive, because we can have completely different perspectives by learning knowledge in different fields.
As a result, we no longer want to play ” limited games” and compete for the first place. We only want to be more profound and rich than we used to be.
Infinite Game 2: Pursuit of Wisdom
Wisdom and knowledge are not the same.
The ancient Greek proverb says, get an understanding from what you have experienced. This understanding is called wisdom.
So, what kind of understanding is wisdom?
It integrates intelligence, knowledge, experience and judgment, and forms a comprehensive understanding in some way. In other words, a person’s wisdom is that he integrates all the experiences and forms his own experiences and opinions.
Wisdom is more difficult to repair than knowledge. Because without experience, thinking and practice, we will always get only scattered knowledge and methodology. When faced with major problems and choices, you will find them vulnerable.
Many years ago, I wrote an article called ” be a happy pig or a miserable Socrates?” This article discusses the reason why people still want wisdom even though they know the pain. In fact, from then on, I knew clearly that confusion and pain are inevitable on the road to wisdom. However, I prefer the former to the happiness of ignorance.
This map is a map of different levels of knowledge. From the lowest ” data” level to the highest ” wisdom” level, it requires a comprehensive understanding of experience, thinking and practice. This is undoubtedly an infinite game.
Infinite Game 3: Desire for Beauty
Why is yearning for beauty also an infinite game?
Because beauty is everywhere, and the pursuit of beauty is endless.
The beauty of art is a thriller from the depths of the soul, a free expression of life, and an unceasing liberation and breakthrough. The beauty of nature is the source of endless artistic beauty as well as the vivid life and strength.
Whenever I stand in foreign museums and art galleries, watching Michelangelo’s sculpture, Botticelli’s painting, or watching a special exhibition of Chinese calligraphy and painting, watching Zhao Mengfu’s words and Huang Gongwang’s painting, I feel the thrill from the depths of my soul. Now every year I spend a lot of time going to various places to watch exhibitions. In these exhibitions, I exchange souls with those masters time and again and feel their attachment to beauty, their love for life, or their indifference to fame and wealth and their contemplation of life.
Such exchanges and experiences have deeply affected my life, making her undergo qualitative changes, making me more sensitive to beauty, more loving, and having a deeper and more vivid understanding of life.
Therefore, when spring comes, I will insert a bunch of flowers that only belong to spring for myself under the topic of ” Spring Arrival”. In summer, I will make myself a dessert with the theme of ” lotus wind” and a humanistic and tranquil mood.
And such a yearning and pursuit is really endless.
Infinite Game 4: Awareness and Exploration of Self
Krishnamurti wrote in his book Learning in Life: ” An ignorant person is not an unlearned person, but one who does not know himself. Understanding comes from self – knowledge, which means a person understands his whole psychology. Therefore, the real meaning of education ( or learning ) is self – understanding. Therefore, one’s ultimate goal is to seek an understanding of oneself. ”
In addition to self – awareness, we should also explore ourselves, because ” I” is not fixed. The potential and energy of ” I” are far wider and deeper than what we see now.
After years of exploration and continuous learning, I have found two ways to ” know yourself”.
One is inward self – awareness, and the other is outward continuous attempt and exploration. It means that one should gradually draw out the ” I” through one real experience, one outward attempt and exploration, one emotional reaction after another, and self-awareness from different dimensions to understand one’s true and multifaceted self.
Why do we have more but less happiness?
The two methods of ” inward self-awareness” and ” outward continuous attempt and exploration” are by no means isolated. On the contrary, they must be combined into one. Without the former, the latter’s attempt and exploration can only become an experience and cannot be precipitated into thinking and understanding of oneself. Without the latter, the former will become ” cooking without rice” and ” the source of no water”.
The self we know is both one and not one. Because there are two egos here, one is the ” present ego” and the other is the ” possible ego”. The ” present self” means ” who am I?” The ” possible self” refers to ” what will I be like in the future?”
Both the former and the latter are worth exploring in our whole life.
Unlimited Game 5: Help to Others
Fu Zhen, the author of ” Pan Re Bu Zhi Zhou”, once worked as a volunteer in India’s ” Dying Home”. She wrote some real stories in the book:
” A Hong Kong girl studying in the United States has been to Calcutta for seven times to do volunteer work. Even the university specially minored in Hindi. After graduating from college, she finally returned to live here for a long time, working for an NGO ( non – profit organization ) and teaching in a local primary school. She had to work from Monday to Saturday, but she was not idle on her only rest day and came to the dying house every Sunday to serve. She said:’ it makes me happier to work here than to rest at home …”
She is right. When helping others, we can feel the energy flowing between us and others. This energy is so warm and beautiful that it can not only eliminate their pain, but also resolve our uneasiness.
At ordinary times, I also provide one-on-one coaching to visitors. In this process, visitors will feel energized. When I feel that the visitors’ state gradually improves, I will also be energized. This feeling is really good.
In this world, there are too many people in need of help, including spiritual and material, physical and spiritual. To be exact, it should be in this world that no one does not need help. Therefore, helping others is definitely a thing that can be done in a lifetime.
In the long journey of life
The most frightening road is the road to your heart.
But it is also the most worthwhile road to take.
The most difficult game is unlimited
But it is also the most worthwhile life