The secret to success does not involve being the ‘best’ or devising a killer strategy. It’s actually about staying in the game as long as possible. This means avoiding the big, nasty pitfalls that can end your run too soon.
Staying in the game for the long haul is about:
- Staying alive
- Staying healthy
- Staying sane
- Ensuring your financial sustainability
- Maintaining good relationships
You can use the inversion framework to identify the things you want to avoid. Ask yourself: “What’s the quickest way to lose the game?”
- Risky behavior that endangers your life: like riding on a motorcycle in a high-traffic city without a helmet
- Unhealthy habits and activities: like exposing yourself to carcinogens (like smoke) and drinking alcohol often
- Doing things that will make you mentally unstable: like overworking or doing stuff that you know make you anxious
- Being financially irresponsible: like getting into more debt than you can pay
- Doing things that jeopardize your relationships: like isolating yourself and being mean to others
You would say most of these are a no-brainer. But I have found myself doing many of these things. And if you take a moment to think, I bet you might find some things that you have also done recently.
Like any good game, the goal is to stay in it as long as you can, learn as you go, and make the most of it. If you’re out of the game, well… Game Over.
Make your own list and channel your inner Dalek and… Exterminate! Exterminate! Exterminate!
Avoid these and most of the other stuff will eventually fall into place.