When The Only Way To Win Is To Stop Playing

Win by Stop Playing

Today, I feel bad, or should I say, I don’t feel bad because I am a happiness coach and I know how to stay happy pretty much 99.9% of the time. However, I feel strange somehow, experiencing a lot of different emotions that I feel a need to process. In times like this, I usually sit down and do some inner self-reflection, looking at how I feel through an internal microscope, also known as meditation.

Today’s lesson in meditation is that I am trying to win a game where pretty much everyone loses, known as “being liked by everyone.” Naturally, I don’t want to impress everyone, but I do want to impress a select group of people, especially those who don’t care about me or don’t even know I exist. Interestingly, I lack much interest in pursuing those who are already impressed, or at the very least this whole conversation doesn’t apply to them (funny how that works, right?). 

Does this sound familiar and realistic?

That’s because everyone is playing a similar game with the world, trying to somehow be the best at something, to win some imaginary game that is either impossible to win or extremely difficult to be a long-term winner at.

The solution is either to become even better at what we do, which is an infinite pursuit without a clear end, or to stop playing altogether. In the second case, the victory is virtually immediate as there is no one to impress, nothing to do, and nothing else to achieve. We become amazing immediately.

In my case, I need to stop trying to impress people I want to impress, which also has a positive side effect of stopping investing a lot of time, money, and energy in this pursuit of happiness, as it yields poor results at best and consumes valuable resources that can be reinvested into other equally important aspects of life.

I wonder what life would be like if I did that. Paradoxically, maybe I would actually get what I want if I stop searching for it.

I know one thing for sure: I’ve never tried it before, so maybe I can just do it for some time— a day, week, month, or a year— and see what it looks like to not chase a carrot. There is only one way to do it, and that is to try to stop playing. 

I’ll update you soon if I indeed find success in this approach!

Overall, I know that this whole discussion may sound ambiguous, but it can also feel close to home for many people, as we are all trying to achieve something similar for years without much to show for it. This in turn makes them negative and depressed. So, my question to you is:

  • What is that something that you are chasing but not getting, such as women, men, power, status, or respect? 
  • Can you just stop chasing that for a day, week, month, or year?

Let me know if it makes sense!

Picture of Roman Russo: Author of Optimal Happiness

Roman Russo: Author of Optimal Happiness

Roman Russo wasn't always happy and struggled with his own negative emotions, anxieties, and depression, until one day he pledged to resolve this part of life, whatever it took. The journey took 6 years, but it was worth it. Today, Roman considers himself to be one of the happiest people alive, part of the 1% of the happiest elite, and he now teaches others a working and universal happiness formula to reach a similar goal. He offers his best advice on Optimal Happiness social media, newsletter, blog, and books, and teaches a complete and unconditional happiness formula in his online courses.

“The problem is that of optimization,” states Roman Russo, author of Optimal Happiness: The Fastest & Surest Way To Reach Your Happiest Potential. There is plenty of advice on how to be happier or less sad, but no one is speaking about how to become the happiest we can be. And this is the difference that makes all the difference. By not looking at our maximum potential for happiness, we fall short of achieving it. After all, we all have hundreds of ideas on how to be happier or less sad, but most people still feel like they are not living their best lives. As such, Optimal Happiness explores the question of how to be the happiest we can be, regardless of who we are, where we are from, and what our life circumstances are. It proposes a complete and unconditional formula for happiness and explains how you too can become happy today and forever, inviting you to join the 1% happiness elite and become one of the happiest people alive.

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