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The Game of Life

Life is essentially a game in which the participants are continuously making decisions that influence the final outcome of their lives. It is not uncommon for people to play the game of life unfairly, especially to themselves. In fact, it's very easy to find yourself in the role of self-sacrificing martyr if you are not careful. The worst part about this is, that it is rarely is it good for you or what you are trying to accomplish.

When the words "life" and "self-sacrificing" come to mind, we think of people who are unselfishly putting aside their own desires for the benefit of others, unfortunately this does not always gain what we hope it will. Being fair to yourself does not mean that you have to go through life being selfish; in fact, it would most likely be exactly the opposite. When you play the game of life in a way that is fair to yourself, you will be more successful, happy and you will bring that same happiness to the people around you.

When you are fair to yourself, you are not going through motions simply to satisfy others. You might accept what your life is like now - and maybe you are not happy with it - because you believe that is what is expected of you. If you are not happy but do nothing to change your life to where you can achieve the happiness you seek, you are not being fair to yourself. When you are playing fair, you will be playing fair with all those people around you as well. You are not being selfish because of this reason. You don't accomplish your goals by hurting others, but by being positive about life and going out to get what you want.

It is true that if you hurt others while trying to accomplish something, you are being selfish, but to simply apply yourself to achieve your dreams as opposed to accepting your lot in life, this is not selfish. Whenever you make one of those all important decisions that affects your life, the two things you should ask yourself is (1) "Is this what I really want for myself and my future?" and (2) "Will this harm anyone else?"

Chances are extremely high that if your goal is a positive goal, it will harm no one, and will actually bring happiness to others. It is only when a person's goal is negative that it would harm people, and then doing what you want becomes selfish.

Suppose you entered a career field simply because you thought it would be sufficient to make you a living, though you had no real interest in that field to begin with. Maybe family, friends or even counselors pushed you in that direction. Would you be the self sacrificing saint and continue to suffer this career because of the money it makes, or do you take steps to do what it is you actually want to do?

Choosing to change your career to what it is you really want to do does not mean anyone has to suffer. Your family won't have to become homeless until you reach the success you want in your chosen career, if you have a positive outlook and plan ahead.

Instead of simply walking away from that career that you hate, decide you want something different and begin to integrate that into your life slowly and safely. Go to school while you work or work part time until you can completely shift away from that dreadful career you didn't want in the first place. No one has to suffer and you are being fair to yourself.

This is just one example but the basic concept is the same for most situations. If you want to have a happy life, you must play the game of life in a way that is fair to all.

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