Shakespeare famously said “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players;
Whether you know it or not you are a player in the game we call life. What you probably don’t realize is that there are two ways to play this game and your very livelihood depends on knowing which version to choose.
One version is finite. It has known players, fixed rules, and the objective of a finite game is to win. Think football or basketball. At the end of the game one team has to win and one team has to lose.
The other version is infinite. It has known and unknown players, changeable rules, and the objective is to stay in the game. Think marriage, global politics, or business. One thing I know for sure is you can’t win marriage, trust me I have been with my wife for 22 years.
Most people don’t know that they are playing by finite rules in an infinite game and no matter how hard the try they can’t win because in the infinite game that isn’t possible.
Think about the Vietnam war. How can a country 30x smaller than the US beat the greatest military in the world? That’s because we were playing to win (finite) and they were just trying to stay alive or stay in the game.(infinite)
Which is why as Americans, we need to recalibrate the way we look at life. If we are always looking to be number 1 and win in life, and paradoxically, we will inevitably lose. This goes against everything you have been taught I know, because I used to look at life the same way.
I used to look at life, success, and health in finite terms. I just have to finish this certification and I will be a good coach, or once I finish college I will be successful, and of course once I finish this diet I will be healthy. I’m sure you can relate to this kind of thinking and how it can lead to failure.
Certification’s don’t make you a good coach, graduating college isn’t the end of your education, and NO temporary way of eating will ever make you healthy. While all of these finite accomplishment’s may help you in your quest to be great, greatness is an infinite game that requires you stay in it for life.
Since one of our core values at Live Free is Health, let’s use Health as an example of how you can be a leading player in the infinite game.
To be a leader in the infinite game take 5 things. 1) A Just Cause, 2) A Trusting Staff,3) A Worthy adversary, 4) Existential flexibility, and 5) The Courage To Lead.
Let’s look at each of these and how they relate to infinite health. You may be thinking how can a finite being manifest infinite health? Well, stand back and hold my Seltzer Water.
1) A Just Cause- I have interviewed hundreds of people on what they want to accomplish by joining the gym and 99% of them say the say 3 things. More muscle, less fat, and more energy. So why don’t we have 500 super fit members at the gym? That is because more muscle isn’t a just cause. Neither is less fat. They are not good enough reason to do burpees 3 days a week, eat clean, and go to bed early on Saturday night. A Just Cause is to be there for when my kids need me, A Just Cause is getting off the medications you are on, and A Just Cause is changing the way you look to feel better about yourself. If you look at every single person who has been exercising for more than 5 years you will see a person who has A Just Cause.
2) A Trusting Staff- I like to think of this one as a Trusting Support Group. If you don’t have a coach you trust you will quit. If you don’t have a support group you can rely on you will fail. If your significant other is not on board with throwing out all the processed food you will still eat it. If you go to the gym everyday alone and are unsure of what to do you will waste your time, money, and stop training. Now if you have a coach you trust to care for you, a group of peers to push you, and a wife or husband who joins you on your quest, you will never stop working towards your goal.
3) A Worthy Adversary- In the infinite game you don’t have competitors. The only person you have to compete against is yourself. What you do need is someone who is strong where you are weak, someone you can look at and think to yourself “ I want to be like that person in this respect.” An adversary you can look up to and emulate their way of doing things you are not good at. For me it’s a guy named Phil Daru. Phil trains some of the best fighters in the world, he travels around doing seminars, and he puts out great content almost daily. All things that I can do better. I don’t see Phil as competition, I see Phil as someone who is leading the way for people like me and I work to emulate the facets of his brand that my brand is lacking. I don’t see myself as winning or losing because I am playing the infinite game. So stop looking at people who have muscle ups as your enemy and start looking at what they do different then you and emulate it.
4) Existential Flexibility- I love this one. Is your existence flexible enough to change with the tides. Are you willing to quit your job for the sake of your health? Are you willing to change the way you train so that you can continue as you age? I had to quit my job as a firefighter, quit drinking alcohol, spend my life savings to open Live Free, and cut out toxic people in my life to save my life, my marriage, and create the community we have today. It took me performing a complete lifestyle shift and countless sacrifices along the way but because I knew that I was playing the long game I had faith that I could continue to be successful no matter what life through at me.
5) The Courage To Lead- Playing the infinite game takes courage. It takes courage to be different. To tell your friends no when they pass you a drink. To pass by the donuts in the office because even though everyone else is eating them, you know they are filled with unrefined carbs. To say no to doing the WOD because even though it looks fun you know that your back isn’t 100% and you don’t want to hurt yourself. Leadership is often shown is what you don’t do as much as it is in the things you do do. Playing the infinite health game is hard. Everyone wants you to do the fun easy thing, because if you do something they don’t do it makes them question their behavior. People don’t like to feel like they are wrong and will do whatever it takes to make themselves feel right.
Earlier I talked about how you as a finite being can live in infinite health. That is because having the courage to lead can transcend your lifetime. By living life with an infinite mindset you can show your friends, your children, and the world what it means to live healthy. By setting an example for them to follow your children will continue these lessons and your decedents will grow up with the mindset that facilitates an infinite pursuit of health, development, success, and happiness. Competing only with who they were yesterday and growing into who they will become tomorrow.