Taking a Step Back

3 minute read.

To me, life is a game. As out­lined in De­ter­min­ism and Choice, I see ev­ery choice one makes as de­ter­mined by one’s past ex­pe­ri­ences and as a log­i­cal con­clu­sion there is no free will. (Please read the blog post to avoid con­fus­ing/rash con­clu­sions from this rad­i­cal sum­ma­ry.)

Un­til I know dif­fer­ent­ly, I al­so log­i­cal­ly con­clude that there is no mean­ing to life, a very hard to di­gest idea. To avoid lethar­gy, I see it use­ful to de­fine one’s own mean­ing for life and fol­low that. Be it to live life well or achieve more free­dom.

Life is there­fore a “game”. But not in the “mess­ing around” sense, but rather like a ta­ble-top game that you play with oth­ers. Ide­al­ly with oth­ers, not against oth­ers. Play­ing agains the game, to play it well.

It re­mains, though, a game. And that sug­gests a cer­tain emo­tion­al de­tach­ment to the game’s events – I know, that play­ing ta­ble top games to a lot of peo­ple is a very emo­tion­al and heat­ed event, so maybe this is not the best metaphor. I find that the out­come of a game doesn’t usu­al­ly mat­ter in the grand scheme of things.

You play life best and achieve the best out­come when mo­ti­vat­ed, hap­py, en­er­get­ic. This is al­so when the game is most fun! Yet when you are emo­tion­al­ly in­volved and don’t see life as a giv­en in which your ac­tions are the on­ly thing that you can re­al­ly in­flu­ence, you can no longer play life well. This harms not on­ly your­self, but al­so your en­vi­ron­ment: peo­ple who are tar­get for bad mood, who you take en­er­gy from etc.

Tak­ing a step back means re­turn­ing back to a state in which you can see some of the un­want­ed life’s events as a giv­en with­out get­ting pulled in the frus­tra­tion of their ex­is­tence. It al­lows you to have the en­er­gy to deal with them, bend your nar­ra­tive in a way that al­lows you to emo­tion­al­ly han­dle them and take ac­tion to over­come an­oth­er “out of the nowhere” ob­sta­cle to your dreams.

Noone said it was go­ing to be easy. And yes, even to­tal­ly un­re­lat­ed ob­sta­cles are part of the jour­ney.