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5 Components to Playing Your Game
There are five components to playing the game:
1. There Must Be a Purpose for doing it!
Before you can begin, you have to know for what you are playing. Using the insights presented in this chapter, clarify your purpose for playing this game. Whether it is to find true love, create perfect health or develop financial abundance and stability… know what you want. Yogi Berra once said, “You can’t get to where you want to go unless you know where you are going!” Your Big One will keep you motivated and focused, especially in times when things seem fuzzy and unclear. Having a powerful, short and clear purpose will keep you powerful, direct and clear in achieving it.
If at any time you begin to question your Big One, or if you are not on the right track, here’s a quick pick-me-up to get you back in the game:
A. Ask yourself the powerful question” What am I doing this for and what will I gain from this? Be reminded of what is truly in it for you!
B. Listen for answer. If you sit back and listen, you will find the answers flow to you. Write them down until you are all written out!
C. Question your answers and ask why again. Look at everything you have written and on each point ask why am I doing this and why do I want this?
D. Check in with your heart. The truth exists not in your head but in your heart. Your heart is your connection to divine insight. Your confirmation is a “feeling” of knowing, a “sense” that yes, this is right!
Questioning is an important step in the process, and it is likely that you will have many opportunities to question and reevaluate in the course of 90 days. If you get stuck, consider asking two or three trusted friends to serve as a sounding board.
Once you have your Big One, write it down using the words, “The purpose of my game is to ___________ [achieve financial freedom, have an energetic and vibrant body, find the man/woman of my dreams, save the planet…]” It’s up to you to fill in the blank!
2. It’s Gotta Be Fun!
Ask anyone who ever went on a strict diet if he or she was able to keep the weight off forever. Not! Restrictive or regimented approaches to transforming your life may work for a time, but they are not recommended here. Anything un-fun will unravel before you can reach your goal. The whole point of turning The Big One into a game is so that you will have fun playing it. Make it fun, compelling, interesting, and adventurous! Make it something that inspires you with good feelings, that elevates your feel-good hormones and that makes you want to have more of it in your life!
You’ve heard the expression, “It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game that counts.” This is SO TRUE when playing the game of getting The Big One. You have to be willing to live it, be in it, revel in it… and pursue it from a state of joy.
If this becomes a chore of drudgery, you are back where you started and it will be difficult to maintain your commitment. Do you think a mountain climber would be interested in taking such huge risks if he or she didn’t enjoy the hell out of the journey to the top of the mountain? If a climber started at the bottom thinking, Oh man, I could fall, starve, freeze, get lost in avalanche and die… but I will be damned if I don’t get to the top of that stupid mountain… there wouldn’t be much sense in climbing.
The top is the goal, but the journey to the top is where the meat and joy of the experience are. That’s why people bother to do it in the first place: It is the pure aliveness of living in the moment, the kick they get out of being there and doing it. The focus is not on the future or the past, it’s on: Yahoo! I am climbing a mountain! This is fun! As author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Robert M. Pirsig once put it so aptly, “To live only for some future goal is shallow. It’s the sides of the mountain that sustain life, not the top.”
Without fun, you will lose interest quickly, and the tasks at hand will seem annoying and burdensome. It is human nature to ditch both the game and your commitment to it as soon as it starts to drag you down. Figure out what fun means to you, and include it. Make sure you enjoy the climb, and don’t miss out by waiting to enjoy yourself only when you reach the mountain top.
If your game is about abundance, think of FUN things to help make moneymaking enjoyable. If it is about romance, make it sexy and feel the swoon. If it is about health, choose exercise you enjoy, a trainer who makes you laugh or a running partner who is fun to run with. For example, one participant in a 90 Day game was starting her own business as she turned 60.
At first, it seemed a cumbersome task, and made her wish for an early retirement. She was not having fun… yet! The fun began when she named her game Loving Being 60. An author was having a tough time finishing a book until she gave her game a Native American-style name Loving-Writing-A-Book-Woman. Another person was feeling bogged down by consulting appointments until he turned the game into Having a Blast Speaking Three Times a Week!
3. You Must Be Inspired!
Without inspiration, you will be just going through the motions. That’s why it is critical that you choose an inspiring game. For 90 days, you will live and breathe your game: You want your game to be something that inspires you to wake up in the morning! Inspiration should flow through your veins like life’s blood, giving you power and passion to continue even when things seem to be going in a different direction.
Inspiration will keep you motivated to keep going, especially when unexpected challenges arise. Purpose, fun and inspiration will keep you going in this direction when the chips are down.
It is so important to focus on what you are gaining, not what you are losing! Nobody wants to lose anything, whether it’s weight, money, debt, etc. So the negative language of loss-such as losing weight, getting out of debt, ditching my ex, leaving my job, moving out of this house-is not recommend. Make your game truly inspiring with a positive spin, such as: Gaining financial freedom… Looking like a million dollars… Finding my true love… Beginning a fabulous new job… Living in a spacious, clean, organized living environment.
When you come from a place of fun, it is so much easier to effortlessly attract what you want, and this is especially true during the 90-day process. When you are doing something that is fun and inspiring, with a strong purpose behind it, excitement bubbles within. And those feelings of excitement, of being free to create and play, help you manifest your new reality. Just look at kids playing in the park-they get totally lost in it, and they fully enjoy it, without even thinking about it. Your game can be as easy and joyous as child’s play.
The only thing you need to think about is: what inspires you about your game? Ask yourself the questions: How will my life look when I complete this game? Where will it take me? What do I see now for my future? What new possibilities in my life will be created by successfully completing my game?”
Write the answers down on the same piece of paper you used with your Big One and game name that you started in Step 2. This is how you define the inspiration behind your game. It now becomes a vision, an articulation of the essence of things to come, that can guide you through these 90 days!
4. It Must be Specific and Measurable!
This means you need something to focus on, an end goal to keep in mind so you know when you have reached the finish line! When great baseball players seek to break records, you’d better believe they visualize the goal they have in mind, and they focus all their energy and passion on making it so. You too will be aligning your energy and focus onto the specific Big One you want to attract into your life.
How can you make your outcome specific and measurable? Make it something that you can and will recognize when you have it.
For example, in a game of Financial Abundance, something that is specific and measurable that excites you may be a goal of paying off your credit card debt and having $10,000 in your IRA. Alternatively, financial abundance for you may be to create $5,000 per month in passive income (income that you earn but don’t necessarily work for, such as rental income, book royalties, etc.). In both cases, the goal is specific and measurable. When money arrives, either in a lump sum total by the end of the game or as monthly income, you will know it and recognize it as an amount of money that represents financial abundance.
Maybe your game is Enhance My Career, measured by developing and teaching a course in your profession. You will know you are well on your way when you write the course outline and proposal, and you will clearly have achieved your goal when your begin teaching it. If it’s Good Health and Fitness, you can recognize the goal has been achieved when you weigh yourself and are measured for inches and fat content, you achieve your exercise goals and/or improve scores on medical tests.
Along the way, there may be specific and measurable results that are stepping-stones to The Big One. Always acknowledge them and use them to take your game to the next level.
Here are some tips for quantifying your game and acknowledging specific and measurable results. While you are engaged in the game, you can record each meaningful accomplishment along the way as a play-by-play of your progress. As you reach the end, you will want to be able to evaluate the success of your game. Here are some tips for monitoring, gauging and determining the game’s success. Create your specific and measurable results using the following guidelines:
· Is It a Physical Thing? Have you established a new business, created a new career, bought a new car, purchased a home or building, opened a new bank account, invested in a new and successful way, found Mr. or Ms. Right, drawn something or someone to you that you can feel, touch or see?
· Is it Physical Action? Do you feel a new strength and endurance? Are you engaged in activities that help you to feel healthier and happier? Have you acquired a slimmer, more buff body or built muscle? Have you improved your cholesterol or triglycerides? Do you lead a lifestyle that is empowering and health-inspiring? Have you quit smoking and gained freer breathing and motion? Are you nicely recovering from an ailment, or getting healthy in general?
· Is it a Measurement of Something Meaningful? Are you managing your time better? Do you have more energy and stamina? Has the volume of work you can produce increased? Are you carrying a lighter body, operating with more joy, living with more purpose, enjoying each morning you awake to a new day, feeling empowered and powerful, finding more money in your bank account, having better relationships, meeting new friends, working with nicer people, expressing your purpose in the world?
On the same piece of paper where you wrote The Big One game name and inspiration behind the game, please write your specific and measurable results.
5. Make It Unreasonable!
The last important criterion in creating a powerful game that will lead to the fulfillment of your Big One is that it has to be unreasonable. In some ways, this is your version of the Impossible Dream… something you have been wanting for a long time, but for whatever reason you just haven’t made happen. It is something outside your comfort zone, and for this reason it is unreasonable to you. If it were reasonable, you would have already achieved it, right?
This means you will truly GO FOR IT and stretch beyond your normal limits and boundaries to reach further than you ever have to achieve the thing you most want. The beauty of it is that, as you follow all the other steps, the achievement of this Big One will be amazingly natural. It will become a part of who you are, what you do and where you are going in life. While you may feel twinges of discomfort when you transcend limitations you imposed upon yourself in the past, the overall experience will be a deliberate-yet natural-creation. It will be BIG, but YOU will stretch and grow, and you will greet it halfway… and it will feel a part of you… not separate and distinct.
For example, a year before beginning the 90-Day Program, the thought of marriage seemed like a visit to another planet for Paul, who never quite fancied himself as a marrying man because he wondered it he’d ever be grown-up enough to love another person that much. Nevertheless, he wanted a partner in life, and he hoped for a family. Lo and behold, when he set forth the game of Finding My True Love, the heavens opened and showered him with so much love and passion that it became completely natural to think of marriage when he met and got to know a very special woman.
The 90 days became his period of preparation, shifting his attitude so much that his ability to love and see love as part of a permanent commitment completely shifted. “We didn’t run off to get married, but we knew very early on that we had both found something extraordinary in one another,” he says. “Talk of marriage became a natural progression… it never felt forced or strained. If you knew me before, you would know this was totally unreasonable for me. I was far from it.”
We all have been taught to be quite reasonable in life. From the time we are small we are encouraged to focus on things that are easy to obtain, things that are “doable” and “convenient” for us and those around us. Many of the significant grown ups in our lives-parents, teachers, religious leaders-are not too keen about us rocking the boat, being too offbeat, dancing to the beat of our own drummer. Individuality may have been more than they could handle, and for this reason, many of use were not encouraged to seek unreasonable lives.
Over time, we cease thinking outside the box or beyond the known horizon of what we can do. We refer to it as being “realistic” or “pragmatic” or “prudent” or “achievable.” Some of us who have shared unreasonable goals have been labeled “dreamers” with our “heads in the clouds,” or “unrealistic” and “naïve.” However, this unrealistic point of view can be the very thing that leads you to accomplish your unreasonable goal by propelling you to go beyond where you think you can go.
Being unreasonable helps you to lift your focus from reason as the vehicle that gets you what you really want. By removing reason from the equation, you rely on your feelings, your emotions. When you focus on your feelings, you start to use your higher self-your heart-to guide you to where you really want to go. Without reason holding you back, you just go! You do. You create, and you make things happen. This is the power of being unreasonable. It is quite liberating! You will be amazed at how effortless things become when you are being unreasonable. You have to really get this truth: this is YOUR LIFE, your BIG ONE, your DREAM COME TRUE.
Keep asking yourself: How unreasonable can I be?
You ask: How do I know if my game is unreasonable? Interestingly, your head has nothing to do with it. You can tell only by tuning into how you feel about it! You will know it is unreasonable when you feel both fear and excitement… at the same time. If it were just a feeling of fear, well then, it would be foolish, but not unreasonable. Jumping off a bridge is just foolish and therefore feels scary (a form of fear). If it were just exciting without feeling fear, it would be in alignment with what you want, but would not be outside your comfort zone. However, the combination of the two is a strong indication it is unreasonable for you.
Let’s think back to Paul for a moment. Reasonable for him was to seek romance and partnership, and to date. Unreasonable was to look deeply into the eyes of a woman he had come to love and adore, and with all the love in his heart and strength in his body tell her I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me? It was scary and exciting, and after he did it, he felt GREAT, and relieved-like he had achieved The Big One.
For Paul, as for you, this is all very personal. For Paul, the idea of proposing gave him butterflies in the stomach and made his heart race with excitement. For another person, marriage might seem mundane and completely reasonable. It is important to note that other peoples’ views of your game and its unreasonableness are not relevant here. Just because your game might be within the comfort zone of another person doesn’t mean it is, or should be, reasonable for you. Unreasonable is a very person-specific, subjective thing.
Getting to unreasonable. How does your game feel? Here are some tips for separating fear from excitement and seeing where the two shall meet!
· Jot down a short list of the fear factors (if any) that arise around the pursuit of The Big One.
· Jot a list of what the excitement factors (if any) are.
· After writing these down, review them and check your heart.
· Listen to what it tells you. Does the game feel unreasonable? Does it feel like the right game for you at this moment?
Really listen. Really get in touch with it. THAT is the answer to whether you have the right game and components for the next 90 days.
This is simpler than you know when you follow the call of your heart. Once you have your answer… jump in and begin to play the game. This is the game of your life, so play to win!
Let the games begin!
Don’t wait for a bolt of thunder, or a crisis, to tell you it is time to begin. Just decide it is time, and so it is. Keep in mind there is no “perfect” way to play: It is a process you will engage in for the next 90 days, and by going through it, it will all become clear for you. Consider the analogy of camping and putting up your tent. You start by putting a stake in the ground before you erect the tent. In the beginning, you make your best judgment as to where that first stake should go, but as you continue to try to stabilize your tent, you may need to shift that stake to a better position.
The same principle applies here. Put your stake in the ground, and declare your game. If it needs adjusting, it will become obvious as you go through this process over the next 90 days. This chapter lays the foundation for the physical portion of your game. The following chapters will support you through the whole process!
Keep in mind that you don’t have to have your game perfectly figured out before you start it. Some people tend to get stuck thinking that everything has to be in perfect place in order to get started. That’s a myth… and a form of self-deception that procrastinators like to use as an excuse. Don’t be one of those folks. There is no wrong or right way, there is only beginning! With your game in place, you are now ready to get going. So, take a break and pat yourself on the back, because the game is on!
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