Why I Will Never Win At Life

I have all these great big plans. As a dreamer and a decidedly introverted individual, it is very easy for me to get lost in my own thoughts of grandeur. Sometimes, probably way too often, my own thoughts wonder towards things in the near and distant future. While I focus my thinking inward, I often come out with thoughts like this: I will never win at the game of life.

gift box

I’m not sharing this thought to introduce you some depressing tale of woe, and I don’t mean for the statement to make you sad. All I ask is you consider this: life is a gift surrounded by opportunity. Gifts are given without expectation of payment, while opportunity is a chance for progress. A game is a complete contrast, demanding payment and never guaranteeing progress.

Which is more important: the game, or the gift?

I have been happily married for nearly two and half years, and I have learned the futility of trying to “win” the marriage. Rather than fight for victory, I have learned that things run more smoothly when I give my wife my time, attention, and energy without expectation of payment, all while recognizing that even though there may be shortcomings and things I don’t understand in my wife, there is still opportunity for us to progress and grow old together. I’m certainly not perfect, but I would like to believe I fight for progress, not for victory and the title of winner.

The same should be true with this big concept of life. I’m sure we all spend too much time trying to make ourselves winners. I consume books, devote a tremendous amount of money improving my education, and am expending an enormous amount of energy on launching my own business. While these things go a long way to improving my personal strengths, they do not guarantee I will “win” at life.

I could make a choice to try to trick life into making me a winner by playing the game. I could influence and manipulate others to satisfy my needs and wants. I could use knowledge to berate others into compliance. I could use titles and position to coerce others to follow my lead. I could succeed at all these and be a victor. But at what cost? These all too choices deny the beauty of life and the hope that comes with opportunity by declaring that victory is more important than simply living and living well.

No matter what heights I reach and how far I go, one day the life that has been given will cease, and the opportunity to advance will be present no more. When that day comes, I would rather have enjoyed life as a gift than be declared a winner. Even more important than my own personal development is to pass on the gift of life and opportunity to those that follow. I hope, with this journey to launch my company, that I can do just that in all areas of my life.

What about you?

Join me on a journey! On this site, I write about my journey to balance being a good husband, a perpetual student, responsible worker, budding entrepreneur, passionate volunteer, random writer, and a lazy workout enthusiast — all while trying to launch and manage my own company. If you like these posts, click here to have them delivered to your email. Or, click here to recap all of the previous posts along the way. Finally, if you or an organization you care about needs expert marketing help, check out Introverted Consulting.

  • http://www.toddliles.com/ Todd Liles

    Jon, I wrote these words yesterday,

    “Sometimes we ask the wrong question. We get hung-up on:

    what we deserve, or
    what is fair, or
    who is right
    That is a losing game. You can’t win that one and win with the other person.


    • http://jonahenry.com/ Jon Henry

      Very true. Thanks for sharing!