I love Simon Synek. I mean, he is the ultimate nice guy, funny (or maybe I should say “witty”?), and the guy’s ideas -come on-, are really eye opening, perspective shifting stuff.
If you haven’t heard his whole thing about infinite games vs. finite games, GO HERE to watch his explanation on what they are, and why they are important.
In summary, we mostly only play finite games for sports contests. We know who the players will be, we know the rules, and we know when does it start, and when does it end. Life, is different. We are in an infinite game where the whole purpose is to stay in the game as long as possible. This is true for our relationships, our careers, and so many other aspects of our life. The game doesn’t end, and there is no such thing as “winning” in your relationship. You either have a long, fun, and nurturing relationship or you don’t, and then -if you are sane- you drop out of that game and join a new one. (notice I said “join”, not “start”).
One of the features of an infinite game, is that there is no winner. You can win throughout the game, but there is no overall winner. And this should shift your objective. It is not about outperforming everybody else, but about staying in the game. Also, if you outcompete everybody in the “first period”, how fun would the “second period” be? (again, notice I said “period”, not “half”, you can have as many periods as you fancy).
But there is another aspect of the very same feature that Simon doesn’t go into too much, mostly because it is not that relevant to his argument. Every credible self-improvement guru that is worth their views in YouTube says that pursuing a mythical end goal where “we will be done”, is a delusion. There is no exoneration. No matter how high you reach, how much you achieve, how much money you make; there isn’t a point where you can claim that you have done it. The fear, the anxiety, the insecurities, never go away. Sure, the billionaire is not preoccupied about being evicted, but may be just as worried about having to sell one of the two mansions in The Hamptons or La Romana.
When you understand this, you start to feel at-peace with the discomfort, instead of trying to outrun it.
The British author Vivian Greene captured it in one phrase: “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”