Life is full of games. Not all are created equal. Some are more compelling than others. Each compels its own demographic and they all have effects of varying degrees on those who play them. In this talk, we discuss the insecurities reflected in our decisions, in the way we speak, the aspirations we anchor ourselves into and the games we allow ourselves to be consumed by. Sometimes the greater victory than proving them wrong, being enough, and figuring it all out is… asking yourself whether the game is worth playing at all.

When did it stop being fun? Was it ever fun to begin with? Are there games out there that are more compelling, more fulfilling, more pleasurable and more aligned with what I know to be true about the world, the people in my life and how I relate to them? Hmm..

Audio Only Version -

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More fulfilling than winning the game is evaluating the effect that it’s having on your mental/emotional state and asking yourself whether it’s even worth playing anymore.

Thinking about the games that I'm consumed by. Evaluating the limiting paradigms I've perpetuated. Identifying the so-called "needs" that are running me and canceling them accordingly.

Time to play some better games.

Listen to the audio version

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Maybe our hunger for control oppresses us more than any external entity could ever dream to.

Perhaps what's more important than winning the game is monitoring the effect it's having on you/the paradigm it's perpetuating and deciding whether it's worth playing accordingly.

What game am I playing? Why? Who does it turn me into? Am I having fun? Am I fulfilled? Is it even about that?


These days, I can't ask myself what I'd like to do without also asking myself why I want to do it. Or what childhood experiences may have put my on this track or that. My eyes can't land on anything without subsequently revving up the meaning-making machine:

What's worth doing?

What legitimate need triggers this urge?

Can a life limited to legitimate needs even be fulfilling?

But I should start there, no?

Be less dependent on validation?

Remove myself from the chase for certainty and control?

As the question doubles, the quest for objective truths becomes less and less practical. I remember that this is simply what the meaning-making machine does:

Scan for threats, ensure survival, repeat.

Reminded of this, it's a little easier to disengage. To Save Progress and Quit Game. I remember that these thoughts aren't action items, they're suggestions. That urge to resolve every image that flashes through my head is faint again.

False positives reveal themselves for what they truly are. I express gratitude for my meaning-making machine and its intentions shine brighter than the siren it loves to activate.

As often as it takes, we renew this realization. Suddenly I feel as liberated and as complete as I imagined I would be on that surface-level chase for control and fulfillment that I was previously on.

That's a start.

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