If we’re feeling slackaput, daunted by the future, trapped in a dead-end situation, or bummed about the past, it’s because life isn’t a game for us. This is a quick fix of mindset that can change everything. First the philosophy…
Whatever we’re going to do next needs to be fun. According to game theory, it has to be FUN
F stands for “Philanthropy”
We need a cause / goal / mission that aligns with something we care about. That objective that’s truest and most powerful for us is probably one of Philanthropy – we want to help other people.
U stands for “Ability”
Whatever we’re going to work on next needs to be challenging. Stress is healthy in a game. We want it to be in the sweet spot between boredom and anxiety.
N stands for “Knowhow”
We have to have some kind of control. That means we have to know the rules of the task at hand and we need to know that how we act matters.
Examples of FUN
Example 1: Super Mario Bros
In Super Mario Bros, we want to save the princess (F). It’s tough and keeps getting tougher as we progress through each world (U). There are a few buttons to press and each one does a specific thing every time with immediate response (N).
Example 2: House Cleaning
My friend is coming over. I want to clean the house so that he feels respected (F). There’s a time crunch and, even though I can’t clean it perfectly, I think I can get it done enough to send the right message (U). I have cleaned my house before. I know the parts of the house he’ll be seeing. I know what tools I’m going to use to do it (N).
Example 3: Learning a Musical Instrument
I want to bring joy to others through music, whether by performing for friends, family, or an audience (F). Learning to play a musical instrument presents a challenge . I’ll need to practice regularly to improve my skills and tackle more complex pieces (U). I study music theory, practice scales, and learn different techniques. My efforts directly impact my progress in playing the instrument (N).
Examples of unFUN
“I want to make money. I don’t know how.”
“I want women to adore me. I am unattractive in every way. Girls want crazy things.”
Transforming anything into FUN
Step 1: Identify the Task
We recognize the tasks we need to complete or engage with. These could be work-related, personal goals, chores, or any activities we need to undertake. Often, this involves thinking about what our next task is rather than dwelling on our past or our shortcomings.
Step 2: Define the Philanthropic Aspect (F)
Let’s find a way to connect the task with a philanthropic purpose, even if it’s indirect. We can consider how the task contributes to our well-being, the well-being of others, or a greater cause.
Step 3: Determine the Challenging Element (U)
Together, we should assess the task to identify ways to make it more challenging. It’s important to strike a balance between boredom and anxiety, ensuring that the task requires our active engagement and effort.
Step 4: Establish Our Control and Knowhow (N)
We can break down the task into its components and determine the rules or steps involved. By understanding how our actions influence the outcome, we can recognize the areas where we have control and influence.