It is amazing to me how much we are ambushed by the world’s view on “success” – from birth to death, subtly and not-so-subtly, and from so many different angles. Even simple and classic board games are imposing the “He with the most toys (or money) wins” worldview on us and our kids.
This became clear to me as I played the Game of Life the other day with my 7-year-old daughter.
As we played, I chose the college route and then “became” a vet because I, of course, wanted to win and knew that the earning potential of the vet was greater than most other professions. Savannah, on the other hand, chose the college route and then “became” a teacher, despite its low salary and earning potential, because it is what she wants to do and it brought her joy. Then, as we continued playing, we both “got married” and “had one child.” That’s where the similarities ended.
After that, I racked up a bunch of money, a big house, had no more kids or grandkids, and retired to “Millionaire Estates” with a net worth of about $1.8 million. Meanwhile, Savannah continued on her joyful path as a teacher (turning down several “offers” for higher-paying jobs because she wanted to be a teacher), made a decent salary, had three more children, a few grandchildren, and happily retired to Countryside Acres with a net worth of about $400,000.
According to the rules (and the prevailing worldview in America), I won by a large margin simply because my net worth in retirement was way higher. I questioned that logic and the rules, and actually told Savannah that she won because she loved her profession and had a great family.
So, as I sign off, I ask you, who won? Why? Are you winning in your life? Think about it before it’s too late. Under which set of rules are you playing?