Participating in the Infinite Game of Life
Everything is broken
A big part of the frustration of life is that everything seems totally fucking broken. Your employer is bureaucratic, there’s too much traffic, you have to wait 90 minutes on hold for customer support, etc.
We could each make a list of ways the world doesn’t live up to our expectations. And boy would that be maddening.
I personally feel much better, happier, and motivated when I remind myself that all of this brokenness was built by individual people.
When I remember that everything is made by a bunch of random humans, my expectations of how it should work lower dramatically.
It’s not like there was some single, all-powerful designer who purposefully made everything as it is.
No, everything’s been touched, and poked, and stacked upon like sedentary rock over many years. What we see today is the almost random output of all that’s come before.
Everything we see and experience is just part of the brokenness of life. We’re all in this big sandbox playing the game together.
And You Can Fix It
But that doesn’t mean we should just lower our expectations and prepare for mediocrity every day until we die.
Instead let’s focus on the humanity behind every problem and every missed expectation.
By remembering that there’s people behind every problem, you remind yourself that solving those problems is within your reach. And that you can influence things.
And then instead of screaming in frustration from the sidelines, life becomes a dance you get to participate in.
Yes the big stuff will still frustrate you. Yes a lot of things will stay broken in our lifetimes.
But how much better is life when you empower yourself and contribute to the game.
And everyone can do this, whether in big or small ways. Such comes many of the joys of life.
What you don’t want is to complain to some higher power outside the bounds of your control. “This isn’t the way it should be, somebody fix it!!” they scream into the text field, or to their Senators. Relegating the solution to “out there” robs yourself of the chance to make a contribution.
It gives you the moral satisfaction of complaining without the responsibility of being part of a solution.
May we all find satisfaction and personal joy by participating in the infinite game of life.
If you liked this essay....
Then consider signing up for my newsletter, How It Actually Works.
It contains the best material I find anywhere – this means books, articles, podcasts, research, videos, Twitter threads... the most interesting stuff that will give you something to say.
1,000s of people read it every week and they're never published anywhere else. Once they're sent they're gone forever.