The Gamification Of Life – It’s All In How You Play

Life is a game of poker. Everyone is dealt a certain hand, whether it’s 7-2 off suit —the worst starting hand in Texas hold ‘em — or pocket aces (the best). You must play the best game you can with the hand you are dealt. Poker isn’t fair. Life isn’t fair. Some people are born with many more advantages than others. Some people get lucky. You can’t control your starting hand; you can only control how you play it.

Many people have heard this analogy. Some like it, and others scoff at it. Life is too complicated to be boilded down into a simple card game. This is absolutely true. But even if you dismiss the idea that life can be reduced to a game of poker, there are still many benefits to taking the gamification approach when tackling whatever hand life has dealt.

Gamify Your Life

Looking at your life and the goals you want to accomplish as games allows you to have fun while working towards the things that matter. You can break down massive achievements into smaller steps, like video game missions, that are fun and challenging. Gamifying your life makes asking your client to sign the contract or asking your boss for a raise less serious and less stressful. It gives you confidence, because if you experience a setback you will be able to reframe the situation as a challenge or mission to overcome. Which in turn, makes you more resilient and creative. Gamification makes the process less serious and more fun, breaks down large goals into small actions, and gives you confidence during your journey.

Accept What You Can’t Control

You can’t control the hand you are dealt in poker, and you can’t control many aspects of your life. Worrying about and focusing on the things in your life that are unchangeable or uncontrollable doesn’t help you or move you forward. Yes, in many ways the things you can’t control (like your family), the community you grew up in, or past experiences, are very important and make up part of who you are. But don’t let negative experiences define you. Don’t let reliving past glory hold you back from progress. Accept and move on from what you can’t control. Focus on what you can control. Play your hand and create the life you want.

Stay Positive

There will be many more hands to play in life. The game isn’t over yet. Be realistic, but stay positive and be optimistic. You don’t know what the future holds and what great hand you will be dealt next round. Even if you have a terrible hand this round, the flop, turn, or river may change that. Don’t be afraid to fold and start the next hand new. Positivity increases your resilience, makes you more adaptable to change, and attracts people to you, which opens up new opportunities.

Take Action

Write down the major goals you want to accomplish in life . Then write down the goals you want to accomplish over the next year. Write down the goals you want to accomplish now. Make them SMART goals. Break them down into small games and missions.

For example, let’s say you want to be the top salesperson at your company this quarter. To do so, you need to sell $250,000 of your service. What do you do? You write down how many new clients you will need to sign up to reach $250,000 in sales. Figure out how many calls it takes to reach someone, how many people you reach that say they are interested, and how many people who say they are interested that actually sign up. Then, based on these numbers, figure out how many calls a day you need to make to reach your goal of $250,000 in sales, and make a game out of it. You have to make 50 calls a day or you won’t reach the next level, that’s your first mission. Next mission: You need to think of creative ways to sell your service and make people interested in it so you can send them the contract to sign. And so on. Sales is about spreading good ideas that make people’s lives better; how does your service do that?

There are many ways to gamify your life. Be creative. Take action. Be positive and have some fun while doing it! This is life, the pot to be won is more than just money.

Zander Parkinson
Senior Sales Executive, Acquirent