winning

Winning with a Line of Retreat

On my path towards Winning, I think it is important to leave a Line of Retreat.

For firefighters entering a burning building, it’s important to make sure they have a path to escape in case the fire spreads too much. For employees preparing in case of a natural disaster or other emergency, it’s important to remember evacuation plans and assembly areas. For poker players seeing a good hand, it’s important to be able to figure out when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em. For rationalists trying to find the Truth, it’s important to identify what they believe, why they believe that, and if they should continue to believe that. For us Single Players trying to Win, it’s important to recognize when our thought processes and actions are actually leading us to Lose.

As a matter of self-respect you should try to believe the truth no matter how uncomfortable it is.”

As we build our beliefs about truth up, like laying bricks on other bricks, we must be able to see which beliefs are dependent on other beliefs, and which beliefs are strong enough to form a solid foundation. We shouldn’t overly favor or ignore certain beliefs; each brick should be inspected and evaluated fairly for their truth-iness.

“Be a true coward, and plan out your retreat in detail—visualize every step—preferably before you first come to the battlefield.”

As we build these beliefs up, we must also be ready to trace back and remove these bricks in case we laid them incorrectly. We may believe Y, which depends on belief X. If we later see fault in belief X, then it only makes sense to re-examine belief Y as well.

“You must at least be able to admit to yourself which ideas scare you, and which ideas you are attached to.”

Humans are not wired to be complete rationalists. We have biases and calculation errors. We may have our pet theories and hidden lies. The better we are at not lying to ourselves, the better off we will be at finding and building upon the right beliefs.

“What is true is already so; owning up to it doesn’t make it worse.  You shouldn’t be afraid to just visualize a world you fear.  If that world is already actual, visualizing it won’t make it worse; and if it is not actual, visualizing it will do no harm.”

Winning is the ultimate judge. Whether our theorycrafting or strategizing leads us to approach Winning a certain way, in whatever forum we are trying to Win, the world does not care how much time we devoted or how much sweat we put in. After acting, we will either have Won the way we wanted to Win, or we will have Lost.

While trying to Win, we should also recognize how we might Lose. While walking down our paths towards Victory, we should also be preparing a Line of Retreat.

Winning Despite, Not Because Of

Sometimes the world doesn’t work the way we would like it to work. We might call it “Unfair” or unjust, but stuff happens. When we don’t like what happens, we either Accept it (by changing our expectations of what happens) or Reject it (by changing what ends up happening). As a Single Player, a lot of the time I find myself having to play in a multiplayer world where I have less control over what happens. Instead of situations where my clear go-to decision would be to Reject what happens, there are other considerations that must be accounted for when more players are involved. It is hard enough to play for myself as a Single Player, but also playing with and/or for others?

This type of situation, where we see something we don’t want to happen but allow it to happen because others might accept it (either deliberately or by not caring), can lead to conflict. Why do we have to put up with this? Why can’t we all just reject it? Why do we have to sacrifice something for something else that’s not even better?

Even after we self-reflect, asking ourselves if we are correct in our beliefs, checking our thought processes and seeing if we are messing up somewhere, searching for a potential hidden truth that we might have missed. Do they know something I don’t know? Why do I believe what I believe? How did I make this conclusion? And how did I conclude this with as much confidence as I have? Even after we self-reflect, honestly, in deference to the real, actual, lawful, Simple TruthEven after all of this, and we still would decide to Reject what happens, but have to Accept what happens because of others around us.

Cue negativity: resentment, jealousy, distrust, hate.

What do we do with this negativity? How do we handle it? Do we transform it into positivity, a working force to strive to be even better? Or do we embrace it, purport it, promote it, reflect it, so that we generate more negativity?

Consider Kobe Bryant, professional basketball player, will most probably be referred to as a generation-defining player. A superstar attracting both fans and haters on and off the court. Kobe, self-professed contributor to his own hate. Why? He fed off that negativity. Fueled by hate of teammates, opponents, fans, and media. Says he wouldn’t have it any other way, that was what drove him to greater heights. Is this him lying to himself? Rationalization? Regardless, it’s what he chose, what he did, and part of his story, why he is great now and will be remembered as one of the all-time greats.

Consider Dansgaming, professional streamer, feeding off jealousy

@Dansgaming: #Jealousy you’re going to feel it on Twitch, it’ll never be gone completely. it’s normal, let it motivate you to be better not to hate. (tweet from 2016)

Would he really not have had it any other way? If he could choose jealousy or not jealousy, would there really be consideration? Would he still have been great if circumstances were different? Would Dan still be the Twitch icon he is today, without the satire and sarcasm, without the rage and self-rekts?

Consider Darth Vader, professional Sith Lord, proponent of the Dark SideHe had cared too much, so much so that it exposed him to resentment, jealousy, distrust, and hate. These negative emotions ended up fueling him, driving him, acting as negative energy that actually gave him some pretty cool powers. Does that necessarily make him bad? Why is he a villain? If we consider his circumstances, doesn’t he become more relatable?

What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. But sometimes, we contribute to our own almost-killing. We are faced with challenges, and we either overcome these challenges, or we falter and fail before them. However, I think that sometimes we contribute to our own struggles. Sometimes, we even create them or exaggerate them. Sometimes, we make our own hurdles just to show ourselves and others that we straddled over those hurdles.

Stepping back, is everyone naturally attracted to the struggle? News segments filled with tragedy. Rubbernecking on the highway. Do we need the negativity? Do we rely on negativity? Or do we act despite the negativity? We may realize that negativity will be there. But do we contribute to it all? I think in the best outcomes, we either transform negativity, or deflect it away from ourselves and others. However, sometimes we are tempted to absorb it or reflect it back.

Consider these example dichotomies:

  • Being an underdog; Staying an underdog
  • Being a victim; Becoming the victim
  • Underpaid and under-compensated; Under-performing and setting minimal goals
  • Raising yourself up; Keeping yourself down
  • Being in Control; Being Controlled
  • Winning; Losing

I think the greater feat is when we Win despite negativity, not because of negativity. Make it clear, to ourselves and to those around us, that there is a difference. Even if in certain situations that difference is subtle, it is imperative that we recognize it. We choose to Win, even when facing Losing conditions. But we must not contribute to that Losing. If we do, and somehow we think we are better off, I am pretty sure we would find out after honest self-reflection, that we are lying to ourselves.

We must choose to Win, first for ourselves, and then for others if we can. And we must carry ourselves towards this Winning despite, not because of, (insert negativity here).

Questions in a Rainstorm

Sitting on a porch rocking chair, in the middle of rainstorm Nona in Sabang, Naic, Cavite in the Philippines. The rain picks up, wind brings some wetness to my hand and the book I’m writing in. A dog curled up checking itself for any creepy crawlers. The sound of raindrops accumulating in the shutters, the rustle of leaves moving in the wind, the sound of family chatting in the background.

I am sitting alone, surrounded by the happenings of the world. Where am I in this space?

The rain falls more heavily, wind lifting pages of this book. I tap my foot. The dog looks my way shortly, interrupted from his struggles against his fleas, and quickly goes back to licking his legs.

It’s not a question of belonging. Belonging infers purpose, a matter of things being where someone or something else intends them to be. I don’t belong here in the Philippines, nor do I belong in Rosemead or San Diego or Long Beach.

The clouds drift in the sky, moving in a general direction. Do the clouds belong in the sky? Do they move because they belong somewhere else? As a cloud spreads itself as raindrops, do those now belong on the ground?

Asking questions is a way to get information. But sometimes we ask questions for information we don’t need at the time for addressing the matter at hand, and sometimes we misuse that information. Sometimes we ask the wrong questions, and then think we got the right answers.

A second dog takes his spot in a lounge chair. A cousin and uncle walk by, discussing plans for building and developing the land. A sound of an airplane zooming by in the sky. Was that plane delayed due to the storm? Will my other cousins’ flight be delayed due to the storm warning level? What’s the difference between a Level 1 and Level 2 storm?

When I am alone, I find myself asking questions to myself. This might be a common habit for everyone, or maybe I’m on the more inquisitive end of the scale. I don’t really expect all of these internal questions to be answered and put into use. Which questions are more important, and for what purposes?

“Where do I belong?” is a wrong question for me at this time. A better form of this question is “Where do I want to be?” These questions are similar, but they focus on different responsible actors. “Belonging” emphasizes forces external to me, whereas the latter question emphasizes my own inclination.

As a soon-to-be 5-year employee of a reputable company, part of a larger worldwide corporation, I find myself comfortable with a decent salary and full benefits package.

What is prompting me to even consider leaving? A sense of discontent at work. Co-workers’ interests and motivations varying significantly from my own. Over-burdening of responsibility because I want us to do better, to solve problems and help our customers succeed. Lack of compensation compared to others who have less merit and commit less effort. Instability in our industry with near-term windfalls. Not wanting to rely on a 401k retirement plan, nor having to wait until retirement age to reap its benefits.

What actions can I take to alleviate the situation? Change my expectations of myself and lower my standards in work ethic. Change my co-workers. Change my company. Become self-employed.

What are the causes of the situation I find myself in? Having to work with people I don’t want to work with. Having to work at times and for a duration I don’t agree with. Having to do things in ways I don’t want to do them.

Can I control these issues? I’ve asked to change teams or team members, but have not received any change. When working in a large company, I am subject to standard shifts with a target retirement age. I also have to do things in accepted ways, even if they are not optimal. And no matter how hard I work, I still have a fixed salary, where performance appraisals and adjustments are not completely merit-based.

My parents come by. Seems like the family is going out today, shopping and probably more eating. Another cousin comes by. Seems like some are planning on paddling a boat in a nearby lake recently filled with rain. I sit here, rocking in my chair, watching some low and fast-moving clouds, hearing light rain pitter-patter, wind playing across the leaves of the trees. Seems like I could sit here for a while, thinking, observing, being.

It’s not a matter of where I belong; it’s a matter of what I want to do. It’s a matter of doing, of playing what I want to play, how I want to play, when I want to play. It’s a matter of winning, first for myself. Can I do that where I’m at now? If not, what do I need to change to give me better chances at winning?

A moment’s peace, a quiet calm in the storm. A motorcycle rumbles in the distance. Where is it going?

Where am I going? Where do I want to go?

“Losing the Right Way” versus “Rightfully Losing”

I’m a simple man; I just like to win. I’m not a fan of losing, but I also recognize that sometimes things may not go my way. When I set out to win in a certain way, circumstances can lead to another way. I want to always win, but I accept that sometimes I will also lose. I allow for this losing, not for the sake of losing, but because this is part of the risk of trying to win. If I were to lose for the sake of losing, I would be victim to a Lost Purpose, and would have forgotten that my actual purpose is to win.

I am trying to win, and may sometimes lose, because I care about the outcome. If I were apathetic, winning or losing would not be meaningful to me. It’s only when I care enough about the outcome of events, either to me personally or as part of a group, that winning and losing represent desirable and undesirable outcomes. If I want to win, or if I want to not lose, then I must also care. Not caring is not a means for winning or losing; this mindset just abstains me from either circumstance. But since there are usually less ways to win and more ways to lose in a given situation, if I were to change from apathy to caring in the future, I would most probably recognize that I have been losing.

It’s even in losing that I can maintain my focus on winning. Understanding why I lost this time can help me to lose less in the future. What do I learn from my losses? How am I updating my beliefs? Was there some inherent belief I had that seems faulty under the new evidence from this loss? I may not win every time, but I must strive towards the win every time. With each loss I must continue through to a victory the next day. If I am practicing losing ways, let me believe that my ways are faulty. I should not feel obligated to hold on to beliefs if there are good reasons to discard them.

I can better analyze my own contributions to losing by recognizing my own thought processes leading to that loss. There may be certain external factors which were out of my control, but I must not be tempted to look for a scapegoat to cover responsibility which should be my own. Sure, some things can be out of my control, but there are a lot more things which can be under my control. It’s those things that I must examine and update to steer more of my future scenarios towards winning.

Losing can lead to future winning. Losing can also lead to continued losing. After losing, are my actions re-navigating me towards better chances at winning? Or am I just accepting losing in a way that I will continue to lose? How can I figure out what type of losing I am doing?

Am I losing the right way? Or am I rightfully losing? How can I tell the difference?

Playing Less and/or Winning More

There was a time when games were fewer and further between. Games were less available and harder to obtain. It was not so long ago where renting games from the local store was a major source of excitement, wanting to see if the game I wanted to play was returned by the other customer renting it. Games of interest would come out once or twice a year. During these times, any individual game felt like they had much more impact and were more enjoyable.

Today, games are coming out at a much faster pace. Game development and ownership has expounded, especially for PC gamers where new games can be purchased and downloaded so much more easily through online arcades (e.g. Steam, GoG). Even console platforms are transitioning more towards digital purchases and downloads from the comfort of your room. We have so many more games at our fingertips compared to before. But are we appreciating them more? Are we Winning more?

I suspect that this is a matter falling under the umbrella of “ignorance is bliss?” When we know less games, see less games, and are exposed to less games (like in the past), we may think we know more or enjoy more or Win more than we actually could be.

I suspect that if I could play more games with a higher level of appreciation than if I play 1 game repeatedly to its limits, I would rather play and enjoy more games. But it’s hard to just reject that feeling of nostalgia, the urge of wanting to Play Less and Win More.

I kind of want to force myself to play slowly, to read every line of text in an MMORPG, to digest the content as if they would be all that I am seeing until next month or next year. Is this a reasonable request?

Maybe it’s okay to play quickly, as long as the overall content I get to with the extra time I gain is more than if I played slowly. I may be speed-reading or skipping a lot of content, but is this fine as long as I am getting to the same or more overall content over 5 games instead of heavily focusing on 1 game? Or maybe we are rushing things too much?

If I could re-tune myself to be able to still go quickly, to have quicker reading comprehension, to have an adjusted sense and scale of time, and then still appreciate everything more than if I were not enhanced, I suspect I would be getting more value and Winning more. But I don’t have those enhancements. We don’t have that capability, at least not yet.

In the meantime, what do I do? As long as I’m having fun playing video games, whether they be 1 or 100, does it even matter?

I think it would matter, if instead of thinking about video games, we think of similar aspects of life.

Ignorance is bliss. But if I could know more, and be aware of other things to understand and care about, I should want that right?

Unless I think it’s okay to turn a blind eye to those around me that are suffering, that are Losing in life.

We each have our set of problems and obstacles before us. Is it fine to approach these slowly? These problems are few and far between, right?

There may come a time when people as a whole start to notice that there are more problems in this world besides their own, or besides their immediate neighbors own. We are exposed to a lot of news around the world, through broadcast television and social media, at a pace that only seems to continue growing rapidly. We are more connected to those around us.

Are we just focusing on ourselves, or a small proportion of the many, and tuning out the rest? Or are we just glancing across them, speed-reading without full comprehension and rushing to move on to the next?

I think if we had to choose, there would be two optimal approaches depending on the person and situation. We should either focus on less and care more for those few, or if we are capable or can become capable, focus on more and care even more.

Some people might Win more when they play less, and Win less when they play more.

Some people might Win more when they play more, and Win less when the play less.

We should all try to Win, first for ourselves as Single Players. If that means we need to focus on ourselves first, without getting to others, then that’s fine by me. First and foremost, take care of yourself. Don’t stretch yourself too thin and be overwhelmed trying to help others, leading to you unable to help yourself.

But if we can reliably Win for ourselves, I think those interested should then come together to Win even more for those that are losing.

So where am I on the spectrum of Playing Less and/or Winning More? Where are you?

And if we had the option to enhance ourselves or select a preferential mind-state, would it be okay to choose blissful ignorance? If offered a Blue Pill and a Red Pill, would there necessarily be a better choice?

Innovation Should Not be an End Goal

When someone asks you to be Innovative, what is it they are asking you to do?

In my workplace, Innovation has become quite a buzzword lately. There have even been rumors about a new Department of Innovation in the works, which is supposed to gather like-minded Innovators together so they can be even more Innovative.

But why Innovation? And why should we focus on being Innovative? What will happen to me if I say I don’t want to be Innovative?

I think we should be careful about using terms which are considered “holy”, where the opposite/lack of that term is considered “evil”. For example, how could I even dare to say we should think twice before we consider Collaboration? These types of one-way terms are more often used as a cue for applause rather than for their discussion points.

So if we Taboo the word Innovation, what is it that people actually mean when they want it?

When I hear people commonly using the term Innovation, it often involves developing solutions to a problem which are considered “out of the box”. I don’t necessarily think this is a bad concept, but does that mean that all solutions to problems have to be “out of the box”? At what point should I consider that maybe I need to get rid of my current “box”, or update what my “box” contains? If we always want to be Innovative by this definition, isn’t this also requiring that our current knowledge always be one or more steps behind? Would my efforts be discounted if your concept of what is Innovative is just what I consider to be Mundane?

If I proposed that instead of a Department of Innovation, instead we should have a Department of the Mundane, would I be considered instantly “evil” and booed off the stage?

Innovation is just a means to an end. Not every change is an improvement, but every improvement is necessarily a change. Innovation can bring about big changes, but we must remember that these should always be aimed towards improvement.

If we really had to create a new department, it should be the Department of Improvement. If improvement requires changes which are considered Innovative, so be it. Likewise, if improvement requires changes which are considered Mundane, so be it. (But really, why would we need a separate department for something that everyone should aspire for?) If what we really want is improvement, then we should aim for improvement regardless if it involves innovative or mundane changes.

When people ask for Innovation, maybe what they really want is the applause that goes along with Innovation, a talking point to impress the audience, or a wow-factor to attract investors. These could also be desirable, but these goals should be specified at the onset and not disguised as seeking improvement.

If our actual goal is to improve, then Innovation for the sake of Innovation is just a Lost Purpose. We should optimize for and implement changes best suited for improvement, be they innovative or mundane.

If we want to Win, then we shouldn’t care if our optimal strategies are innovative or mundane. If we want to Win, then we shouldn’t care if we were right or if we were wrong in our thinking a year ago. If we want to win, then we shouldn’t care if we are recognized by others. If we want to Win, then we should focus on Winning.

Irony of “The Age Discrimination in Employment Act”

I noticed there was an “Age Discrimination in Employment Act“. I was impressed.

I then read through the document and noticed this only covers age 40 or older (and other exceptions). I was no longer impressed.

Is there something special about this number 40? What if I am 39, or younger?

Please look at what I am capable of, separate from my age. I could be 2 years older or 20 years older than my current age. Would that age difference affect my ability to do this task? Some tasks may be affected by other things which correlate to age; but is this task one of them? What new information are you taking/giving when you say “well that’s how you young people do it” and clamor against technology and change? Is what I am doing good or bad? Is it better or worse than what we have done? Would I get bonus points if I did what I am doing now, but were twice my age? Or are you discounting points from me because I happen to be in a certain age group?

When you mention age, you are just categorizing / profiling / stereotyping / discriminating. I resent that.

You might not bring up my gender or my race, since these are more discouraged in our current professed culture of non-discrimination (speaking as a citizen of the United States, 2015). But the same consideration should apply to judgments based on age, if we were actually expressing a culture of non-discrimination.

Not every change is an improvement. but every improvement is necessarily a change.

My goal is to improve things. Do not assume that I am just trying to change things for the sake of change, because of a sentiment of “that’s what kids do these days”. Let’s talk and discuss about whether what I am doing is actually improving things or not.

If I were to give the benefit of the doubt, I could say that the crafters of this Act were just trying to be funny and ironic by protecting against age-discrimination only for those of a certain age group. But this is probably not the case.

In defense of what this document is trying to accomplish, I have to mention this paragraph:

SEC. 621 [Section 2], (a), item (3):  The incidence of unemployment, especially long-term unemployment with resultant deterioration of skill, morale, and employer acceptability is, relative to the younger ages, high among older workers; their numbers are great and growing; and their employment problems grave;

This seems like a fair observation. The longer someone is out of practice of a skill, the less capable they might be at that skill. And since this is a time-based measure, people who have had more time pass since they were birthed (i.e. older) will probably have more occurrences of this than those who had less time pass since they were birthed (i.e. younger).

But why do we need to write this Act specifically for people who are 40 years old or older? It would be fine to just say “no” to age-discrimination as a whole, whether people are relatively older or younger. But then I must remember to look at the purpose of this legislative Act. Its purpose is probably not to discourage against age-discrimination as a whole, but trying to help older people obtain and retain employment. This is still a noteworthy cause, but I would characterize this more as teaching how to not lose, rather than teaching how to win, and just losing in a different way. This is an example of a document trying to change the professed culture, not trying to condition an expressed culture.

I have a dream, that one day all people will be judged not based on how many years that have passed since they were birthed, but based on their ability and desire to Win. Winning should favor no age group, skin color, gender, or other similar stereotype. Winning is the final judgement; it is the only judgment that should take place. We should let Winning be more attainable for those that practice winning ways, so that they can be better equipped to win more for those that did not win, those that cannot win, and those that will not win.

“Not Losing” is not the same as “Winning”

I would consider Winning as a state of Not Losing, but I would not consider the opposite as completely true. Being in a state of Not Losing is not the same as Winning, unless you understand every possible way to Not Lose in a given situation (at which point, I would say you just know how to Win). It is more common that we only understand a few instances of how to Not Lose in a given situation; it is when in this state that I claim that knowing how to Not Lose is not the same as knowing how to Win.

Suppose that three students are asked to complete a Math test with 10 problems. These 10 problems vary in difficulty. However, the teacher has created the problems such that the solution is always 42. The teacher also tells them that the correct answers are within the set of counting numbers ranging from 1 to 50.

The first student, who is considered to be a Math Wizard by the other two students, has a firm understanding of all the Math Spells Wizards use to legitimately solve each problem individually, showing the step-by-step process until writing “The answer is 42.” for each of the solutions.

The second student is not as Wizardly as the first. What they lack in Math spells, though, they make up for with clever thinking. They decide to practice their Wisdom, and for each of the 10 problems writes “The answer is not 1”. They know for a fact that this is a true statement about any Math problem whose solution is not equal to 1. They then sit and wait, hoping that the teacher did not provide problems with 1 as their answer.

The third student who sits between the first and second students is also not very Wizardly. But what he lacks in Math Spells he makes up for with Cunning. Utilizing his great skills to the fullest, he shifts his eyes towards both the first and third students’ solutions when the teacher is faced the other way, and writes down “The answer is 42 and the answer is not 1.” for all the problems. They then sit and wait, hoping that the teacher did not notice them looking at the other students’ solutions.

How would these three students be graded? Who can we say is closer to knowing how to Win, and who can we say is closer to only knowing how to Not Lose?

In terms of letter grades, the first student may receive an A for his Intelligence, the second student may receive an A for his Wisdom, and the third student may receive an A for his Cunning. All three students may end up passing the Math test, but I would say that the first student understands more than the second and third students. The first student is aiming at Winning by getting the correct solution, regardless of the specific problem they are handed. The second student is aiming at Not Losing by providing an examples of incorrect solutions. The third student is aiming at Not Losing by using solutions created by others. All three students may happen to be Not Losing in this certain situation, but I would only rate one student as trying to Win.

If, instead, the second student were to write that “The answer is not 1 or 2… or 41 or 43 or 44…or 50”, leaving out only 42 as the correct solution, then I would have to say that they understood as much about the solution as the first student (but chose to write the solution in a “cute way”). If we have an option of 50 choices at a solution, and we can reliably narrow down and remove 49 of the 50 possible choices, then our entire knowledge of what is not correct, of how to Completely Not Lose, is equivalent to the knowledge of Winning. But this is not the common usage of when I hear of learning how to Not Lose, which often refers to only a few examples out of the entire Lose-space.

If, instead, the third student were to observe the solutions provided by the other two students, but then proceeds with trying to figure out how they would solve for the solution themselves, then I would have to say that the third student is also trying to Win (although cheating on a school Math test is questionable). This student is using others as examples, as referents of how to Not Lose, in their path to Win on their own. Outside of this Math test example, we are commonly surrounded by examples of what other people do in given situations and can observe which outcomes don’t work out. If we use these as examples of how to Not Lose, we can fill out and understand more about the Lose-space and get a better grasp of how to Win. However, sometimes we focus only on those examples of Not Losing that we end up just losing in a different way.

It is okay, and it is sometimes necessary, to first focus on learning how to Not Lose while on our path to learning how to Win. In certain problems and situations outside of this example Math test, it is sometimes easier and more effective to see examples of what not to do before figuring out what it is we need to actually do. But this focus on Not Losing should always be accompanied with an impetus towards Winning. It is not enough that we learn of 4 or 42 ways how to Not Lose, if we then proceed to accept another way which also lands in the Lose-space.

If Winning is our purpose, then we must not lose that.

From the Start

I like to play games. I think there are a lot of things I learned and developed through my exposure to games. Games offer a variety of challenges which I can face. Some of these challenges I wouldn’t be able to tackle in “normal everyday living”, and the quantity and variety of challenges over the same time period would also be hard to match. Games offer an entertaining medium through which I can develop new skills, practice them, and learn where I thrive and where I need improvement.

I think I learned the most from single player games. It’s not that I don’t play or don’t recommend multiplayer games; I recognize that there are skills you can pick up from those too. But it’s in a single player game where you alone are faced with challenges. You can figure out pretty quickly what you can and cannot do. In multiplayer games, the struggle can be skipped, missed, or diverted to others. That too can be a useful skill, but that’s not what I think should be a primary mode for approaching challenges. At least for me, it’s through single player games that I’ve acquired a certain degree of self-reliance. There may be certain challenges which can only be faced with multiple players, but first I need to know what my own limitations are. If I don’t know what I could have done on my own, then I may become over-reliant on other players and miss out on the experience I could have gained on my own.

I just talked a lot about games. But this blog isn’t really going to be about games. Unless you consider life just a game. Then maybe we’re on the same level.

I plan on focusing on the idea that people should first learn to live and win more on their own. In a world where people are physically and digitally getting closer and more crowded, it will become even more important to emphasize this idea of first learning to win on your own.

If we each learn how to win on our own, then together we can win even more.