27 June 2017

By trying to winning the things that don’t matter.

You’re playing a poker game, but you’re not really good, and you can really get tricked by the sharks. They’ll give you a few bites, and whet your appetite. You come rushing and eager into their trap and lose the skin off your back.

You’re in a relationship, and inevitably end up arguing about how you treat each other. You stand your ground and don’t compromise. You hurt your partner and damage the trust, respect and affection between you. It’s over.

You see systemic problems with society and government. You become a dissident and give hour-long speeches and interviews in which you dissect the corruption. You can really explain the mechanism. But you’re not a great communicator. Many people praise you and your stance, yet your words don’t translate to action, and the status quo persists.

You’re smart and want to advance in your career. You find a good job and start climbing the ladder. You keep on climbing. And then some more. You reach the glass ceiling. You’re stuck and it’s too late to start on a different path. Even though you kept improving at a rate that seemed fast to you, your peers have leap-frogged you by working for themselves all these years.

You’re competitive, and focus, and dedicated, and hard-working, and smart, and persistent and really, really won. You achieved. You’re revered. Your drive to win got you here. It was so strong that you always looked for the next challenge to defeat. You never took a break to appreciate all your achievements. You die, wondering what did you miss.