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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Empire Building and the Game of Life


Life isn’t just a “game,” it’s the most impressive, scary, time-consuming, and challenging activity… ever. Virtual reality is easy—actual reality, not so much. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you choose to view it) the game of life involves both physical and emotional pain and many variables that can hold us back for extended periods of time.

This “game” of life is much like a role playing video game—Sims or Age of Empires—but on steroids. 

  • Each of us has our own empire (yes, the size of yours and mine may be microscopic) and we have an opportunity to build and grow our territory and improve as a ruler.
  • Don’t like how much revenue your empire is pulling in? You might be the kind of ruler who drives an Uber while your empress crown is being polished. 
  • Don’t like the way your relationship is unfolding with your co-ruling spouse? Might be time to go to the royal marriage counselor—(it’s hard to be a good ruler when home life isn’t going well)
  • Want to prepare for the twilight years of your reign? You could always sock away $50 a week from the royal coffers so you can live more comfortably in your old age.  
  • Not happy with the color of the fence bordering the capitol territory of your 3 bedroom ranch-style empire palace? Learn to negotiate and present peace offerings to neighboring rulers. 
The game becomes a bit more interesting when we think of it as just that—an open-ended “game” with endless possibilities, no extra lives, but thousands of little opportunities every day to build and grow our respective empires and ourselves closer to what we envision in our dreams. 

Alexander the Great never got to China, Genghis Khan never got to Western Europe—but each kept pushing toward what they wanted and achieved (imperfect) greatness while on their path to following their dreams. You, too, can be labeled “Khan” or “The Great” within the boundaries of your own empire and beyond. But you have to keep playing the game.