The Game of Your Life: Play to Win and Become a Champion in Life


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The Game of Your Life shows you how life is really like a game. To win the game of life, you need to understand the rules, know how to avoid and overcome obstacles to success, and recognize the goal of the game.

The principles for success in the game of life are simple, universal, and easy to apply. When you learn to play the game, you will be amazed at the results, in everything from the morning commute to work to building a successful relationship, to creating a thriving business.

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The Game of Your Life: Play to Win and Become a Champion in Life

  1. 1. THE GAME OF YOU R L I F E Pl ay to w i n and b e c ome a champion in l i fe
  2. 2. THE GAME OF YOU R L I F E Pl ay to w i n and b e c ome a champion in l i fe REX S. GIBSON
  3. 3. Copyright © 2010 by Dr. Rex S. GibsonAll   rights   reserved.   No   part   of   this   book   may   be   reproduced   or  transmitted   in   any   form   or   by   any   means,   electronic   or   mechanical,  including  photocopying,  recording,  or  by  any  information  storage  and  retrieval   system,   without   permission   in   writing   from   the   copyright  owner.For   information   on   distribution   rights,   royalties,   derivative   works  or   licensing   opportunities   on   behalf   of   this   content   or   work,   please  contact   the   Publisher   at   the   address   below   or   via   email,   ORGANIZATIONS,   INSTITUTIONS,   AND  INDUSTRY  PUBLICATIONS:  Quantity  discounts  are  available  on  bulk  purchases  of  this  book  for  reselling,  educational  purposes,  subscription  incentives,   gifts,   sponsorship,   or   fundraising.   Special   books   or   book  with  your  logo  on  the  cover  and  a  message  from  a  VIP  printed  inside.No  Limit  Publishing  Group123  E  Baseline  Road,  D-­108Tempe  AZ  85283info@nolimitpublishinggroup.comThis  book  was  printed  in  the  United  States  of  AmericaNo  Limit  PublishingNo  Limit  Enterprises,  LLC1601  E  69th  Street,  Suite  200Sioux  Falls,  SD  57108  
  4. 4. e Game of Your Life TABLE OF CONTENTSDedication 7Foreword 9Introduction 13 1st Half of the Game: Why We Fail at the Game of LifeChapter 1 Fear: Why We Choke in the Big Game 17Chapter 2 Problems: Game Stoppers 21Chapter 3 Living in the Past: e Games We Lost, but Can’t Seem to Let Go of 33Chapter 4 Justi cation: No Matter What the Excuse, You Still Lost the Game 37Chapter 5 Bad Data: Playing Tennis with a Baseball Bat 41Chapter 6 e Head Game: e Loudest Heckler 47 2nd Half of the Game: How to Win the Big GameChapter 7 e Game of Life: First Read the Instructions 55Chapter 8 e Best Game Plan: Everyone Wins 63Chapter 9 Purpose: Your Secret Weapon for Success 67Chapter 10 Reality: Play Your Game and Play to Win 71Chapter 11 Luck: Create It, Don’t Rely On It 75Chapter 12 Ethics: Guaranteed Personal Victory 85Chapter 13 Con dence and Courage: Your Two Greatest Teammates 89Chapter 14 Goals and Targets: First Down, Touchdown, and Victory 103Chapter 15 Time: Creating More Time on the Game Clock 121 Overtime: e Score is Tied: Score the Game Winning GoalChapter 16 Finances: e Energy to Create New Games 135Chapter 17 Business: Building Your Fan Base for Success 145 5
  5. 5. Rex S. GibsonChapter 18 Spirituality: e Game that Sets You Free 163Chapter 19 Relationships: You’re the Captain, Pick the Right Team 175Chapter 20 Gratitude: Embrace Your Opponents 185 Bonus SectionCreate Your Game and Map Out Your Plan for Success 191Conclusion 2116
  6. 6. e Game of Your Life DEDICATION is book is dedicated to all “Players” of e Game.First and foremost, I would like to thank my beautiful wife Emily, forwithout her help, I would never be the success that I am today. She hasbeen an inspiration as well as an incredible teammate. She has played everyposition a player could…from bat boy, to player, to coach and con dant.As the saying goes, behind every successful man, there is a great woman. anks honey…I LOVE YOU!Next, I want to thank my children for giving me inspiration, keeping megrounded, and helping to remind me that life IS a game and to alwayskeep my childlike perspective of life. It is through their eyes that the gameshould be played. I also want to leave this book to them to help remindthem as they grow to not lose their own “kid vision” as so many adults do.May you always play and prosper through games my loves! is whole book would not be possible without my parents. ey gave melife and raised me with ethics and morals. ey impressed upon me whatcan be achieved through good ‘ol fashioned hard work and never waveredfrom a “you can do anything” attitude. I draw strength from each of theirlives and nd inspiration in their marriage. I love you Mom and Dad!I want to say “ ank you” to all the coaches I’ve had throughout my life;from my peewee baseball coach, to golf coaches, to inspirational lifecoaches. No elite athlete gets to the top without the unsung heroism ofgreat coaches. So I raise my glass to ALL coaches and say, THANK YOU! 7
  7. 7. Rex S. GibsonFinally, I want to dedicate this book to all the readers. It is YOU I wrotethe book for. It is YOU who may be my next teammate in a businessventure or helping me coach my son’s baseball team. I trust you will ndinspiration and motivation to create your life how YOU see it. I knowyou have the strength to achieve all that you set out to do…and you nowhave the keys to unlock your potential. I postulate that you will ourishand prosper in abundance through games and rocket to the top, standingon the top podium receiving the gold medal in “ e Game of Your Life”!8
  8. 8. e Game of Your Life FOREWORDSomewhere there is an Ultimate Creator. One absolute source fromwhich everything and everyone is created.Everything that is comes from this Creator. It holds the stars in placeand gives the moon its light. It is powerful enough to give the sunits intense energy and delicate enough to construct a rose in absolutestillness. is creative source contains all energy that ever was or willbe, It is neither created or destroyed, it is the cause and e ect of itself.It not only has no end, but also no beginning - It Just Is. ere is noend to what this Creator can do.For no other reason than for time’s sake, I will refer to this Creator as“Grace” from this point on.One day Grace decided to create a place to play (as Rex will tell you).Now, where would the Grand Organizing Designer of the Universe togo play? A Playground, of course!But Grace rst had to carefully select and create this playground. Itneeded plenty of equipment so Grace happily began to construct theentire thing. When all said and done, the playground had slipperyslides, giant swings, epic sandboxes, and a merry-go-round that wouldblow your mind!It had every single aspect in order to have a blast and play with problem, Grace needed some playmates! If you are allalone on this epic playground you eventually become exhausted from 9
  9. 9. Rex S. Gibsonrunning alongside the merry-go-round before bravely hopping on towatch the clouds spin above your head!Grace had so many things to do in the playground and in nite gamesto play. So one day, a er a long nap, Grace took each game it wantedto play, one by one and carefully thought about how to play.One by one, Grace made the rules for each game. A er completing thegame, Grace picked out a certain skills the players of the game neededand with absolute certainty, made the PERFECT playmate to play thegame with. e combination could not be more perfect. Grace pickedthe game and the playmate in such a way that they could both have funevery day, constantly improve and above all - be Happy!How is this relevant? e perfect playmate is you. e perfect game is your life and theplayground is this entire planet. e purpose is to have fun whileplaying with your playmates (especially the one who created you). e point of me telling you this story is to prove the point that Rex statesmany times throughout this book. His entire philosophy is based onone basic premise: Life is A Game!He teaches you how to take even the most stressful, serious, anddiscouraging events in your life and how to transform those negativeexperiences into an event that empowers you to become better, totransform yourself and to Enjoy Everything!10
  10. 10. e Game of Your LifeIf there is anyone who is quali ed to teach this philosophy, it is Dr. RexS. Gibson. He has one of the most successful pediatric dentistry clinicsin the United States (as well as many other successful entrepreneurialventures), his income level is in the top 1% of the population and hehas a wonderful family life in which everyone is healthy and happy. e most important and amazing thing about all of this is how heliterally enjoys every single day. Sure he has days that are extremelychallenging and frankly where others may give up, but he takes onseemingly impossible challenges, turns them into “games” (he’ll explainthat later in the book) and comes out on top a better businessmanand a better person. You see, the best measure of one’s character isnot how they behave when success is present, but rather how they actwhen things get tough. Rex’s character is consistent and true in allcircumstances and his results prove it.I have read hundreds of personal development books; seeminglyeverything from Anthony Robbins to Zig Ziglar and while they have allhelped me in some way, Dr. Gibson’s book that you are about to embarkon has had one of the greatest impacts upon my personal and businesslife to date. I thank Rex and I congratulate you as you begin this new“Game” of your LIFE!In-Joy Every Page!Jeremy D BrownAuthor of several books including: No Limit Living: How to inkBig, Act Bold and Live With PurposeInternational Speaker, Author and EntrepreneurPresident and Founder - No Limit Publishing 11
  11. 11. e Game of Your Life INTRODUCTIONWhen you are a kid, life is full of fun and of games. It doesn’t matterwhat the game is. It could be red rover, dodge ball, checkers or baseball.They simply enjoy the game. Children are not burdened by realworld problems like taxes, mortgages, car payments, jobs, marriages,and money. Children go to school and look forward to their future.Remember saying, “I can’t wait to be an adult”?As we grow up, society forces us to get serious about life. ey want usto believe that it’s no longer fun and games. It is ingrained in us thatwe need to fear the consequences of life and act with caution. Societysucked the fun out of life. It stole the childlike dreams we had as kids.Slowly you begin to believe that life really isn’t fun. All the fun andgames are gone. e reality, of course, is that the world didn’t change—you did. e only distinction between the games that kids play and thegames that adults play is the considerations of the players. Life is fullof games, but when the game stops being fun, we lose interest and don’twant to play anymore. is book was written to help you understand how life IS a game, WHYit is sometimes di cult, and HOW you can recapture your youthfuloutlook on life to stack the deck in your favor so you can win the gameof life!I grew up playing and competing in all types of sports. As I grew upand decided on a career, I knew I wanted to work with people and helpthe people I was working with. As I progressed through my trainingas a dentist, I found myself able to relate well with children and they 13
  12. 12. Rex S. Gibsonrelated well with me. It seemed that we operated on a similar frequency.Kids love games and I considered myself to be a big kid. It was as if mycareer found me. As I started my career, I used and applied techniquesfrom motivational speakers I had read or heard and coaches in mypast to create and grow my practice. As I grew as a person, I began tore ect on life. Drawing inspiration from the little people I help everyday, I began to assimilate a theory of life, an amalgam (dental humor)of universal principles which prove that kids have it right. Life is a gameand it should be played like a game, with unbridled enthusiasm and anover the ramparts zeal for life. is book will help you lay out the rules of the game, understand andavoid the obstacles to success, and cultivate the skills necessary to keepyour eye on the ball to hit that home run, every time. By the end ofthis book you will recapture the thrill of victory as you come across the nish line rst, relive the roar of the crowd as you catch the winningtouchdown pass, and revive the passion which helps every Olympianto greatness. See you in the winner’s circle!Now…let the game begin!14
  14. 14. e Game of Your Life CHAPTER 1 FEAR: WHY WE CHOKE IN THE BIG GAME “Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and con dence in the doing.” – Author UnknownFear is a sensation we feel when we are in danger. Fear can be boileddown to its simplest element: the threat of loss. Fear, or threat of loss,can be further broken down into a gradient scale. At the low end ofthe scale, it reaches from no fear (not afraid to lose anything), to mild-moderate fear (could lose something valuable, but not too valuable),all the way to ultimate fear (fear of loss of life). Any time a person feelsfear, he or she feels threatened in some way. ink about fear in terms of “ ght or ight.” Imagine a quarterback,well protected by his lineman, taking his time to nd an open receiver,delivering the pass and scoring yet another touchdown. No pressuremade for a great outcome. Now imagine the quarterback whoselineman can’t seem to hold back the defense. He is under pressureevery play. He has to scramble out of the pocket on every play and 17
  15. 15. Rex S. Gibsontakes the relentless abuse of sack after sack. Now obviously, we arenot discussing life and death, but when you see an angry, 6’4”, 350pound man barreling toward you with the intention of mashing youinto the ground, you may feel that your life could be in danger. In thefirst example, there is no threat. You are comfortable. The secondexample creates a different feeling. Your sense of awareness wouldshoot to another level. You would likely be making plans to protectyourself to prevent injury or worse. You would be much more attunedto the situation. “FEAR is an acronym in the English language for ‘False Evidence Appearing Real.’” – Neal Donald WalschThe strongest urge people have is survival, and fear is based inthis need to survive. Survival is your most fundamental need, andevery decision you make is based somehow on your need to survive.Furthermore, all decisions that affect you personally can also affecteveryone you come in contact with. For example, when you decideto cross the street, you collect the information, process it, and decideon the best way to cross without endangering yourself or anyone inthe area. When you make that good decision, it means that your kidsstill have a father to come home to them, the office still has a valuableworker, society still has an upstanding part of the community. Eventhough it seems like a simple example, it proves my point thatevery choice is based on making pro-survival decisions, and that alldecisions affect all aspects of your life and beyond.18
  16. 16. e Game of Your LifeIf at any time in your daily interactions with people you feel that thisneed for survival is threatened, you instantly feel fear. If you truly dissectthe things in your life which bring you fear, then you will see that theroot of that fear is the tension between your desire to survive and thethreat that you will lose the means to ensure your survival. “Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves—regret for the past and fear of the future.” – Fulton OurslerBut where does fear come from and why do we experience it? eanswer lies in failed success. We all want to succeed and success comesfrom being RIGHT. e more o en you are right, the more successpotential you possess. To the degree that a person experiences failure,that person’s success potential is lessened. It is simple…if a person’sability to succeed is threatened, the individual feels fear. We will discussin later chapters how to overcome fear, but for now, knowledge is power.Knowledge sheds light on once unknown subjects. With this small light,we take our rst step to conquering the game of life. 19
  17. 17. e Game of Your Life CHAPTER 2 PROBLEMS: GAME STOPPERS “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert EinsteinOur daily life is a tapestry of barriers; if we choose not to nd solutionsto these barriers, chances are we will never succeed. When we are facedwith a barrier, we view it as a problem that hinders our path to achievinga certain goal. A problem can be de ned as a situation that has the abilityto paralyze a person and stops their ability to continue or move forward.All problems can be looked at instead as situations. Here, I use the word“situation” because situations tend to have resolutions while problemsdo not. Problems tend to linger with no resolution in sight, whilesituations are merely a set of circumstances which require a resolution.Whether your circumstances are a problem or a situation dependsentirely on you. Most people continue to focus on the problem ratherthan focusing on nding a resolution to the situation and preventingsimilar situations from happening in the future. If carefully analyzed,you can usually see that a majority of problems stem from confusionand/or incorrect information. If you do not have the correct information 21
  18. 18. Rex S. Gibsonor the information is mixed up, chances are you will nd yourself stuckwith a problem because it is di cult to x a situation that is confusingor laden with bad information. “Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.” – UnknownFor instance, once I was lost in Chicago and needed to get to theComiskey Park. I was in a part of town that I was unfamiliar with anddecided that I needed to get directions, so I asked a random stranger. eguy gave me directions which lead me 40 blocks in the wrong direction. is created quite a problem because I was disoriented, confused, andbecoming stressed. Even though I did exactly what the stranger toldme to do, I was given incorrect information which resulted in an evenworse situation. Another common example that occurs in everyday lifeis when a friend or family member gets into an argument and tells youhis or her side of the story. In recalling the incident, he or she may fail toprovide certain details, or even alter the incident to cast themselves in amore favorable light. Due to the missing or altered information, you maycome to an incorrect conclusion. You might even create more con icts,and take actions based on altered information. In this case, you didn’t getany wrong information; you just didn’t get all of it, which creates anotherproblem. It is equivalent to having to solve a mathematical equationthat never seems to come together correctly because you are missing akey component. Like in the Star Trek movie when Spock comes backfrom the future and talks to Scottie, who has been struggling with anequation he couldn’t seem to solve. Spock reveals a missing piece to22
  19. 19. e Game of Your Lifethe formula and Scottie is able to see the solution…problem solved.In real life, it is sometimes di cult to look objectively at a situation to nd those missing links. We need to take o our rose colored glasses,obtain all the correct information, eliminate confusions, and seek thetruth. In the truth lies the solution to all problems. Responsibility = Problem ControlFrom a person’s own point of view, a problem that lingers too long isconsidered something that is wrong. People even say that when theyare perplexed with a problem. ey say “Something is wrong!” It is awrongness. ese can breed into arguments and con icts. Let’s seehow. Anyone can take credit for a job well done, but when it comes toa problem, there are few who are willing to raise their hand and acceptthe punishment. It is a basic human desire to be right. Subconsciously,we believe the more we are correct, the greater our success potential.When problems arise, we do one of two things: nd a solution and moveon with life or point the blame in a direction away from ourselves. Ifwe do the latter, we tend to place that blame in one of two categories:things and other people.Blaming an inanimate object for your problems sounds crazy, butpeople do it every day. It is comical to observe a fully grown adultkick a car because it has a flat tire, or watch a person yell at a lawnmower because it stopped running. Although such things occur everyday, this is truly the stuff that insanity is made of. Our other favoritetarget, of course, is other people. Since it is a basic human trait tobelieve that we are right, then they (whomever you have elected) mustbe wrong. In this fashion, we allow ourselves to save face and retainour self-confidence. 23
  20. 20. Rex S. GibsonThe real key to controlling or reducing problems is responsibility.(This is a truly deep subject and you may need to reread this sectiona few times to absorb the entire concept.) The more responsibilityyou assume for everything around you, the more control or in uenceyou will have over it. You cannot control anything over which youassume no responsibility. Have you ever seen the commercials on TVfor the starving children in third world countries? I’m not suggestingwhether should send money or not. I am merely pointing out thatthese commercials are a good example because they ask you to takeresponsibility for the kids, and by taking responsibility and donatingmoney, you can help feed those children. “ e problem is not that there are problems. e problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem.” – eodore RubinNow let’s take this concept to the next level. If personal responsibilitymust be taken in order to exert control and in uence over a particularsituation, then it stands to reason that in order to exert control overtcon ict or problems, one must assume responsibility for them as well. is is to say that you must assume full responsibility for causing theentire situation, both what you did to create it and any reaction fromothers who are in the situation with you. A great example of this is whena customer gets really heated up at a store clerk. If the clerk enters intothe con ict, then the match is ignited, and a ght begins, but if theclerk simply states, “I can see why you feel that way, and I can help youwith this situation,” the argument is over. By accepting responsibility,the clerk is able to be in control of the problem.24
  21. 21. e Game of Your LifeAt this point, some of you might be thinking, “Hey Rex, are you sayingthat it is best to cow down, roll over, and give up?” Let me be clear: Iam not suggesting that you admit you are wrong just to keep the peace.I am suggesting that you simply realize that you have a part in anycon ict or problem. If you were mugged in an alley, the reality is thatyou chose to walk instead of taking a cab. If someone is mad at youbecause of a joke you made, you decided to tell the joke. If you run outof gas, you were the one who passed three gas stations and chose not to ll up when you had the chance. It is not easy to look at ourselves andexamine our role in the con icts of our lives, and it takes real courageto accept responsibility for causing the situations that give us trouble. Itis easy to lay the responsibility on someone else’s shoulders, but doingso is for the weak and uncreative.I suggest you look at the situation from the other person’s perspective.Analyze the situation and ask, “What did I do to make this happen?” and“What can I do to correct it?” Look for possible misunderstandings—maybe you didn’t explain something well. e more you start to takeresponsibly for the reactions you receive, the fewer problems youwill have with other people. Remember, you cannot have control orin uence over anything unless you assume responsibility for it. If yousit back and watch the scene as it unfolds, you will see the truth.Remember: problems come from confusion and faulty information.A customer becomes upset either due to confusion or to havingreceived bad information. It is your job at this point to unravel thesituation either by finding and correcting the wrong information,or by finding the misunderstanding and helping the customer tocomprehend. 25
  22. 22. Rex S. GibsonHere is a helpful hint about what to look for: 1. Who or what was the source of information? Good information must come from reliable and unbiased sources that offer complete and unaltered data. (Examples of unreliable sources: “my next door neighbor said”…”I saw it on the internet”…”my grandpa used to say.”) 2. Do you understand what is being said or what is written? ere is an old phrase- If you don’t know the words, you cannot sing the tune. e same is true of our language. If you do not understand the words correctly, you cannot understand correctly what is being said or written. How upsetting it is to try to speak or understand a person who is using a foreign language that you do not know. Especially if they seem to be trying to communicate something important. We need to also consider that we may not know all of the 20,000+ words in our own language, and that perhaps we are hearing the words but do not have the right meaning.Once the source of the confusion is found and corrected, the upsetindividual can comprehend the situation. Once understanding isreached, you will see him or her come up in emotion and attitude.Understanding comes from being able to duplicate or replicate somethingexactly. is is why it is so important to make sure that the data comesfrom reliable sources and that there are not any misunderstandingwith the words that were used. Imagine putting together a Christmaspresent for your child. You pull all 258 parts out of the box, open theinstructions, and nd that they are written in Chinese. at is likelygoing to cause you confusion, frustration, and di culty when it comes26
  23. 23. e Game of Your Lifeto assembling the toy. is same principle can be applied to otherpeople in di erent situations. Unfortunately, people do not come withinstructions or a nice step-by-step guide; therefore, it is important thatyou take responsibility, and use your skills of observation to duplicateand obtain understanding. Just like the upset customer or the “someassembly required” toy, the better you can duplicate a situation, themore control and in uence you have over a situation. Key Components of a Problem Solver 1. Be willing to analyze a situation objectively. A person who keenly discerns where the problem lies and what piece of information is needed to solve it will be more likely to come up with a reasonable solution. A er the missing link is found, you need to correct the existing information and take steps towards overcoming obstacles that exist between you and the solution. All top athletes and teams look for ways to improve, and the best of the best analyze without emotion. ey simply nd the key to better performance and implement it. Finding the missing piece of information is not enough if nothing is done with it. 2. Do not have excessive pride of authorship. We love to be right, but people who have excessive pride of authorship can’t look at their work critically because they are too emotionally invested in their own creations. ey cannot look at their own work with fresh eyes, and thus cannot nd where there may be errors. Don’t allow yourself to have excessive pride of authorship if you want to solve problems. No man is an island, and no one has all the answers, so you need to open yourself up to constructive criticism in your personal and professional life. Even Tiger Woods, arguably the best golfer in history, has a coach. Once you realize that 27
  24. 24. Rex S. Gibson you can learn from others’ advice and experiences, you will nd yourself opening up to solutions in places you never realized were options. 3. Understand that answers come from an unlimited stream of venues. The answer to questions can come from any number of places, so you cannot close your eyes to any potential venue. e answer may be in the least likely place. Where did aspirin come from? Answer: The bark of a tree. This is an unlikely place to find a pain reliever, but it proves that answers can come from anywhere. Be willing to nd truth wherever it may live! e winning answer can come from anywhere. 4. Always be open to the answers. I love the saying, “Don’t ask the question if you don’t want to hear the answer.” In order to nd answers, you need to possess a passion to look for a solution even if it comes from an unlikely source. You also must be willing to accept that answer. e foolish man looks past truth in search for a better truth. What I mean is don’t just look for convenient truths— nd real truth. Again, top athletes who remain at the top for years nd ways to recreate their greatness. Andre Agassi changed his coach and his workout and as a result saw a resurgence to the top of the standings when many thought he was “over the hill.” As they say, the truth is not always pretty, but only when you nd and use real truth can you be a true problem solver. 5. No excuses: get the job done. Successful problem solvers don’t o er excuses. No one really cares why you didn’t complete a task on schedule, or what your excuse is for making a mistake. Powerful people just do what they have to do, correct any bad products, and apologize for wronging someone. is is what separates average athletes from the elite. Elite athletes simply get the job done. No one wants excuses, and whenever you o er an excuse, it takes the power out of your apology.28
  25. 25. e Game of Your Life6. Accept responsibility. The person who accepts responsibility for a problem will get it solved. I am not referring to personal responsibility, but rather full responsibility for the situation. Become the parent of that problem and be willing to stick with the problem until it is fully resolved. Sometimes those problems go away quickly and sometimes they take longer, but the key is responsibility. For example, consultants come in, take responsibility, and x a broken business. ey take it on, analyze it, x it, and then give it back. My wife was an auditor for years, and she would go in, nd the problems, nd the outpoints, and then provide solutions. She single handedly took a $25 million company out of bankruptcy in one year because of the amount of responsibility she was willing to take on. She literally took that company’s game from a losing season to the Super Bowl. at is what great coaches do. ey take full responsibility for their team and “make the win.”7. Be decisive: don’t waste time. Problem solvers view time as a precious commodity and don’t feel the need to take a vote on every topic or issue. Some problems may require gathering information to make a decision. Good problem solvers collect data, analyze the information, make a decision, and take responsibility for that decision. In baseball, you may only get three pitches. You cannot just wait around for another. You may not get another chance. Be decisive. If you are wishy-washy, you will tend to blame someone else and not take responsibility.8. Be willing to fail. All great leaders and successful people have failed at some point in their lives. If you are not willing to fail, you will never succeed because you will never put yourself in a position to succeed. Michael Jordan was the top basketball scorer in history, 29
  26. 26. Rex S. Gibson but how many baskets did he miss? Babe Ruth holds the record for home runs, but he also ranks 94th in career strike outs! If you want to be great you have to try, and with trying comes occasional failure. With every failure comes a little lesson that you can learn from the next time. You must be willing to fail so you can see these lessons. ere are very few things in life that can’t be recouped or xed. Making a bad decision is like taking a wrong turn: just back up and get on the right path. “Every great man, every successful man, no matter what the eld of endeavor, has known the magic that lies in these words: every adversity has the seed of an equivalent or greater bene t.” – W. Clement Stone Why do people give up when they have problems?People give up when they become overwhelmed. e confusion of thesituation becomes too great for them to handle and they simply shutdown to attempt to protect themselves. When you are not armed withdefenses, you become an easy victim, and are easily overwhelmedin one fell swoop, much like when America overwhelmed Japan inWWII with the atom bomb, but overwhelming a victim can be a slowand insidious process. Over time, each attack weakens the victim andleads ultimately to a total overthrow. is is exempli ed by a boxingchampion. e champ seems unfazed early on in his career, but later;multiple blows to the head and body accumulate, leaving the champvulnerable to losing his title.30
  27. 27. e Game of Your Life “The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.” – Albert EllisProblems can overwhelm people just like any other force. ey cancome in a large, devastating form like the crash of the stock market,the loss of a loved one, or a natural disaster. ey can also accumulateover time, like president Clinton’s multiple a airs, evading taxes overthe years, or excessive drinking. Either way, problems eventually weighdown your attitude and slow your performance.Here are some simple steps to follow when you start feeling overwhelmed 1. Reduce confusion. Research and find accurate information that allows you to create a workable plan to solve a problem. Also, clear up anything that you don’t understand about a situation. With these two things accomplished, you have a platform from which to launch a program to solve any situations that you may be facing. 2. Shed the weight and clean up the clutter. As we said before, small problems can accumulate and eventually become large problems. Assess your situation, and solve any small problems that confront you. Handle each one in a prioritized manner from most urgent to least. Be decisive and act with con dence. 31
  28. 28. Rex S. Gibson 3. Do not allow further accumulation of clutter. Simply handle obstacles and barriers as they come up. Do not procrastinate. Keep your runway clear for takeo , because if you need to scramble the jets, you don’t want to waste time cleaning junk o the tarmac. 4. Win. Unfortunately, there are winners and losers in life. Losers are overwhelmed; winners overcome barriers and obstacles to eventual victory. is is not to say that you will win every battle; just don’t lose because you gave up. Never go out without a ght. Go down in ames of glory. Even though we don’t want problems, we must have them to survive.One nal note on problems: problems are part of the game of life. WhatI mean is, if you got rid of all of your problems, you would not havea game le to play. Games are made up of rules, obstacles, and goals. e problems of life are our obstacles. WE NEED PROBLEMS!!! eyare puzzles for us to gure out, so have fun with them. Play with yourproblems like a cat plays with a ball of yarn. e point of this chapteris not to get rid of all your problems; it is to help you deal with theme ectively so they do not create obstacles in your life.32
  29. 29. e Game of Your Life CHAPTER 3 LIVING IN THE PAST:THE GAME WE LOST, BUT CAN’T SEEM TO LET GO OFReliving past failures is the biggest mistake humans make. We continueto judge ourselves based on what happened in the past. We tie these pastfailures—this garbage—to ourselves and drag it around like a ball andchain, and then when we are called upon to make a decision, insteadof looking at the relevant data of the current situation, we look at ourball and chain for the answer. It is this method of decision making thatholds people back. Now, I’m willing to bet that each one of you is saying,“I don’t do that!” at, too, is garbage. We all do it. I’m not saying thisto berate you—I am just stating facts.Every athlete, whether playing pee-wee baseball, high school basketball,college football, or professional golf, has encountered this. It can makeor break that athlete. What golfer hasn’t stood over a two foot putt, agimme by any means, and had something in the back of his head say“don’t miss that…you’re going to miss that….miss it”? It is like hearingthe guy in the stands saying, “hey batter, batter, batter…swing batter,”and you swing at a horrible pitch. Great athletes nd a way to breakthrough, drop the garbage o at the curb, and move on to victory lane. 33
  30. 30. Rex S. GibsonIn e New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, the author explains that we have anego, which is you, the pure you, your spirit. We also possess what hecalls a “pain body.” L. Ron Hubbard also describes these two concepts inhis book Dianetics: Modern Science of Mental Health as the analyticalmind and the reactive mind. Others have described it as “the devil onone shoulder and the angel on the other.” It doesn’t really matter whatyou call it, the result is the same. When we hurt ourselves physically(like breaking a leg) or mentally (like failing at something), it leaves ascar, whether physical or mental. Knowing that we like being right anddo not like being hurt, we simply lump all painful experiences into thesame category and avoid them. When we draw on these past painfulexperiences we make bad decisions that prevent us from expandinginto new horizons and trying new endeavors. It is a safety mechanismused to protect us from our past bad decisions by keeping history fromrepeating itself. It is animalistic…it is designed for self preservation. e problem is that it can lead to irrational behavior or poor decisionmaking.Avoiding making the same mistakes repeatedly is a useful tool. I believeEinstein said, “ e de nition of stupidity is doing the same thing overand over and expecting a di erent result.” I do not want you to repeatthe poor decisions of your past, but I don’t want the past to keep youfrom reaching for higher aspirations. is protective mechanism is like the low oil indicator light on the dashof your car. e di erence is that the human “low oil light” turns oneven when the oil isn’t low: it could turn on when it is close to low, orif it thinks it might get low. e di erence is that the car is using realdata, and your indicator is using emotional data.34
  31. 31. e Game of Your LifePeople, because we like to be right, try to make good decisions basedon good information. e best decisions come from taking the mostcurrent data and formulating the most pro-survival answer for yourselfand others around you, but unfortunately, your protective mechanismdoesn’t do that. Let’s take, for example, the housing boom of the early2000s. Many people bought, built, and sold multiple houses while theprices of houses were increasing by double digits each year. at wasa good decision based on good data. en came the housing crash of2006-2007. e downturn in the housing market came quickly andcaught many people o guard. It created grave nancial troubles forour entire economy. Now, if you were one of those caught o guard, theprotective mechanism of the ball and chain would tell you, “You made abig mistake. You are stupid. You should never invest in real estate again.”If you were to analyze the situation, however, you would nd that thedecisions you made about real estate investment were sound, and madewith the best and most current information you had available. Neverinvesting in real estate a er the housing market crash of 2006-2007 islike saying you will never walk near an orange tree because one timemany years ago you walked by one and an orange dropped on yourhead, or that you should never eat food from a restaurant because onetime it made you sick.Reliving old failures fogs up your perception of the wonderfulpossibilities in the present moment. Say, for example, a top downhillskier has an terrible crash in the Super-G, resulting in knee jointblowouts, a fractured pelvis, a dislocated le shoulder and three brokenribs. A er the body heals, the racer is le with the memory of thecrash, the pain of the injuries and the agony of the recovery. It wouldbe understandable for the racer to simply retire. His instinct says thatif he were to race again, he would get hurt again. He may even go to 35
  32. 32. Rex S. Gibsonthe extent of never getting on skis again. e event may have le himwith such a mental scar that fear now pervades his every thought aboutskiing. Any analytically thinking person would know that one accidentdoes not mean you will have more, but it is the power of reliving pastfailures that gives the previous incident control over you. You useall your past information to help you cope with the present momentbecause you want to stay safe, but the real e ect is that this action createsobstacles in your life. “Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live.” – Dorothy ompson36
  33. 33. e Game of Your Life CHAPTER 4 JUSTIFICATION:NO MATTER WHAT THE EXCUSE, YOU STILL LOST THE GAMEWhy did you fail? Just ask and people will give all sorts of reasons.Many of these reasons point to people and factors other than the personanswering the question. ese are called justi cations. Justi cationsexplain away failures and mistakes. No one likes to be wrong, andpeople will go to great lengths to make themselves right despite anyactual failure or wrongness. ey will give all manner of reasons whysomething did not get accomplished, and they will blame someone elsefor their failure, or better yet, they will blame an animal or an inanimateobject for the failure.People spend an absurd amount of time and energy giving wimpy,Why I didn’t do this, or Why I didn’t nish that speeches. Excusesand justi cations are protective coping mechanisms used to convinceourselves that we are right and there must have been some outside forcethat kept us from reaching our goals. In reality, nothing could be fartherfrom the truth. e truth is that you could have nished the task, butyou allowed some other element to deter you from your goal. 37
  34. 34. Rex S. GibsonJust like any other form of brainwashing, if you hear somethingenough, you will begin to believe it. Individuals tell themselves andpossibly other people why they failed, and as they do this, the lies gainmomentum and power. Finally, after hearing these false truths enoughtimes, they begin to feel okay about not accomplishing their goals.In the end, not only do the individuals feel okay about the failure,but they may even create other justifications as to why they shouldn’tattempt that task again later.Justification, excuses, and blaming others are irresponsible behaviors.The truth is, anything can be accomplished if the correct strategyis taken in combination with some good old fashioned hard work.Nothing in life that is worth having is easy to obtain.I want to tell you a story that is very special to me. It is a story fromwhich I have found much inspiration and hold very close to my heart.Here is a true success story about a man named Richard. I know thisman very well, and he told me this story many years ago. It touchedme and has helped me during times when I felt I could not musterthe chutzpah to drive forward. Richard’s father died in WWII whenhe was a child. His mother remarried an abusive alcoholic wholacked the motivation to keep a steady job and was in and out of jail.When Richard was about thirteen years old, his stepfather got outof jail and decided to move the family to California. Richard stoodhis ground and refused to move away from his hometown with anabusive, alcoholic stepfather. A few years later, his mother died in ahouse fire and his guilt stricken stepfather committed suicide. Richardhad lost not only his own father, but his mother and stepfather by hisfifteenth birthday.38
  35. 35. e Game of Your LifeAlthough this story is sad, I didn’t tell it so you would feel sympathyfor Richard. I told you this as the beginning of a great success story.With all the drama and trauma that Richard endured throughout hischildhood, he could have easily blamed others for his circumstances andtaken a life path that would have led to crime, alcoholism, and possiblyhis demise. is is not what happened. “You can’t hit a home run unless you step up to the plate. You can’t catch a fish unless you put your line in the water. You can’t reach your goals if you don’t try.” – Kathy SeligmanRichard worked on oil rigs as a teenager, and eventually put himselfthrough college, had a family, and owned his own company. is is theAmerican dream, but is also a story of hard work and perseverance. Iwouldn’t be telling you this story if Richard had blamed everyone elsefor his life circumstances and made excuses about why he never madeanything of his life. I tear up every time I tell this story. Whenever I startto feel sorry for myself and want to throw in the towel, I think back toRichard and all that he overcame to win the game of life. is man hasbeen pivotal in so much of my life. He has been my motivation and myinspiration—he was even my best man when I got married. When I thinkthat times are tough, I simply remember the story of Richard Gibson andsay, “ anks, Dad. You are my hero!”If you know you are sidestepping success by convincing yourself it can’tbe done, at some point you are going to have to face the music. You mustface yourself and realize that all the excuses you have made about why it 39
  36. 36. Rex S. Gibsoncan’t be done are nothing more than excuses you invented. As the sayinggoes, no one will take care of your business like you. is holds truefor your life. Only you are going to make your life a success, and onlyyou can push past the excuses and justi cations of your own failures. “It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities.” – Josiah Charles StampIt takes energy to explain away your failures. If you spent as muchenergy nding solutions to your circumstances, you will not only createa solution, you will also not have wasted any additional energy withexcuses. Stay away from justi cations and excuses. It comes down topersonal integrity and ethics: take full and personal responsibility forall failures. No one cares about why you didn’t get the job done. Yourexcuses are only to make yourself feel better about your own failure.Make yourself great by succeeding. Evaluate the aspects which may havecontributed toward the failure, eliminate those aspects, and redirectyour energy toward success!You need to change your attitude from “Who can I blame?” to “How doI get this done?” Once you do this, you will begin to empower yourselfand you will become much more successful. is will make you stronger,faster, and better, but only you can do it. Take charge of your own life.Begin to create, take responsibility, and live from your own truth. Be aleader among your fellow men and women; donate what you learn soothers can win too.40
  37. 37. e Game of Your Life CHAPTER 5 BAD DATA: PLAYING TENNIS WITH A BASEBALL BAT Opinions Are a Dime a Dozen ere are people who specialize in stopping others from succeeding.I don’t mean that people are literally employed to stop other peoplefrom achieving their goals, but it sometimes feels that way. At times,you will undoubtedly be surrounded by naysayers and dream killers. ere’s no way to know for certain why some people are like that, butit is o en because you make them come face to face with their ownfailures. Naysayers and dream killers are people who have experiencedlots of failure in their lives, and because of that, they are bitter and resentpeople who succeed. Instead of working toward success in their ownlives, they choose to spend their energy telling others why they can’t orshouldn’t reach for their goals.Let’s say that you have a dream to take an invention to market. Naysayersmight tell you all the reasons that you should not embark on yourendeavor. ey will do their best to deter you from your dream. It mightbe because they had ideas for inventions but never followed through,or because they attempted to follow through and failed. If you were to 41
  38. 38. Rex S. Gibsonsucceed with your invention, it would be like rubbing salt into theirwounds. Of course, that is not your intention, but that is how it wouldfeel to the naysayers.Some of the greatest inventors faced the greatest ridicule. Many of themodern conveniences we have today were ideas that people laughed at.Inventions and things of great importance came out of throwing out oldideas and traditions. People used to agree that the earth was at, andwhen Christopher Columbus rst said it was round everyone said hewas crazy! Sometimes the ideas that people hold as fundamental truthsare the very ideas that are false and holding people back from success.As long as your goal is set and you are passionate about it, let no onedetract you from your mission. Listen to yourself and ask, “What is theright thing to do for me?” Stop listening to people whose only missionis to tell you why you can’t achieve what you desire. ere are, of course,times when others have valid input, and these t into the category ofconstructive criticism. If they are trying to intercede and help you avoidpitfalls and move you closer to success, then listen and consider whatthey are saying. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor RooseveltFinally, whether the person is a naysayer or is o ering constructivecriticism, evaluate the source of the information. Many times we takeothers’ opinions and make them our own without taking into accountthe source of that opinion. Poor sources come in the forms of, my42
  39. 39. e Game of Your Lifeneighbor said, or the internet said, or my mom always did it this way.You need to learn to analyze the data and not allow bad informationor opinions to be your downfall.When a sherman casts out a net, he will catch sh but he will alsobring in all the other junk from the lake. e smart sherman will sithrough the whole bounty, keep the sh, and throw back the junk. efoolish sherman will keep everything that he drags in, regardless of itsworth. Poor decision makers are like foolish shermen—they cast out anet and bring in all types of random information that may or may notbe bene cial in their decision-making process. When you don’t separatethe sh from the trash, you end up going hungry because you’re llingyour mind with junk. e smart, successful person is the one who takesthe time to pick out all the junk, leaving only the good stu , and makinga decision based on the quality information.With all this being said, you should realize that it is going to take practiceto interpret information accurately. To avoid making bad decisionsbased on poor data, ask yourself the following questions: 1. Is the source of the opinion a naysayer, or is he or she o ering constructive criticism? 2. What is the source of this opinion and how did this person arrive at this opinion? 3. Is your situation the same or di erent from the person’s who is giving the advice? How so? 4. What do you believe to be the Truth? (Decide for yourself !) 43
  40. 40. Rex S. GibsonOpinions: everyone has them. Surround yourself with people who willo er you constructive criticism that is designed to increase your chancesof success. In the end, you are capable of si ing through good and baddata. Follow the four steps above and you will be well on your way tobecoming a better decision maker. Intuition: Go With Your Gut Feeling “ is is the nature of genius, to be able to grasp the knowable even when no one else recognizes that it is present.” – Deepak ChopraWhat if I do all the exercises you gave me and I STILL can’t make adecision? Not all decisions are made from perfect data. Even though itis important to use all data at hand to render the best possible solution,sometimes you are still missing information and the solution doesn’tseem clear. In cases like this, your intuition needs to be your guide. is means having faith in yourself and listening to what you believeis truth, regardless of what direction the data may point. When you aregoing through the decision-making process and you are si ing throughthe net to weed out the garbage and gather only the good information,remember to ask yourself how you feel about the information you havegathered. is is extremely important. e best decisions are the onesthat combine good data that points to an obvious choice and that gutfeeling that says, “You did the right thing.” “O en you have to rely on intuition.” – Bill Gates44
  41. 41. e Game of Your LifeWhat is your heart telling you? What does your gut say? Write downthe situation and all of its possible solutions. rough the process ofelimination, cross o any solution that does not help get you closer toyour goals. If you are le with two or three options at this point, pickone using your intuition. Decision making is not a democracy: gooddecisions are not based on a majority vote. We need to start learningto use our own minds. Learn to think for yourself—use your thoughts,not someone else’s. Use your gut and make a decision for your own life. e best decisions are always decisions that make you feel good. ey ll you with a sense of overall peace. You become excited and energized,and you have an overwhelming feeling of BOOM get her done! You nd yourself saying things, taking actions, and getting results insteadof continuing with activities and conversations that will not move youcloser to your goal. “When I’ve heard all I need to make a decision, I don’t take a vote. I make a decision.” – Ronald Reagan 45
  42. 42. e Game of Your Life CHAPTER 6 THE HEAD GAME: THE LOUDEST HECKLERAt this point in the book, we have discussed surface level whys. Yes, youmust use good data to make good decisions, drawing on past painfulexperiences can mislead you, and fears and problems hold us back.Now is it time to discuss the deepest parts of the mind. is chapterwill answer many questions, but it might bring about even more. ischapter is about you—and I mean the real you. e spark that animatesthe body you run around in. Authors like Eckhart Tolle, Rhonda Byrne,Don Miguel Ruiz, L. Ron Hubbard, and many more have o ered answersto the human mind and spirit. ese writers were all pointing to thesame fact. Some were much more clear and succinct than others. eterminology that I have seen used to de ne mind and spirit have beenEgo / Pain Body, the Id / Ego / Super Ego, or the devil on one shoulder/ angel on the other; every author is alluding to the same thing: there isan unknown, hidden, aberrant part of our mind that can take controlof our thoughts and make us do the most irrational things.We will discuss spirituality in later chapters, but for now let us considerthat there is a spiritual side to life. Let us consider that there are threeparts to a person, a spirit, a mind, and a body. You are not your body or 47
  43. 43. Rex S. Gibsonyour mind, you have a body and you have a mind. If you allow me topoint something out to you as you read this, you use the word my infront of referencing your mind and your body. We all do. Why? Theyare possessions. So what are you? You are the third thing, the spiritualbeing, which does not mean anything else than you are you. So it isinaccurate to say I have a spirit because you are one. This is one of thegreatest simplicities of life that was too simple for the complicatedsciences to see. Much like the law of gravity. Apples always fell andno one noticed that there was a fundamental principle at play calledgravity. You are a spiritual being. Now do not get confused or feelweird, we all are spiritual beings. Again, so many other definitions ofthe word spirit exists that people are confused by the word. Let’s keepit simple because it is: it is defined as you, the one who is reading andcomprehending this book, not your body or your mind. Your Mind: A Help or a Hinderence?You have observed, as I have, that your mind can either aid you tothink in rational terms and help you move ahead, OR it can hinder youwith doubt, unwanted emotion, indecision, and the “mental debates”inside your head, that can often be mistaken for healthy thinking or“careful consideration” when they are really laced with fear..There is a part of your mind that is very powerful, and can overrideyour analytical thought process. It is the part of your mind where allpainful experiences are stored. It reminds you of all your mistakes andfailures. It is the part of the mind where FEAR lives. It is that littlevoice that talks to you and tells you, “You are going to fail. Be careful,remember what happened last time you did that.”48
  44. 44. e Game of Your LifeIt is important to understand that we become fearful when we arethreatened with loss, and if we made a mistake in our past, thatmemory tends to replay in the present. Therefore, when a situationclosely resembles a previous painful experience, your past losses canoverride analytical thought and cause you to react in a manner whichmay not be appropriate or logical for the situation. We have all seenthis happen to others.Here are a few examples to clarify: 1. You miss the game winning free throw. The team and fans are disappointed. Analytically, you have an 85% free throw average, but your confidence in your ability to come through in the clutch is shaken. Next time you are in the same situation, you know that you can make the basket, but the past losses kick in and go to work and prevents you from being the hero. 2. You dated a cheerleader and the relationship did not work out. Now, six years later, you will not date an ex-cheerleader, because the previous relationship with a cheerleader did not work out, so this won’t either. Even though the two cheerleaders are different people, those painful experiences left in your mind identify them as the same and responds the same way to both. 3. You fell and broke your leg while skiing. Now you don’t ever want to go skiing again because you don’t want to get hurt. Analytically, you realize that you can safely ski down the mountain, but when you attempt to go skiing, you cannot shake the thought of your broken leg. 49
  45. 45. Rex S. Gibson e real question is: how do I know if I am being logical and objectiveor fearful and controlled by my past losses? ere are a few questionsyou can ask yourself in a fearful moment: 1. What emotion am I feeling right now? If it is fear or anger, you are probably not thinking logically or analytically. 2. Am I really in danger? If you are exaggerating the potential consequences, then write down two or three real consequences that could result from this situation. See if there is anything signi cant that could truly harm you. 3. Is the current situation similar to a past failure? If so, how? And how is it di erent? Dissect the current situation and nd out why it is di erent, why you failed previously, and take corrective actions to avoid the previous result. 4. Have courage to act on logic. Do what is rational, logical, and analytical. Truth Is Di erentiationWhen you hang on to past losses, you will tend to see very few di erencesin situations. e present situation will seem so similar to the past situationthat you will think you are heading for another mistakes causing yetanother loss. “WE CAN’T HAVE THAT”, says the mind, so it overridesyour ability to think rationally and see the di erences in the currentsituation and the past situation which created the loss in the rst place.When you maintain the ability to see both the similarities and di erencesin things, you will discover you can trust your judgment and decisions.50
  46. 46. e Game of Your Life ere is always a way to make something succeed, you just might haveto put some energy into nding an alternate route. It takes courage notto react to the part of your mind that is telling you “You can’t,” or “You’regoing to fail,” or “Be careful, you could get hurt.” At this point you maybe asking yourself, “How am I supposed to overcome this dialogue offailure?” e above four questions can help in a pinch, but to reallycorrect the part of your mind that inhibits you and all of its harmfule ects, you will need help beyond what I can o er in this book. Bookslike e Secret and A New Earth have attempted to shed some light onwhat we are discussing in this chapter, but in order to truly understandthe mind and to ensure that you can trust your mental clarity thusdecision making, I highly suggest reading Dianetics: Modern Scienceof Mental Health by L. Ron Hubbard. is book o ers in-depth insightinto the mechanics of the mind and how to eliminate the parts that holdyou back from a full and meaningful life. 51
  48. 48. e Game of Your Life CHAPTER 7 THE GAME OF LIFE:FIRST READ THE INSTRUCTIONSGames are fun: just ask any kid. As a child, everything is a game, fromseeing how fast you can run up and down the stairs, to hide and seek, tolearning math. As adults, we tend to shorten our scope regarding whatwe consider a game. We limit a “game” to monopoly, baseball, poker,etc. But what do GAMES have to do with Life? e answer: EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING ere are a lot of similarities to life and games we have all played. eRULES of the game determine the accepted conduct for the game. Itcreates an understanding for all players as to what is legal and illegalin the game. It is the establishment of what we cannot do and whatfreedoms the players have in the pursuit of victory. e OBSTACLES ina game are the things that keep you from winning. It is the proverbial“go to jail card” or the “go back three spaces” spot on the game board.Obstacles are anything that gets in your way to a fast and easy victory.Finally, what would a game be without GOALS? How would you knowwhen you have won the game? How would you know when the gameis over? And what is the purpose of the game? e goal is the desired 55
  49. 49. Rex S. Gibsonoutcome. e goal is the event that, when reached, concludes the game. e goal is the purpose for playing the game. As we go through the2nd half of the game, let’s remember that life has rules, obstacles, andgoals, therefore, life IS a game!Can you remember someone telling you as a kid, “Life isn’t all fun andgames”? Well, as a kid, it was. As we grow into adulthood, our gamesget more complicated, but nonetheless, they are still games. As adults,instead of buying houses to put on our monopoly property, we buy realhouses on real property worth real money. e game hasn’t changed—your perspective on the game did. As adults, the real world can seemso serious: the consequences for our actions are more serious, and itdoesn’t allow enough room to have fun. Because of this, we revert toour childhood visions of fun: games. Many of us look for outlets to playgames. We need fun in our lives, so we join a coed so ball team or playpoker with some buddies on Friday night.If you allow yourself, you can make a game out of anything. Lookaround, life is full of games—just ask any kid. Use childlike eyes torecapture the fun of life. Play life like a game. Set goals, play by the rules,overcome obstacles, laugh, win or lose, but for goodness’ sake have fun!Life is no fun without games, so know the rules, overcome the barriers,and win the game of life. What Are the Rules of Life?In order to win any game, the rules must be known and followed.Without rules, a game cannot commence, because everyone in the game56
  50. 50. e Game of Your Lifeneeds to be playing by the same rules. is keeps the game fair. erealso need to be penalties for breaking the rules to keep the game fairand maintain the integrity of the game.Every game is slightly di erent, and you must read the directions tounderstand the rules thoroughly, but the basics stay the same: don’tcheat, don’t steal, treat others like you would like to be treated, be worthyof trust, do not murder, set a good example, etc. ese are the same rulesthat most rational people use to guide them through the game of life.Although these basic rules are a good set of guidelines to follow, life isfull of hundreds, if not thousands, of di erent sub-games. Each sub-game presents its own unique set of circumstances and challenges. Eachsub-game can have rules that are subtle or speci c. In order to overcomethose challenges, you must know the rules. First, you must seek out therules. Do not assume you know the rules unless you have already playedthe same game. Ask what the rules are. Write them down if you must,but know them and follow them.Please understand, I’m not asking you to follow some of the rules andignore others. I’m not suggesting that all rules are intelligent, or evenbased in logic, but they are still the rules. An example is driving 55 mphon two-lane highway. is is an antiquated law, written at a time whenfuel was scarce and cars were ine cient and had fewer safety features. at does not change the fact that when the sign says “Maximum SpeedLimit 55 mph,” it means you should not drive more than 55 mph onthat stretch of highway. We will get into ethics in later chapters, but fornow su ce it to say that personal ethics and following the rules is theonly way to truly win the game of life. 57
  51. 51. Rex S. Gibson Overcoming ObstaclesNow we will discuss the barriers that keep us from reaching our goals.Between the beginning of a journey and the nal destination, you willneed to pass over, around, or through one or more obstacles or barriers. Ibring this point up not to be negative, but to enlighten you about the factthat barriers, which can derail your path and lead to failure, loom aroundevery corner. ey are just waiting for you to make a mistake or lower yourguard. In order to reach your goal, you must remain alert and vigilant,never allowing your attention to be pulled away from your goal. If yousee someone who has achieved a high level of success, you are also seeingsomeone who has overcome many obstacles and adversities in her life. roughout your journey, you will see some barriers coming, and otherswill seem to pop up out of nowhere. Whether the obstacle is known orunknown, you will need to navigate the waters to reach your goal. Oneof the sayings I live by is, “Plan for the worst and work toward the best.”When you take that attitude, you can be prepared for the unexpected,or at least be able to handle an unexpected situation that arises withcon dence and skill. Just like Bear Grylls from the show “Man VersusWild,” the more prepared you are for the unexpected; the easier it willbe for you to overcome the barriers that oppose you. Each obstacle youcome up against o ers the opportunity to throw in the towel. at isthe job of obstacles: to get you to give up. It is you against the barriers,mano-a-mano.My feelings on this subject run deep. In college, I wanted to get a tattoo,but not just any silly tattoo. I wanted it to have meaning. I wanted it tobe something that inspired me when I saw it. In my research, I came58
  52. 52. e Game of Your Lifeacross a saying written in hieroglyphics. It is translated as, “He whodesists a er attack is the strengthener of the enemy’s heart.” Nothingrings more true. NEVER GIVE UP, BECAUSE IF YOU DO, YOU GIVEPOWER TO YOUR OPPONENT. is slogan is with me all the time,imbedded in my skin. To this day, I draw power from it and use it daily.Too many people give up on their dreams because the obstacles haveoverwhelmed them. ey set out on a journey with a goal in mind, butas soon as the going gets rough, they pack it in and decide to give up.In order to achieve a high level of success and maintain that level, youmust build the proper emotional and mental capacity to perform yourabsolute best every single day. You must also have the mental fortitudeto stay the course and not allow anything to stop you from reaching yourgoals. In other words, you must be seasoned for success. Success is notfor the faint of heart. Success is a learned behavior, achieved throughhard work, sweat, and—unfortunately sometimes—tears. e more yousucceed, the more you will continue to succeed; success breeds success. What Is Happiness?When are people the happiest? When they are winning. Happiness isachieved through success…through overcoming life’s obstacles andbarriers while working toward your goals. Part of that formula isovercoming obstacles, fears, and barriers including the unseen obstaclesthat pop up unexpectedly. As discussed earlier, when you set a goal andmove toward it, all manner of obstacles will present themselves. Someof these obstacles are predictable and some are not as obvious. Lookat life’s little obstacles like the game Whac a Mole. As an obstacle popsits head up, you whack it and wait for the next one. When it shows up,you handle it and wait for the next one. If you play the game of life like 59
  53. 53. Rex S. Gibsona game of Whac a Mole, you will nd that obstacle and barriers becometheir own sub-game. As you whack each mole, you get one step closerto winning the game. “Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I’ll give you a man who will make history. Give me a man with no goals and I’ll give you a stock clerk.” – J. C. Penney Basic Rule of Life: You Grow or You Die ere is a law of nature that if you are not growing, you are dying. ereis absolutely nothing in between. Take a look at nature: trees don’t stopreaching for the sun. eir whole lives they are moving up toward the sun,pushing themselves to get closer to that goal. As soon as the tree stopsreaching for the sun, it begins its death. Human beings are the same. eday you stop growing as a person and looking for the next goal to attainis the day you stop growing and, hence, the day you begin the descenttoward death. We see this happen when older people are deemed unableto care for themselves and placed in an adult care facility. is is not tosay that adult care facilities are bad, but the reality is that the average stayat an adult care facility before the person passes is less than two years.Some would argue that the person had failing health, and that may be,but if you combine fragile health with the loss of the ability to attain newlife goals, the person stops growing and begins dying.Growth is defined as expansion whether personally, emotionally,educationally, or spiritually. When you stop expanding, you begin toshrink. ink about a rock thrown up in the air. e rock goes up to60
  54. 54. e Game of Your Lifeits maximum height, there is a moment that the rock stops going up,and at that moment the rock begins to descend. is is no di erent forhumans. We are born, we have no choice but to grow and learn, andat some point when we reach adulthood, we either continue to growor we begin our descent toward our ultimate demise. Expansion is thekey to continued happiness, regardless of the circumstances aroundyou. A person does not have to expand and grow like a rocket ship; aperson just needs to continue moving forward, even if it is at a slowpace. Progress is progress!Remember, happiness comes through the PROCESS of overcoming life’schallenges while seeking to reach their goals.People can have happinessas long as they have further goals to attain. Once a person stops reachingfor more, setting goals, and expanding as a person, happiness is a thingof the past. So, if you nd yourself unhappy, realize that you must nothave a game to play. Set a goal, de ne the obstacles to overcome, behappy, and grow, grow, grow!Time Out: Taking a Break from the Game ere is a misguided belief in our society that tells people to take abreak, smell the roses, and retire early. e concept is well intentioned,but the people giving that advice don’t realize that retiring early couldhave detrimental side e ects, and that being busy is really what createshappiness. I recommend and practice small breaks or vacations instead.A long weekend can do a lot to recharge your batteries. Sometimesa break can be something very simple. For example, I take mentalvacations by going to motivational seminars. is may seem confusingto you, but what is the purpose of a vacation? To recharge, to get moreenergy, and to regenerate yourself so you can start looking for di erent 61
  55. 55. Rex S. Gibsonways to accomplish your goals. I get all of this energy and informationfrom other motivational speakers. One of the biggest turning pointsin my life was when I nally decided it was okay for me to be busy. Idecided that, not only was it okay, but it was a really good thing, andit made me happy. Once I stopped listening to people who wanted meto slow down and take a break and allowed myself to be busy, I startedaccomplishing so much more and, as a result, became happier and moresatis ed with my life. “Happiness is a matter of one’s most ordinary and everyday mode of consciousness being busy and lively and unconcerned with self.” – Iris MurdochDo more, take on more, and continue to move toward your goals. Ihave no desire to retire at y—not even at sixty. I am not sure I willever stop. I might play a di erent game, but I will never stop trying toachieve more and do as much as possible. e day you stop strivingto reach that next level is the day you die. No truly successful peoplestop working. ey continue setting new goals, strategizing ways toreach those goals, and working relentlessly to achieve those ends. eycontinue not because they have to, but because it makes them feel good.It gives them a sense of satisfaction and contentment. e drug of powerful people is goal attainment. “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes o your goals.” – Sydney Smith62
  56. 56. e Game of Your Life CHAPTER 8 THE BEST GAME PLAN: EVERYONE WINSWe have discussed many things up to this point, and if you absorbedeven half of the concepts, you are well on your way to setting andattaining higher and better goals. There is one concept which canact as a decision lighthouse guiding you home to a place free of baddecisions.In order to understand this concept, we must establish somebackground information. People always align their efforts towardtheir goals. This is true of all people! The vast majority of people areworking toward constructive / good goals, but there are the exceptions.The exceptions may not even realize that they are moving towarddestruction, but outside observers can see it easily. The person whoworks toward destruction / failure has given up due to too manyfailures. So, those persons whose efforts seem to moving them in thepath of destruction / failure ARE aligning their efforts toward theirgoals…their goal to fail. So, you are aligning your efforts…IS ITCONSTRUCTIVE or DESTRUCTIVE? 63
  57. 57. Rex S. Gibson No person is an island. No person can exsist or succeed alone. Winning At Games In LifeQuite simply the best decisions we all can make in life would considerthe broadest parts of life or the greatest bene t to the greatest numberof people and things. We will call this the GREATER GOOD for short. is is how you create the best of all possible scenarios.We do not live in a perfect world where the perfect choice is availableto us. A perfect choice would be one that bene ts all things and peopleinvolved. Here we have a question of percentages. What is the highestpercentage of bene t to the most things the decision or activity touchs. us as we roll along through our life, we can commit to making ourdecisions along the line of the greater good. ose decisions would be respected by the most number of people andwould prove out in time to be milestones toward our success.As discussed in the previous section, the best solution must incorporatethe greatest good for the greatest number of people and things involvedor in uenced by your decision. A solution or decision can only be madebased on information that is known at the time of the decision. isis why I suggest collecting as much information as possible regardinga particular situation before rendering a decision or selecting a pathof action.64
  58. 58. e Game of Your LifeNew information comes to light every day. With new information, youwill invariably nd that some of your best decisions were wrong. istends to make you feel like you made mistakes. is is the wrong way tolook at it. ere may be new information today that you were not privyto when you made the decision, but that does not invalidate the previousdecision. It simply means you need to create a new best solution andmake the appropriate corrections. C’est la vie—that’s life. Life’s path, likea car going down the road, will require many corrections. Live todayand make the best decisions based on all of today’s data. Rule: Bene t the Most and Harm the Least! Best Solution is Based on All the Information Available at at Time e 24-Hour RuleThis pearl of wisdom has kept me from making bad decisions inmoments of high emotion. Have you ever heard some gossip or receivedsome information that infuriated you? ese situations come up inlife all the time, and when they do, you feel compelled to act or reactimmediately. e 24-hour rule can keep you from going o half cockedand regretting your actions later. Remember when we discussed thereactive mind and how it can make you act irrationally? ere is afail safe switch. Giving yourself some time to re-analyze and see THEDIFFERENCES in a situation can lead you back to a good decision.When a highly emotional situation comes up which seems to require anaction to be taken, don’t do anything. Wait, collect all the data—goodand bad—si through the information, and formulate an initial decision. 65
  59. 59. Rex S. GibsonIf the decision does not require immediate action, wait 24 hours to reviewthe information and ensure that your initial decision is the correct choicefor you. You will nd that when the emotion dissipates, you can maintainyour composure and use your reasoning mind to create the best solution. e more you train yourself to look for the truth in a situation, and giveyourself time to process the information, the more high quality decisionsyou will make. e more this becomes a habit, the fewer regrets you willhave. Although being decisive and making snap decisions is a desirablequality for successful people, rash decisions never created a winner. Quick Guide to Good Decisions ere are four questions you can ask yourself when making a decision. ese four questions will help you decide whether the solution that youhave come up with is the best possible solution: 1. Is there any relevant information that I can draw on from the past? 2. Is the solution created from all current information at hand as opposed to past presumptions or failures? 3. Does the solution create the most good for the majority of people and things involved or in uenced, or the least harm to the majority of people and things involved or in uenced by the solution? 4. Have I given myself ample time to allow any emotion to dissipate and therefore not a ect my decision-making process?66
  60. 60. e Game of Your Life CHAPTER 9 PURPOSE: YOUR SECRET WEAPON FOR SUCCESS “ is is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish sel sh little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.” – George Bernard ShawTo review, a game has rules, barriers, and goals, but why do we playthe game at all? Why do we need a goal? The answer to these questionstouches on the deepest, most basic need in humans: purpose. It is thewhy, the drive, and the reason for doing what you do. The purposeof having a goal is that it gives you a reason to keep playing the gameof life. When you get down to the basics, it gives your life meaning,and it is necessary if you want to keep moving forward. If you’re notmoving forward you might as well pack it in and accept mediocrity. 67
  61. 61. Rex S. GibsonThe bigger the goal, the bigger the obstacles, and the bigger thereward; the main thing you have to focus on when you are movingforward through these obstacles is your why. Your why is the corereason or purpose that you have for reaching that goal. When you seta goal, ask yourself why you want to reach it. Keep asking why untilyour answer gives you goose bumps. When this happens, you havediscovered your true why.For example, you may have a goal to earn a certain amount of moneyevery month. Let’s say your goal is to earn $20k on a monthly basis.Now, ask yourself why you want to earn that amount of money. Whydo you want to earn $20k monthly? Possibly because this will giveyou the house and the lifestyle you desire.Why do you want to have that particular lifestyle? Hmm, goodquestion. You may want the house because of the large rooms and theopen space. Well, why do you want the big rooms and the open space?Do you see my point here? You must keep asking yourself why youwant to reach your particular goal. As you do this, your final answerwill describe how reaching your goal will give you some type of feeling.Emotion is the fundamental impulse of the universe, and it motivatesour every action. The more you are in touch with your why, the moreemotionally attached you will be to your goal.I cannot stress enough how critical it is for you to define what youwant. You must have a definite purpose and a definite plan for theattainment of that purpose. If your goal relates to business, how manypeople will it take to make your company as big as you want it to grow?Continue to ask yourself questions to gain more clarity.68
  62. 62. e Game of Your Life e Right Purpose— e Right AnswerWhen it comes to your life and your purpose, there is no right orwrong answer. Purposes are as individual as snowflakes. What is rightfor you may not be right for me. Being a computer analyst might beyour passion, while it will never be mine. This does not make it wrong.I loved cars when I was growing up, and still do. I loved anythingwith a motor. I look back on my life and I am pretty fortunate thatmy parents wanted me to have a good education, and even though Ididn’t’ become an over the road trucker, or a NASCAR driver, I pursuemy passion for cars in other ways. I have owned, modified and soldmany, many cars. I have even had cars on the cover of Popular HotRodding. So, even though I didn’t use my passion for my occupation, Imade sure my passion stayed in my life. The only wrong answer is notto follow your own path. The focus should not be on right or wrongso much as on choosing your own path instead of allowing someoneelse to define your purpose.When you nd your purpose and set a goal that you are passionateabout, nothing can stop you from attaining your dreams! “All religions, arts, and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man’s life, li ing it from the sphere of mere physical existence, and leading the individual toward freedom.” – Albert Einstein 69
  63. 63. e Game of Your Life CHAPTER 10 REALITY: PLAY YOUR GAME AND PLAY TO WINWhat Is Fake Real and What Is Really RealI once read that “Reality is what we all agree on”: the grass is green, racehorses are fast, and rocket ships go into outer space. Actuality is what theindividual perceives and holds to be true. It is a subjective thing. atisn’t to say that actuality is widely held truth. Christopher Columbus hadto prove that the earth was round; he knew it was, but he had to prove itto the masses in order for his actuality to become other people’s reality.You must realize that what is actual for you, may not be actual for anotherperson. us it is not a reality, by the de nition above. Because of ourvarying life experiences, our perceptions can be quite di erent. Everyperson has lived a di erent life, with di erent circumstances, and di erentperceptions. As the saying goes, if you were to ask ten witnesses about thesame accident, you would get ten di erent recollections of the situation.You should base your decisions on your own actuality. Another wordfor actuality is belief. Successful people believe that they are right. ey know that their actuality is correct, even if there is no other solid 71
  64. 64. Rex S. Gibsonevidence to prove it. Conviction of your own beliefs or actualities iswhat separates leaders from followers. How did Einstein come up withthe theory of relativity? Did he agree with others? No. He used his ownmind, followed what he knew to be true, and created his own actuality. en his actuality was tested, continued to hold true, and it becamereality for others.What is truth? Truth is only truth if you believe it to be true. In otherwords, something is true only if you nd it to be true. e color red tosomeone else will never be the same as the color red you see throughyour own eyes. Have you ever heard a rumor about someone that youknew was untrue? is rumor could be widespread, but nevertheless,is false, no matter how many people spread the lie. Seek to know andlive with the truth.Many times in life we are frightened because something is unknown tous; however, if you train yourself to see the truth in situations, it willtake the fear out of life. For example, if you were to walk through ahaunted house for the rst time, when the ghosts, goblins, or demonsjump out at you, it is scary. When you walk through the second time,however, you are expecting those things and you are ready for them, soit is no longer scary. You must analyze the information and make thebest decision with the information you have at the time. is includesany information from past experiences.When you nd your own truth and lter the lies from the data, you learnto disregard all the junk. You learn to see a situation for what it truly is.Your vision starts to become clear and things become less scary in yourlife. e more you continue to work on this and keep focused, the more72
  65. 65. e Game of Your Lifeit becomes a xed habit in your life. is takes practice and dedication,but it can help you advance your life to a higher and richer level. emore de ned your truth becomes and the more it is incorporated withintegrity, ethics, and your morals, the stronger you become and the lessintimidating life will be.Fear blinds truth. People look away from things they fear, so anysituation that contains fear must be viewed and evaluated for theactuality in it. A dark alley can be a scary place, but once that alley is ooded with light, it no longer has the same e ect. If you do not faceyour fears and illuminate them with truth, you will be doomed to repeathistory and be haunted by past failures. I’m not saying that looking atyour fears is easy, just that it is necessary. e hardest part about facingyour fears is nding the truth. e truth is not always pretty, but it istrue. Once you have faced fear and seen truth with conviction andcourage, you will nd yourself swelling with power you never thoughtyou had. It is this power that magni es your chances of expanding andachieving all of your goals. “Fear can’t hold a candle to unswerving faith, much less muster up the guts to even attempt to blow it out.” – B. G. Jett 73