Getting a degree from a prestigious school. Securing a high-paying job. Getting married to the ideal partner. Earning a million (+) dollars.
So often, we frame our lives in finite, winnable terms. Evolutionarily, it makes sense. Hunting and gathering is a finite game. Either you succeed, or you fail. Through this lens, failure is distressing in the most ideal of iterations.
But there is another type of game that we often play: the infinite game.
When playing an infinite game, there are no immediate winners or losers. It is not zero-sum. Playing an infinite game requires a shift away from hustling others and winning at all costs.
The predictors of success in the infinite game are: trust, compassion, resilience, and envisioning an ideal future with the intent of moving towards it by building it, one brick at a time.
When playing infinite games, it is important to seek out other like-minded people who are on the same infinite playing field. In the words of Naval Ravikant, play long-term games with long-term people.
Personally, I've spent a lot of time pivoting between disciplines, goals, and belief systems. I've learned a lot in the process. But each time I packed up my things and went to go hang up another shingle, I lost a lot of credibility, trust and momentum.
Playing short-term games was exciting, but I shot myself in the foot repeatedly.
Don't shot yourself in the foot.
Play long-term games, and infinite games, with like-minded people.
In an infinite game, there is no end, and no finish line.