If you are going to play any game, the key thing is this: recognise what the rules are, accept that those are the rules, and then play by the rules. If you don’t like the rules, play another game.

No game is so important that you ‘have’ to play it. Particularly, if you recognise that the game is completely nuts!


All life is a series of games. Work, relationships, everything. If you have been playing a game for a long time and it is no longer fun – play another game. There is no point struggling and suffering, when the purpose of any game is to play.

Chances are that if a game isn’t fun, the only reason you are playing it is to win. In which case you are a slave to your ego, and no matter how well you do, you will never truly be happy or fulfilled.

Some games are truly insane. You can tell how insane a game is by its rules. And its rewards. A classic example would be chasing after money or sex to fill the void in your life.

I have indulged in the game of trying to have sex, enough times, to know that trying to pull at a bar or a nightclub is little more than a drunken, desperate attempt to feel okay with yourself. And that even if you do succeed, ultimately, any feelings of success are extremely fleeting. But the chase is so addictive, it can be very hard to let go.

And lest you be in any doubt, this is not exclusive to bars and clubs. Like the worst Vegas casino, the whole area of dating and relationships is a game that is loaded against the people who play it: because of how the game is set up.

Which is this:

The only way to win this game, ultimately, is to have the ‘perfect’ relationship with the ‘perfect’ person (or people). When none of us are even close to being perfect.

Quite simply, when it comes to dating and relationships, people’s expectations will never match the reality of the situation. They have been brainwashed by the media and by manufacturers of sex and romance to ‘expect’ pleasure and gratification as a right. They have completely bought the illusion of ‘happily ever after’ when they finally meet the ‘one’ (or, for some, the ‘many’).

When rather than hoping for ‘happily ever after’, they would be better to confront the reality of ‘misery ever now’.


Which is very simply this: the main reason people want to be in relationship is so they can escape the sadness and the loneliness that they experience whenever they are all alone. The fear, the insecurity, the despair, the misery, and the hopelessness.

But, if anything, all of this will be amplified in a relationship.

Because, very simply, any human being that you fall in love with is likely to be as messed up as you are.

Well, if you are messed up, how can you possibly expect to meet Mr or Mrs Perfect? No. You will meet the female or the male equivalent of yourself. And you will spend the whole relationship trying to fix their messed-up-ness.

When what you really needed to do was to work on your messed-up-ness.

Sorry, Cinderella, Prince Charming is too busy to save you. He is getting pissed up with his mates because the footy’s on.

Oh yes, and Rapunzel won’t let down her hair, today … Well, she just had it done at the salon, and she won’t let no one – Prince or otherwise – touch it. Let him work out how to climb up that wall … Oh yes, and she would lend out a helping hand to him, but she just had her nails done. So that’s out of the question, too.


Every game that we play in life, we created. We created it to stop ourselves from getting bored; to keep ourselves occupied. The way in which we distinguish how well we are doing, in any game, is the results we get.

As human beings, we are completely obsessed with getting results. We identify so strongly with the game that we have to win. Otherwise, we are “a failure”, “a loser”, “crap”.

This is why alcohol is so popular in our culture. It gets results: “If I drink beer, that will make me happy – result! … If I drink beer that will stop my fear – result! … If I drink beer that gives me a better chance of getting laid – result!

And it keeps on getting you ‘results’: depression, aggression, cirrhosis of the liver … Whether you like it, or not, this is the game you are now playing. And you excel at it.


As I say, we are all playing a series of games in life. If the game you are playing really doesn’t do it for you, play a much bigger game. Play a game that you could give your life to. Play a game that would make a profound difference to the world as we know it.

Jesus and Mohammad played the game of giving the power of God to as many people as possible. Gandhi and Martin Luther King played the game of showing that it was possible to change the world without violence. Richard Branson, and entrepreneurs like him, play the game of bringing as many ideas as they can to life, and giving as many people as they can the opportunity to experience them.

Through this work, I am playing the game of transforming how us human beings operate politically, philosophically and spiritually.

I am playing the game of getting humanity to fully acknowledge and to fully recognise and to fully embrace itself, warts and all.

I am playing the game of getting all human beings to acknowledge and recognise how amazing they are, by saying to them (and myself), “You are so much greater than you think you are. Settling for anything less simply will not do.”

Lord knows, I might suck at it, but for me this is the only game in town. When I am present to this game, all my problems disappear. To be replaced by problems that are much bigger, but much more worthwhile.

It is simply this: my time is very precious, and I am not going to waste it, any longer, by playing games that are not worthy of me.

I suggest you do, likewise, if you actually want to be inspired by life.

© Phillip A. Klein March 2008

Published in: on March 16, 2008 at 7:24 pm  Leave a Comment