Tag Archives: self-defeat

Games You Play Against You


lonelygameWhile you are busy being the best possible version of yourself, remember that you, too, are human. Unless you’re a Virgo (or perhaps especially if you are a Virgo), your ups will be counterbalanced by some downs. Dr. Seuss warned about them in Oh, the Places You’ll Go!:

Fame! You’ll be famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don’t.
Because, sometimes, they won’t.

I’m afraid that some times
you’ll play lonely games too.
Games you can’t win
’cause you’ll play against you.

A few lonely games are:

I’m Not Worthy
Mindless TV Marathon
I Drink Alone

The degree to which you demonstrate excellence depends largely on the size of your collection and where you keep it. If you store Self-doubt and Procrastination at the back of a closet in a spare room, they won’t rob you of too many opportunities to be famous. A few rounds of Perfectionism might culminate in something useful, and a few hours of Mindless TV Marathon can be an opportunity to let your subconscious work fiercely in the background while you give the rest of your brain some R&R. However, if your lonely games are prominently displayed and easily accessible, they will only serve to defeat you.

Lonely games are all forms of resistance, the enemy of progress. If you don’t already own it, you should buy a copy of Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art and keep it within reach. Despite the word “Art” in the title, the book applies to any endeavor that requires breathing.

Remember, falling down is inevitable; getting up every time is excellent.

Do you recognize your own lonely games? How do you win them?