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The Easier Game

The only way to take control of your life, raise your standard of living and move beyond merely surviving is to create your own unique product or service that you offer to increasing numbers of people in exchange for the things of value that you desire. This simple formula applies to countries as well as people. A self-sufficient economy has its own products or services of value to export to the world. Similarly, a self-sufficient individual has something of value to exchange in the global marketplace. That thing of value is based on your natural talent, skill, or interest—in other words, your passion!

Everyone’s an expert
in this game we know quite well
First school. Then college. Then a job.
Don’t question. Don’t rebel.

In time, once you discover
that in this game no one wins
You’ll run to play the harder game
and then the fun begins

You’ll find no lack of coaches
saying “do this thing or that”
Be wary though of sideline stars
who’ve never held a bat

You’ll choke, strike out and fumble
ill-prepared you won’t know why
Take heart, it’s just a different game
the old rules don’t apply

New rules. New game plan. New rewards
New way of keeping score
In time you’ll see: with greater risk
the payoff’s often more

But some, disheartened, give up hope
and blame it on fatigue
Returning to familiar fields
back in the minor leagues

So choose it if you wish but
heed these words from one who knows
That just because you’re scoring high
don’t mean you’re in the pros!

In a recent coaching session, a client and I discussed the “expensive” outcomes of some of the business risks she’s taken. I comforted her (only partly, I’m sure) by reminding her that years ago she chose to play a different game than the average individual. Consequently, whatever outcomes she experienced (whether “good” or “bad”), were naturally, and by necessity going to be different than those of the average person, who chooses to play an “easier” game.

Society encourages us to play the easier game. The easier game is called “Employee for Life.” If you opt for the security of a regular job, you can pay the bills that will keep the utilities on, keep the roof over your head, pay the car note, maintain your credit and keep everything working great! And, by the criteria of the easier game, you’re high in the rankings if you manage to keep things in relative equilibrium.

However, the game of “Succeed on My Own Terms” is naturally a harder game for the simple reasons that 1) fewer people play it, 2) the strategies and rules aren’t as well known, 3) the rewards, and thus the risks, are greater. Few utility companies, landlords, banks and creditors will be supportive while you work out the kinks in your strategy for playing the “harder game.” So, if you choose to play it, you’ve got to be prepared for greater tests of your commitment, patience, creativity, resolve and stamina. It’s just the nature of the game.

So, for you passion seekers who’ve opted for the harder game, don’t be misled by the apparent high scores (car, clean credit, working telephone) that your friends are enjoying. Remember, you chose a different game, so you’ll have to learn to rank yourself based on other criteria (freedom, purpose, fulfillment, creative expression) while you work out the details of your strategy! But rest assured, the rewards will ultimately make it all worthwhile!

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Note: Ever wanted to direct your friends and family to a set of websites that said good things about Saipan? Do what I do: send them to!

Note: Fans and followers of Chicken Feathers and Garlic Skin: Diary of a Chinese Garment Factory Girl on Saipan may now find copies at Bookseller Bookstore in the Joe-Ten Plaza in Susupe or on Hurry, there’s a limited supply!

Note: For more tips on overcoming your fears, acting on your ideas, changing the game, and creating a passion-centered lifestyle, visit!

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Until next week, remember, success is a journey, not a destination!

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