For months now, I have found it difficult to tell people what I was doing exactly. I do not have a job, and so it is not easily categorizable. My go-to was to tell people I am retired, although that is not a completely accurate statement given that I need to come out of retirement in short-order given my dwindling savings. It was only when I discovered the language of finite and infinite games that the world seemed to open up for me –– I have found, and am playing, my infinite game.
An infinite game is defined as known and unknown players, the rules are changeable, and the objective is not to win—the objective is to keep playing, keep perpetuating the game. When you pit a finite player against a finite player, the system is stable –– Simon Sinek
While the Sinek applies infinite games to the working world, I resonated with it in terms of what I am building in my personal life. It goes back to the question of if you had enough savings to support yourself in the ways that matter – food, shelter, clothing, etc – allowing you to have a good standard of living, what would you do with your time? This of course ties in inextricably with the idea of retirement. In a lot of ways, we are playing a finite game of trying to earn enough money so that we can comfortably support ourselves while we play an infinite game.
This notion of finding my infinite game makes thinking about what I am doing now – learning in public – somehow a lot more palatable for the long-term. Before discovering these terminology, in the back of my mind, I was mentally preparing myself to re-enter the job market and be like that. But now, I am more than comfortable to really put all my eggs in this infinite game I find myself in and try to make it a sustainable lifestyle (unless of course I run out of savings).
The concept of finite and infinite games as it relates to peoples’ personal lives is so interesting. I wonder what kind of impact it would make if this were something taught in schools, because I imagine this would convince a lot more people to take the time to explore and try discover what their infinite game is, what does that lifestyle look like?