Suppose Life is a Game?

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A guest blog from my friend Jill Whalen – thanks Jill!

If you knew life was just a game you could play any way you wanted, how would it change the way you live?


Many years ago, my husband and I were having a deep philosophical discussion about life. He remarked that perhaps life was sort of like a video game where you get to choose what level you want to play before you are born.

Want a go at an easy life? Choose the easiest level (let’s say level #1). Want something pretty easy but not so much as to be boring? Choose level #2. Think you got this life thing all figured out and want a super challenge? Choose level #10.

Whatever level you choose will be how things will play out in your life, just like in video games. Higher levels will throw more challenge and adversity your way, and it’s up to you to figure out how to navigate and manage it all.

But just like a game, once your “character” is dead, you can jump right back in and start over if you so choose. You can have a do-over of the really hard level and use what you learned the last time, or perhaps take a break and choose an easier level. Either way, it’s of no consequence. When the game is over, your character may be dead, but the you who was playing the game is always “alive” and well (albeit in different form…or more likely in no form at all).

At the time my husband mentioned this interesting theory, something in me truly resonated with it. Even though it has been probably 20 or 30 years since hearing it, I never forgot it. In fact, I’ve come back to it again and again and thought…”Yep, that’s totally what life is.”
It explains a lot!

To me, life being a game that we not only choose to participate in, but also choose how hard or easy it may be, explains why certain people always seem to live under a rain cloud or have some sort of drama going on in their lives at all times, while others just go about their days in a happy-go-lucky manner.

On the other hand, now that I understand the inside out nature of life (that it’s our thoughts creating our experiences, rather than our experiences creating our thoughts), the “choose your own level” theory doesn’t completely make sense.


Perhaps like many video games there are “cheat codes” available! Cheat codes are described in Wikipedia as:

…a video game player using non-standard methods for creating an advantage beyond normal gameplay, usually to make the game easier.
Cheat codes make the game easier.

Which is exactly what an inside out understanding does for the game we call life!

As someone who has always figured I must have hit the easy button on my way in (knock wood 😉 ), perhaps I didn’t. While I look back at my life and believe it was easy, another person standing in my shoes may have felt completely different about it. And what seemed to me to be lots of lucky breaks along my journey, could have been seen by another as tons of hard work and/or struggle.

Therefore, the cheat code to life is:

It’s all in how we look at things.

While I was never taught that until recently, I’ve instinctively known it at some level for as long as I can remember. And while I have had plenty of crap happen in my life, I tried not to dwell on any of it for very long. When I could no longer bear things, I instinctively used the powers of forgiveness and gratitude. Both of which magically cause situations to change.

And now that I recognize the cheat code, creating better situations and thus an overall better life keeps building upon itself. The past hurt, fear and worry that I felt at deep levels without even realizing it are beginning to vanish. The way that I see the people around me is beginning to change. In many cases, the way other people see me has also changed.

All of which feeds on itself, creating a force field of power in and around me.

Because life is anything we make of it, it may seem easy, hard or somewhere in between at any point in time. Armed with the cheat code, life at any level is generally going to seem less scary, bad, or evil. This is great news for people like me who are not big fans of scary situations. And as one who has always tried to do things the easiest and most efficient way possible, being able to make use of the cheat code is an amazing gift!

In the end, because life’s just a game you can play it however you want. You can choose to use the cheat code and play at the easy level like I try to do, or you can tough it out at whatever level you’re playing at. Either way, it doesn’t really matter.

Eventually there will come a time when the words “Game Over” will pop up for all of us and we can then decide whether we want to give it another shot or not. –Jill

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