This weekend I’ve been thinking a lot about a concept that relationship expert Matthew Hussey calls “adopting a video game mindset.” Hussey describes the origin of the idea in his Fast Track program: it was 2am and he was in a cozy coffee shop in London chatting deep into the night with a writer buddy of his. All of a sudden, his friend said, “So, I’ve been thinking a lot about video games lately- they’ve never been bigger. Why? Because they allow us to constantly enter new worlds and they provide endless excitement.” The friend paused then asked, “What if we thought of our lives as video games, where we were the avatars and every single experience was created just for us- for our enjoyment and pleasure. The tantalizing smells from the kitchen, our soft beds after a long day, the morning sunlight beaming down on our faces, the snowcapped mountains and towering skyscrapers, every exquisite sunset, every concert, new book, museum, sporting event, play, movie, birth, soft kiss, glance, and touch- all just for us. And the people in our lives were there just for us too- to teach us, inspire us, and shape our paths. If we got bored with the game, we could switch things up- go to a new city, change jobs, pick up a new passion, and connect with new people. If we saw someone we were attracted to, we wouldn’t hesitate to approach them because it was all just part of the game. If we viewed our lives like this, we wouldn’t be able to go to bed late enough or wake up early enough.” But the truth is… this is life! This exists for us now- we could live like this, but instead we avoid the people we’re attracted to, avoid the situations that scare us, and every day we lead the same lives- we do the same stuff. We do the same things over and over again because it’s comfortable.
In his Fast Track program, Hussey challenges us to adopt a video game mindset, starting with picking an avatar to represent how we’re going to show up in a specific scenario. This made me think of 3 people I admire deeply as possible avatars:
1. Jennifer Lawrence for her authenticity, playfulness, appetite for risk, and ability to connect with and powerfully express emotion
2. Malala for her courage, resilience, and conviction
3. Cory Booker for his bravery, tireless work ethic, vision, and impact as a storyteller
Hussey encourages, if you’re a woman that normally crushes it in work but holds back in dating, pick an avatar for the evening inspired by a person who always gets the man (I’m thinking Angelina Jolie 🙂 ) and then hit the town. If normally the idea of karaoke scares the shit out of you, embody a killer artist (I’m definitely thinking Christina Aguilera 🙂 ) and sing your heart out.
I love this video game concept for two reasons. Number one, it catapults your gratitude practice to new heights. If you’re walking down the street and believe every flower, tree, path, building, park, restaurant, landscape, and experience is there just for you, it’s impossible not to be flooded with gratitude. Second, it removes any excuse you have not to show up as your best, most courageous, sensational self. This is YOUR game, start playing to win.