Games are like a super power.
Games got me into college, got me into graduate school, got me my first job, raised me money for businesses.
Taught me strategy, taught me how to handle adversity, taught me how to be deceptive.
I was going to do a book: How to Win at Every Game.
I had chess, checkers, Scrabble, backgammon, Monopoly, Hearts, Chinese Checkers, poker, Go, Spades all outlined.
Like in Monopoly, own all the Orange properties. Trust me.
Or Scrabble: just learn the Q without U words (e.g. “QOPF”) and all of the legal 2 letter words (“XI”, “XU”, “ZA”, etc).
I started a hedge fund instead. Maybe later I’ll write the book on games.
Even now, when I need a fresh start, when I’m in despair, when I’m crushed by loneliness, I always get back to Play.
It’s estimated that hunter-gatherers “worked” for 12 hours a week. The 12 Hour Workweek. For millions of years.
And the rest of that time was devoted mostly to play. You get better at play to get better at life. They did it to practice all the skills for hunting. For survival.
Only in the past few hundred years we’ve forgotten our evolutionary calling. We’ve erased it and suffered as a result.
We’re stuck in cubicles, factories, planes, texting and squinting at our phones.
Depression, anxiety, and obesity are now at all time highs. By rejecting our genetic calling for games.
People are proud of their 100 hour work weeks. They feel guilty otherwise.
Studying the ways to get better at games are the shortcuts to being better at almost every skill in life.@jaltucher (Click to Tweet!)
When I am down and depressed. When I am struggling with an unsure future. When I lose a lot of money or a relationship, I resort to play. Games save me.
Plus….they are fun. Why not have fun as much as possible in the precious little time we have here?
James Altucher is the author of the bestselling book Choose Yourself, editor at The Altucher Report and host of the popular podcast, The James Altucher Show, which takes you beyond business and entrepreneurship by exploring what it means to be human and achieve well-being in a world that is increasingly complicated. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
Image courtesy of Simon Robben.