Optimism & Breaking a Perfect Streak

Over the last month, I have broken a perfect 10+ year streak. It doesn’t matter what the streak was, what matters is that I’m excited by the insights I gained by going from 13 wins: 0 losses to 13 wins: 2 misses.

Note that I’ve used the optimism skill of cognitive restructuring to go from the word “losses” to “misses”.

First, a 13 point “winning” streak meant that I was playing a safe, ego-protective game. Second, it meant I was seeing the world in the format of a series of finite games (as opposed to an infinite game).

In finite games, like football or chess, the players are known, the rules are fixed, and the endpoint is clear. The winners and losers are easily identified.

In infinite games, like business or politics or life itself, the players come and go, the rules are changeable, and there is no defined endpoint. There are no winners or losers in an infinite game; there is only ahead and behind.

Simon Sinek https://simonsinek.com/product/the-infinite-game/

It was time for me to switch the mindset from finite to infinite. Infinite games within a complex adaptive system where rules change and endpoints evolve. Infinite games map back to a higher purpose and a compelling “why”. This is our Agile Best Self “why”:

Agile Best Self Principle #1: Our highest priority is to be our best self and enable others to be their best selves.

I’d much rather live a life where I live into being my best self and enable others to be their best selves; encourage and support a like-hearted community and be curious over just focusing on a vanity metric. A 10+ year winning streak is great. But playing an infinite game is amazing, energizing and fulfilling.

Which game do you want to play? And how can you start playing it right now?

Copyright © 2021 Michaele Gardner and Brian Hackerson

Published by MichaeleBestSelf

Connector, Catalyst.

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