How to win all the time

23-may, 4:21am

Be Here Now. Almost on land, altho I hardly ever think of it that way, or succumb to the countdown. in fact, I’m the voice of opposition on-board regarding this, asserting politely that I’d rather not know any countdown-related statistics. (It’s really an opposition to Time, a principally oppressive concept.) I’m very particular about this, as my crew-mates would tell you, although to me it’s perfectly acceptable to celebrate our progress. “10 days down!” or “1500 miles behind us!” are to me quite positive statements compared wih “20 days to go” or “1500 miles to go”, as the latter sound like glass half-empty statements to me. To call attention to how much we haven’t accomplished yet has a tendency to make time drag its heels, and isn’t constructive or feel-good at all.

I’m similarly snappy about calculating end-results. like when we’re playing cards, I’m abhorred by those keeping constant tallies of who’s in the lead, or when asked how many cards I’ve got left. count your own cards. to me it’s invasive when people are so concerned with what I’m doing.. worry about yourself.

both of my peculiarities are borne out of an attempted practice of being Present, living for this moment and not for the future. In the present, a continuous satisfaction can be achieved, instead of living for an uncertain payoff later, a momentary peak or spike in an otherwise uneasy air of anticipation.

Winning. (This is a bit of a rant, and a tangent, but it’s related.) I’m not saying it’s right, but in being consistent with the Be Here Now outlook, it’s natural for me to play games with the intention of exercising skill and to have fun in the moment, preferably so that’s mutually satisfying with my opponent; not to prevent them from scoring. A good analogy might be made with Sex β€” can you imagine how terrible it would be if you were only aiming to please yourself, or even worse just to have an orgasm? (Okay, analogy ends here.) In cards and in sports, I play more offensively than defensively, because it doesn’t hurt me if my opponent smiles and enjoys the game too – it’s better actually. to me it’s just more fun to flex some skill and make some goals, without being preoccupied about the outcome; and there’s an abundance of opportunity within a game for plenty of this to go around. and regarding the outcome, I don’t care if I lose, as long as I’ve played to the best of my ability, and everyone had a good time. it’s playing for the moment, not to Win. one thing I don’t like about competitive sport, whether it’s playing cards, ping-pong, or verbal debate, is that if there’s a Winner there’s also a Loser. it’s ironic to me that you’re often competing with friends. in my opinion, among friends, if there’s one Loser, then everybody loses. I see winning as an ego-driven satisfaction at the expense of another, dominance of the strong over the weaker player. this is why competitive sport among friends can be counter-productive, and why intention matters so much. It’s all energy exchange; make it pretty, keep it positive.

I realize I’m up against the very fabric of our society, as we’re bred to compete, dominate, kill or be killed. It’s a bit Buddhist of me (and aligns with my veganism too) that many of my actions are guided by the intention to alleviate suffering in the world. When we live in the future, it’s either at the expense of the present moment, or can cause us suffering when it doesn’t turn out how we had planned. So forget about it!

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