Tuesday, January 21, 2014

If Life is a board game, here are the victory conditions.

As an extremely competitive person at school and at work, I have been criticized for treating my real life as a game.

Engaging in gaming behaviour means that you live you life to win. Because we live in a modern society where no one has any incentive to tell you the rules of how to live your life, I've made up my own victory conditions. ( D&D players do a lot of that )

In school, my objective was a First Class Honors with the highest possible ECA record that I could reasonably attain. Much later at work, I basically just kept count of my dollars and wanted to be the first to have my investment income exceed my earned income. There were all sorts of other victory conditions I made up for myself like start a family, get an advanced degree, take the largest number of exams in a given year while holding a full time job ( I think I hit 21 in 2003, dunno why I bothered ).

Well, apparantly,  it looks like I might not be playing it right.

In the book Triumphs of Experience : The Men of the Harvard Grant Study has an interesting set of outcomes that denotes a flourishing state.

I think these sets of rules are a balanced set of victory conditions for the Game of Life.

Here is the list. Score one point if you achieve anyone of this when you reach 85 :

a) Included in Who's Who in America. ( I wonder what's the equivalent here )
b) Earning income in the Study's top quartile ( Household income is about  $13,000 in 2012 / $4,000 per member in SG although the original study targeted high flyers. )
c) Low in psychological distress.
d) Success and enjoyment in work, love and play since age 65.
e) Good subjective health at 75.
f) Good subjective and objective physical and mental health at 80.
g) Mastery of Ericksonion task of Generativity ( You can nurture and empathize with an adolescent or child who is unrelated to you. )
h) Availability of social support other than wife and kids between ages 60 and 75.
i) Good marriage between 60 and 85.
j) Close to kids between ages 60 and 75.

I think overall these are very balanced victory conditions compared to what Asian society heaps on us (I'm quite glad that a Porsche and a Patek Philipe watch is not in this list ). Most people score 3 on this list. If you can score 5 and above it means that you've lived quite a good life.

Looks like I'll be thinking up ways to change my style of living moving forward.,



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