Four Questions to Win the Game of Life

I’m a sports nut. I’ll watch almost any sport – especially Aussie Rules football.

And from watching and playing a lot of sports, I know that players don’t just go out onto the field and run around like mad fools. They just don’t turn up and expect to win. Instead, they plan. They create a game plan.

And if you want to fulfil your life’s work, you need a plan too. You need a game plan for your life.

In it, you must answer these four questions.


1 How do you win?

When you play football, the team that scores the most points wins.

But how do you win your life’s work?

To answer this you first need to know what your life’s work is. This may be easy to answer or not, depending upon where you are at in life. If you’re young and still in school, there are so many things to choose from. But as you grow older, you’ll have made a lot of choices along your journey to narrow down your options.

For me, it’s writing books. I didn’t set out to do this, but I already have written a dozen books. This is already my life’s work. I want to write and publish more books. Specifically, 25 books. That’s a random number of sorts. It has no real meaning or significance except it’s about double where I’m at now, plus it’s a neat round number.

2 How do you measure your progress?

The key to staying motivated in anything you do is to have a sense of progress. Your motivation will fade if you don’t feel like you are getting somewhere.

To measure your life’s work progress, you’ll need to define what it is and then some milestones along the way.

You may have some obvious things to count and measure. For instance, I can count the books I’ve written. Plus, my progress as I write each book.

Or your progress may not be so obvious. For instance, if your life’s work is to be a great parent, then you will have to be creative. The key is in how you define winning. For instance, you may say you want to ‘support your son’ through life. You could count how many days you did something that supported him. And naturally, you’ll have to define what this means to count them.

3 What are the rules of the game?

Rules tell you where the boundaries are and what actions are okay.

Your life’s work is a made-up game. No one is born with a premade set of rules to follow. Instead, you’ll have to make up your rules for your life.

The interesting thing is that everyone does this without really thinking about it. But mostly we’re not conscious of it.

One way to think about your rules is to think in terms of values. Ask yourself, what is important? And then define what each one means to you. For instance, ‘creativity’ is an important value for me. One aspect of this is creating things – like writing books.

In terms of rules, I have to choose what is an acceptable way to write. For instance, the fastest way to write 20 books would be to hire a team of writers or use AI to mass produce them. But that’s not what I want. So that’s two rules I can adopt – no external writers and use AI to assist but not mass produce.

4 What action must you take?

Four Questions to Win the Game of LifeSome actions are more important than others.

To win at football you have to score points. But you also have to stop your opponent from scoring too. Doing lots of running might be helpful but only if it helps you move your scoreboard in the right direction.

Some actions will be obvious. For me, I need to write to create my books. A daily action could be to write for two hours.

Some actions will be less obvious. If I need to write two hours every day then I’m going to have to schedule my day around this. And this might mean going to bed by 10 pm to ensure I wake ready to write.

How to Create the Game Plan for Your Life’s Work

To design your game plan read this blog post next. It expands on the four basic questions in this video.

The best project planning template for thought leadership content – It’s a game plan for creating Thought Leadership Content

And in case you missed them, here are the two previous posts in this Life’s Work series:

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