Most of us respond to our problems with stress. Something doesn’t go the way we expect, so we worry. As a former Navy SEAL suggests, however, treating your problems like a game can help position your attitude for better results.
Photo by Peter Krefting
Paradoxically, we tend to enjoy problems when they’re framed as a game. Whether it’s competing with others in a multiplayer game or solving brain teasers on our own, we find problems fun to solve. Yet, competing with someone else at a job, or having to balance our budgets are stressful.
Fundamentally, they’re the same process. Former Navy SEAL Platoon Commander James Waters suggests treating them like it:
Many people don’t recognise that what they’re doing at BUD/S is assessing your ability to handle a difficult circumstance and keep going. It’s a game. If you want to be a Navy SEAL, you’ve got to play that game. You’ve got to have fun with it and you’ve got to keep your eye on the bigger picture.
Of course, there’s a reason we’re more stressed out by real competition than fake ones. However, even if your real problems matter, the attitude of treating them like a game can be a distinct advantage that helps you win. You’re more likely to come up with better solutions if you’re not stressing yourself out more than you need to.
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