When I was younger, I played a lot of MMOs—that’s in no small part why Log Horizon appeals to me so much. One of the central features of MMOs is that there’s no set way to win—each player decides for themselves what their goal will be. So I grew used to setting my own win conditions from early on.
For specific projects, defining what victory means to you is a valuable skill. Try being part of a large corporate project where success is ill-defined—it’s not fun. But I think it’s a valuable exercise for our overall lives as well.
How do you define success for yourself in life? What are your win conditions—the accomplishments which, if you achieve them, you will have “won” at life?
For some people, it’s job success. They take most of their self-worth from being highly skilled, respected, and successful at work. These people are always perplexed by me, because that’s not one of my win conditions. I couldn’t care less.
Family is the answer for many. If they find a good spouse, have children, and are a good parent, then they’ll be happy at the end of their days.
Personally, my win conditions are wrapped up in becoming an author. I want to be one of the lucky few who does work he enjoys for a living, I want freedom, and I relish the challenge of attempting what so many others failed. So if I’m able to do that, I will have won—though part of the challenge is keeping the plates spinning. I only win if I continue to be an author, not if I just do it for a time.
That’s my win condition, for now. Later in life I will change, and my win conditions will change with me. That’s fine. You don’t have to know what will make you win at life forever, just what will make you win for now.
What are the win conditions for your life?