Daily Blog

Wins and Losses

 Women's Adro 1 Mile, Adrian Martinez Track Classic 2016 | photo ©  kevmofoto.com

Women's Adro 1 Mile, Adrian Martinez Track Classic 2016 | photo © kevmofoto.com

James Carse wrote an excellent book titled, Finite and Infinite Games

In it, he writes, "A finite game is played for the purpose of winning, an infinite game for the purpose of continuing the play."

If you are counting victories and defeats, you're playing the finite game, which can lead to a lot of angst and turmoil. However, if your concern is the craft, betterment, and continuation of play, then you're an infinite focused player, which develops strength and joy. 

For the player of the infinite game, there is no such thing as winning and losing. Those are trivial constructs, distractions of the finite contest. The infinite player can only "lose" by dropping out of the game and "win" by continuing to play. 

Carse acknowledges, "finite games can be played within an infinite game, but an infinite game cannot be played with a finite game. Infinite players regard their wins and losses in whatever finite games they play as but moments in a continuing play." 

Yes, an infinite player does try to win finite contests. But not for the fleeting title of victor. Instead, they aim for the privilege to keep playing and continued opportunity to evolve.

This is what is meant by not letting a win get to your head or a loss to your heart.

What matters most is continuing to play the game. 


Thanks for reading. I'm glad you're here. // jm 

Jonathan Marcus