Play the game, so the game continues

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I recently took five days off. I’ve been moving through quite a transition, an evolution, over the past few weeks and as the call to further commit to a new way of being was bearing down on me I was increasingly feeling overwhelmed. I’m an emotionally sensitive person, however I was finding myself struggling to discern what was mine, and what was someone else’s energetically.

All of the above familiar signs for me of burnout approaching.

It’s historically been against my grain to sit and be still, I think it’s against the grain of many, but Charles Eisenstein served as inspiration shedding light on the fact that constant ‘doing’ (even when we don’t know what to do) is certainly a part of our culture and society right now. It’s not the only way though.

I embraced the idea that if we don’t know what to do, do nothing.

The experience was profound and truly a ceremony. The space and the doing nothing allowed me to be with the uncomfortable in-between we go through when we evolve. After we’re letting go of past stories, and before we know exactly what’s next. I allowed the evolution to occur, with less resistance and less jumping ahead.

At this point you’re probably wondering what I’m talking about. What is this new way of being? What is this transition I’m going through?

The past two years have been beyond insightful for me. All the questions I’ve always had about the disfunction of our current society could no longer be avoided. Whilst there are – of course – many functioning parts of society, I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent at dinner parties, brunches, over voice notes, at conferences, sharing conversation with incredibly brilliant people lamenting on the problems of the world and how to solve them.

What’s come into my awareness recently is the fact we can’t solve the problems we have today, from the same place and with the same thinking as the problems originated. We can’t change the system from within the system (the trojan-horse scenario I long idealized and tried again and again), it’s simply time for new systems.

James Carse refers to it as playing an infinite game, instead of the finite game.

Charles Eistenstein refers to it as embracing a story of interbeing, in place of the story of separation.

And in this inspiring podcast, my friend Erick Godsey refers to it as Game B (Game A being the game society is currently entrenched in).

In simple terms, our current way of being is based around playing to win. There’s an end goal. The end goal is to win, and win at all costs (Note: for there to be winners, there has to be losers). Our measures of ‘success’ are screwy. Profits and revenue over team happiness. A country’s GDP growth over the mental health of its citizens. Likes and follows over deep conversation and connection. 

The things that really matter are often harder to measure… however that doesn’t change the fact they are the things that really matter.  

And it’s because I can no longer look away from, or unsee, the things that really matter that I’m now firmly committed to Game B. The infinite game. The game we can play in a way that ensures the game continues, for everyone. The point is to play (not to win or lose).

Game B is the game Growmotely is here to play…

On our capital raising journey I have VCs ask me “How are you going to compete with XYZ company?”, or “How will you win against ABC company?”. The answer quite simply is, we’re not playing to win anything. We’re playing in order that the game continues, we’re playing in a way that creates an expansive experience for humanity and the planet.

The truth is, that’s not the answer I’ve been giving… of course, I was sharing strategies, and tactics, and our unique positioning and what our moat was, and all the things that Silicon Valley teaches us to say in order to be taken seriously and ‘win’ the money from the VCs. But that’s Game A. And we’re not playing Game A anymore.

To fully embrace Game B, the infinite game, is integrating the fact that Growmotely is a new system. It’s me speaking truth, irrespective of whether it’ll resonate with the person I’m talking with (and trusting – as always – that speaking truth calls in those who do resonate). 

It’s saying no to the things that don’t feel as though they’re serving humanity in an expansive way (like paying facebook for advertising, or expending energy on a social media presence despite feeling as though social media has tipped over an edge where it’s now more destructive than it is beneficial).

It’s turning down the VC who can’t see the magic and only cares about the profit, and saying yes to the money that comes with and from inspiring individuals and organizations.

It’s following our intuition and hunches, even when they’re contra to what we learned at business school. It’s doing nothing at times, instead of doing something for the sake of it.

It’s quite frankly… a giant leap of faith.

I’m playing Game B in all areas of my life (pretty poorly right now, but with compassion for my short-comings I’m figuring out new ways of doing things everyday). I’m composting and recycling in an attempt to reduce my waste. I planted a food forest in my back garden recently to grow food for our family and to improve the soil and environment for bugs and birds and bees. I got a Tesla (honestly I do not know if that is Game A or Game B but I’m trying). I’m re-learning to knit and sew, and in the meantime making an effort to buy handmade items. I’m looking everyday to support smaller businesses, diverse founders, and artisans.

Some days it’s heavy. But then I remember the whole point of Game B is to play it so we can keep playing it, to enjoy our experience, to move toward interbeing, connectedness, nature as a teacher, and most of all I SEE all of you who are playing alongside me and it feels so good this is not a win/lose scenario here at Growmotely, it’s a let’s expand together scenario.

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