What Game Are You Playing?

Rod Pickett
2 min readJan 16, 2023

A professional does not take success or failure personally. That’s Priority Number One for us now. That our project has crashed is not a reflection of our worth as human beings. It’s just a mistake. It’s a problem — and a problem can be solved.

Steven Pressfield, Do the Work

No one wants to be a loser.

Winners have all the fun.

If you win, you’re on top of the world — for now.

But one spectacular failure can make everyone forget about all your successes, including you.

If your self-worth is tied up in your accomplishments, you’ll never be able to accomplish enough.

There are not enough wins to fill that emptiness we all experience as humans.

Did you think you were the only one who felt like a fraud?

Self-doubt is the best indicator that you are not a fake.

Don’t fall for the lie that you can extinguish that second-guessing with enough success.

Individuals who appear to be confident winners have learned to lean into the fear of failure.

Fear can keep you from even trying.

It can also put so much pressure on you to succeed that failure seems almost guaranteed.

Money in the bank, trophies on the shelf, certificates on the wall — these do not validate your value.

You are valuable just because you are.

We need you to accept that foundational truth so you can set about pursuing your purpose.

Then you can benefit even from your mistakes and failures.

Even if you lose you win.

We are always playing a bigger game than the one we think we are playing.

Some people say, “It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose. It’s how you play the game.”

But it does matter.

It just matters more if we win the bigger game.

A good Little League coach is not just playing today’s game. They are also playing the game of the entire season.

The players on that team are also preparing for their careers in high school and maybe college.

But they are playing a still bigger game of learning how to discipline themselves to make sacrifices so they can succeed at what’s important.

They are learning to take responsibility for their choices and their actions.

All this (and more) is happening at a single baseball game with 11-year-old kids.

If it feels like you are on a losing streak, turn your focus to the bigger game.

Then you can compete freely in the smaller game because you have nothing to prove.

— Rod Pickett

Now available at Amazon: The Courageous Heart: Wisdom for Difficult Times in paperback and eBook.



Rod Pickett

Rod Pickett is a writer, pastor, teacher, photographer, real estate broker, personal trainer, consultant, trained hypnotist, woodworker and life-long learner.