Play the Game to Achieve Ultimate Success

Jane McGonigal - Play the Game

Jane McGonigal

We don’t get enough time to play. We don’t choose to play often enough. We have been taught that work is, well, work. It isn’t supposed to be fun. What if play and games were the secret to ultimate success? Jane McGonigal is a gamer, and proud of it. An American game designer and author, she has learned the power of fun for creating a fulfilling life. She has learned that you must play the game to achieve ultimate success. In this TED Talk, Jane demonstrates how this actually works and leads the audience in creating 7 1/2 bonus minutes of life. She has lots of scientific data to back this up. According to Jane,

when we play a game…we tackle tough challenges with more creativity, more determination, more optimism, and we’re more likely to reach out to others for help…

Her interest in this particular aspect of games came about when she was bedridden with serious concussion-related complications. Life has become so full of pain and unhappiness that she experienced thoughts of suicide every day. Until, one day, she made a choice to create a game that would enable her to feel better. Even on the days when she was in pain, this game gave her a positive sense of herself and her life. As a result of this SuperBetter was born. You don’t have to have a life-threatening or chronic illness to benefit from the game. In her TED Talk below, Jane demonstrates how each one of us can increase our life, and our satisfaction with it, in 4 simple steps. Take the 19 minutes and 27 seconds to watch this video. Actually do the 4 quests she’s encouraging you to do. Then, repeat, every day (the 4 quests, not necessarily the video-watching).


  PS – Here’s the cheatsheet

  • #1 Physical Resilience – 1 simple activity that gets you moving at least once per hour
  • #2  Mental Resilience – use your willpower
  • #3 Emotional Resilience – experience 3 positive emotions for every 1 negative emotion
  • #4 Social Resilience – engage with others and get more strength


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