Turning life into fun games as an ultimately actionable lifehack

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Do you have authors whose work you love rereading?

I do, several.

Three of them are on the top of my list.

I also read books by other authors, but I start my day by reading at least a little in the books of these three (actually four, see below why) writers. I also read a book by at least one of these authors throughout the day when I need a short break and before going to bed.

Fun as compass

The first author is two award-winning authors, seminar leaders, radio show hosts, Ariel & Shya Kane. They are my favorite writers on living in the moment, and I had the pleasure and honor of meeting them in person at their seminars in Hamburg and Cambridge. …

And play this “stopping game” many times a day.

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Did the title of this story intrigue you? I hope so.

But even if it did, you might wonder who I am — and what is my success on Medium — to give you such advice.

You could say that I am both successful and unsuccessful on Medium.

Here is why.

I write for exactly seven months now — I started writing and publishing here on April 30, 2020. This is my 165th article to appear on Medium. So, I published one article nearly every workday.

Here is why I am unsuccessful on Medium

Here are my “failures”:

  • My best month in terms of earnings was June, when I earned $25.53. …

By being present, gameful, and playful.

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Are seriousness and excellence the same thing?

Our lives can be full of brilliant epiphanies if we let them come and inspire us. And we can even rediscover long known things anew.

One of the most fantastic of these gems I find today is how we often mistake seriousness and drama for excellence.

Here are some myths widely accepted as truths:

  • If you are not serious about your goals, you can’t achieve anything.
  • You certainly can’t have fun while you work on your dreams. You should work hard to become something or somebody, to have at least some kind of success.



Being excellent without working hard

Some people reach amazing things in life and say that they hadn’t been working for quite some time while achieving incredible success levels. …

By developing your very own appreciative game feedback systems and playing the “Appreciation Game.”

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I like saying that when I turn a challenge, project, or activity into a fun game, then it becomes a self-motivational game because, as a result, I experience motivation and creative drive as freely available resources on tap.

Each main component is important to keep in mind when designing your self-motivational games, in other words, when you turn your life into fun games.

A quick reminder of the main game components:

“When you strip away the genre differences and the technological complexities, all games share four defining traits: a goal, rules, a feedback system, and voluntary participation.” …

#2 and #3 are my favorite.

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Photo by Anna Auza on Unsplash

I am writing for over half a year on Medium now, I am and slowly becoming aware of the reasons why I like sharing my writing here.

Every writer on Medium has her or his own reasons, and some might be common for many, others might be unique for each of us.

Here are mine. A note: these might not be all that are true for me, but at least those I can think of now. And another note: I tried to put them in some order, but they are not in the order of importance. They are all hugely important to me. …

Start with seeing whatever you are up to as a game.

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Anything can be a reward — a smile, a message of praise, a compliment, a hand-written card, a colorful sticker, a pen, another helpful token, a cup of coffee, a tiny piece of chocolate — anything, however small. We just don’t see them that way.

We usually attach some weight and drama to what we get. We disregard what we think to be insignificant and search for something big and significant. A big bonus, an invoice with a large sum on it; now, that is significant, right?

Interestingly, we, especially lately with the rise of awareness and mindfulness, recognize that each moment — however small — matters. However, when it comes to rewards, we still pursue this judgment — the bigger, the better, the smaller, the less we should care. …

And why it makes sense

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I am discovering the magic of turning life into fun games every day anew. And I often say you can turn anything and everything into games — and that all the time.

When I am in the flow and enjoy an activity, I am already in the game. But when I feel down and observe it without judging my circumstances, anyone, or myself for that, then my enthusiasm sparks just from the awareness that I can also turn the most tedious and initially resented activity into something fun and enjoyable.

Voluntary work and hobbies are rarely considered tedious. …

And how that can help you keep going if you want to

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I love being — creating and getting inspired — on Medium. It’s a great community to be with, to create for, and a vast vault of resources of what I call “awareness boosters.”

I also love turning my life into games, ever since I discovered its power.

So, after I permitted myself to write on Medium about Medium, it was only a matter of time (a very short one, grin) that I would be writing about the parallels between Medium and games.

Why drawing parallels between Medium and games makes sense.

There are so, so many advantages of turning something or anything into fun games.

Here is a listicle with twenty-one reasons I could think of why it makes sense turning project management into…

You have the ultimate tool for that. It is your will to add dimensions to your perception.

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Seeing dilemmas as tools

You might wonder about the title of this story. But please bear with me for a moment.

Most of us might perceive the word dilemma as something negative.

Just look how dictionaries define it:

Dilemma is:

1. a: a usually undesirable or unpleasant choice

1. b: a situation involving such a choice

2. a: a problem involving a difficult choice

2. b: a difficult or persistent problem

3: an argument presenting two or more equally conclusive alternatives against an opponent


So, how can a dilemma be brilliant?

But it can.

Just think of the chicken or egg causality…

They have nothing to do with the latest changes.

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The backstory

I have started writing and publishing on Medium on April 30 of 2020. So, I am on board for a little over half a year.

This is my one hundred-and-fifty-seventh article here. And I will submit it as soon as I finished writing and revising it. Scary! And fun. But more on this a little later.

Within this half a year, I was both optimistic and dragging my feet when writing on Medium. I thought of giving up a couple of times. …


Victoria Ichizli-Bartels, Ph.D.

Top writer, author, consultant, engineer; originator of Self-Gamification — how to turn life into fun games. Latest of 18 books: https://amzn.to/3j8HPok

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