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  • Colin Jonov

The Infinite Game

Welcome back to my midweek motivation! Each day and week brings its own set of experiences and inspirations, compelling me to share my thoughts with all of you.

Man, since I saw this video, I simply can’t get it out of my head. I’ll keep this one short and sweet: Are you playing the infinite game or a series of finite games? That line struck a chord within me. If we are constantly seeking the next ‘win,’ then there isn’t a large degree of separation between us and drug addicts looking for their next ‘hit.’ Eventually, the feeling of happiness vanishes after each victory, creating a roller coaster of emotions. The joy of athletics is rooted in the appreciation and love for the opportunity to show up and work. However, as we climb the ladder of success, maintaining that joy becomes harder as we begin to fall in love with performance. The more we become enamored with performance or outcomes, the harder it is to detach our identity from what we do. Without a solid foundation in understanding who we are or why we do what we do, we become fragile. We may believe we are resilient because of our apparent successes, but deep down, subconsciously, we know that the slightest failure could cause us to break.

There’s such an important dichotomy in chasing greatness in relation to outcomes. I’ll always be of the belief that outcomes do matter. However, the true joy doesn’t come from the accolades, money, or the moments of victory but from the the depth of our engagements and the growth we witness in ourselves and others.

The finite games are all about the now — the immediate win, the short-lived high of victory. It’s a cycle reminiscent of a drug addict’s chase for the next hit, where the pleasure is intense yet ephemeral, always leaving us craving more. This approach, while gratifying in the moment, can lead us to a hollow existence, one where the joy of the process is overshadowed by the hunger for the next accolade.

In embracing the infinite game, we find a deeper, more sustained sense of fulfillment — one that endures beyond the fleeting highs of finite victories. We learn to appreciate the beauty of the process, the joy of growth, and the profound satisfaction that comes from playing a game that is bigger than ourselves.

While our innate competitive spirit often propels us toward short-term successes — and there’s no denying the rush and validation that come with them — it’s the infinite game that holds the key to the profound fulfillment we all seek. This isn’t to diminish the value of our competitive energy; in fact, it’s a powerful force that, when harnessed correctly, can drive remarkable achievements and spur us to new heights previously thought unattainable. However, when we channel this energy within the framework of the infinite game, we strike a balance between the exhilaration of immediate victories and the deeper satisfaction of long-term purpose and growth. By recognizing the merit in each win while staying anchored to our larger vision, we can enjoy the best of both worlds: the thrill of the competition and the enduring joy and fulfillment that come from engaging in a game that transcends the here and now, one that continuously unfolds and offers endless opportunities for personal and collective evolution.

To Building Fortitude.

Warm regards,

Colin Jonov CEO & Founder, Athletic Fortitude

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