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Winning the Goblin's Game

A goblin lives behind your eyes.

The goblin feeds on unspent energy. He eats your effort and feasts on your failure.

The Rules of the Game

The rules are simple: the goblin wins when you stop short.

You duel him once per day; the goblin's game concludes when you sleep.

To win each day, try your hardest at everything without giving up.

Only 100% effort secures victory against the goblin. There are no draws or partial victories against him. Whenever you give 95% effort at your gym or at work or in your art, you give the goblin your trophy. The goblin thrives when you don't try.

The reward for winning the goblin's game is real relaxation. Earn inner peace through earnest effort.

Avoiding Catastrophic Loss

At bare minimum, don't let the goblin throw no-hitters.

To prevent zero days, commit your soul to a particular purpose. Decide who you want to become, what you want to achieve, who you want to help, etc. Choose a northern star to navigate life's deepest mists.

Two Winning Strategies

There are two winning strategies for the goblin's game:

  1. do less
  2. do more

This is not a paradox.

To do less, decide what "enough" means. The game's difficulty depends on the amount of yearning in your heart. To make the game winnable, tame your desire. Decide that you have enough knowledge, wealth, friends, power, etc.

To do more, be serious. Trample excuses. Find your limits.

Training for the Game

The goblin wins by distracting you. He whispers of your past and future. He preys upon your fears and fantasies.

To hear the goblin chatter, sit and do nothing. He cannot help but ramble.

To train for the goblin's game, listen to his stories without accepting them. Find patterns in his tricks. Separate fact from fiction.