There’s a trap that’s got me a lot of times in my life. I call it the “it will be better when” trap. In other words, life will be better in the future when something else happens. You can look at this as I’ve done with video games and say it will be better when we win. If you’re having a bad game you could say it will be better when we lose and try again. League fo Legends is a relevant environment to show you this because I got stuck in this a lot when playing this game.
I would play League of Legends and think it will be a lot better when I win. I can enjoy playing this game once I get a win. When I get to a higher level I’ll really enjoy it and everything will be better. In this trap, the assumption is that right now is not good enough. Something else needs to happen for things to be better. This is a trap that’s potent because you can get stuck in this trap forever.
For example, let’s say I think this game will be better when I win. What happens when I win? I get a little bit of pleasure when that happens and soon enough we have to start another game. If the game takes 40 minutes on average, there’s about 3-5 minutes of pleasure. Then there’s around 40 minutes of anxiety where I’m in the same trap again. That’s if I win.
If I lose, then the whole game I’m thinking it will be better when I play another game. At that point I have to go through an entire game where I’m losing and then go through and play another game in the future. I’ve got to wait a long time to get any brief moment of pleasure. I think of this while playing League of Legends because this is one of the easiest places for me to keep this in mind. The games take a long time and I get into a negative mind set playing League of Legends. I’ve got into this mind set that everything will be better when I win or when my team plays better.
I’m doing this in an environment that has been difficult for me to show you that I mean what I’m saying. I want to show you that I’m doing this in a place where I’ve gotten stuck in this trap a lot of times. If I’m just doing it playing a regular game with you that I don’t care about at all. I played ping pong with my nephew the other day and I noticed it was easy. He was getting involved in the game. It was easy for me to tell him how he should handle the ping pong game. It was easy for me to say it doesn’t matter if you win or lose. It was easy to say that but it’s not so easy to say that when I’m playing the game myself. He would get worked up and try to win and get excited about that. Meanwhile, I’d be doing the same thing with League of Legends and getting worked up. I din’t see that I was doing the same thing that he was doing. I didn’t see that I was going through the same struggle he was going through.
Being aware of this helps me to not get stuck in the trap. It’s being asleep and being unconscious and being unaware that makes this trap possible. When you realize this trap, you’re less likely to fall into it. When you’re on autopilot doing the same thing you’ve always done, it’s really easy to get stuck in this trap.
Next time you hear someone saying things will be better when I get this job or promotion, you can remember that everything has to be better before anything gets better. I will check in with you throughout the game to make sure I’m doing what I say I’m doing. If I’m falling into this trap where I feel like things should be different, where I get pissed off at the game results I’ll remind myself I’m falling into this trap.
It’s half way through the game and I’m doing well not falling into the trap that things will be better when we win. We’re a little bit a head and that makes it easier to enjoy. If you’re concerned so much with the win then it could be more difficult to enjoy the game. Everything bad that happens is a sign that you might not get the win. I’m grateful I’m enjoying the win, I’m having fun. Our team is playing pretty well here and I’m thankful to have this chance with you today.
Here’s one of the most potent times I used to get into the “it’ll be better when”. It’s when I died in the game. League of Legends is brutal to die in. There’s a long respond time and it hurts your team to be dead. Right there I’m thankful that I know life will not get any better when I respond. Life will not get any better and it won’t get any worse when I respond either.
I’m happy to be able to share this with you because I used to hate playing this game a lot. I used to hate playing it because it was a game of things will always be better when I get to respond. When I get that kill, then things will get better.
That means things aren’t good right now. I’m thankful that things are good right now because being dead is the same as being able to play. I’ve been looking forward to playing this game all day. Not so much though that I got into the trap of life will be better when I get to play this game. Life was just as good when I was doing anything else today. That can be tough. Earlier I was sick and a little cranky and thinking it will be better when I feel better and when I’m not sick.
Life doesn’t get better whether you’re sick or not. Life is the only thing that matters for life being good or not. I’m thankful today to realize that I’m responsible for the attitude I bring to life. If I want to feel better, I can do it right now. When the game ends, even though we won the game, I don’t get anything meaningful out of winning the game. I had fun playing the game and that’s the most important part. I had fun playing this video game with you today.
It’s an honor to try to lead by example in the areas in my life that have been most frustrating. League of Legends was one of the most frustrating things I was doing last year. That’s why I’m going back into this game and doing things I try to do in the rest of my life and it’s amazing how well it works.
I pray today to remember that it will never be better when something happens. Whatever the outer world does is independent and often comes from the inner world. I pray to remember that any salvation in the future is available right this moment. I don’t have to wait for it to be better than in the future because it can be better right now. If I can’t see a way for it to be better I can always pray and ask for help and that makes it better right this second. I pray that you have the same opportunity today to not fall into the “it will be better than” trap. I’d love your feedback on this post, I’m honored you’ve read it. I hope you have a great day today.