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How to W.I.N. at the Game of Life

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Jess was entering her first learn-to-run clinic. Not the fastest and not the slowest, she diligently plodded away week after week. She enjoyed her progress and was anxious to strut her stuff at the club’s 5K run to celebrate the end of the level 1 training session.

Poised to run her first race and confident in her ability to arrive at the finish line in good time, Jess was set.

Until she met Liz.

Liz was quite overweight and was not taking so well to running. Her grandmother had wanted Liz to be at a healthy weight, so she paid for the running lessons and Liz agreed to go. Halfway through Liz’s time taking the classes, Gram died. Liz was determined to run this race in memory of her.

But all did not go well. Liz was having a hard time running and had reduced her speed to a walk. Jess was staying with her and encouraging her, but Liz keep telling her to go ahead and run her own race. Liz said she didn’t want to ruin Jess’s race.


Jess reassessed the situation and said firmly, “If you don’t cross that finish line, it will ruin my race. We’re staying together and finishing together.”

The two new friends crossed the finish line together, coming in at a time that doesn’t matter at all but that I’m sure Liz’s Gram would be proud of. Whether my beautiful friend knew it or not, she was employing a technique that can help you W.I.N. the game of life.


In times of decision, in times of stress, in times of doubt, in times of overwhelm, train yourself to ask this simple question: What’s Important Now? W.I.N.

I imagine even though Jess wanted to run her own race and challenge herself to get a great time, she realized what’s important now was to help Liz accomplish her goal.

  • When you are overwhelmed with your to-do list, think W.I.N.
  • When your kids are screaming for your attention, think W.I.N.
  • When you are too exhausted to even think about the next thing, think W.I.N.
  • When projects and paperwork are piling up, think W.I.N.
  • When your partner and the dust bunnies are craving your attention, think W.I.N.

Sometimes the way we win the game of life is by helping other people win, like Jess did. Sometimes we win the game of life by listening to our bodies and delegating or stepping away from our responsibilities for a short while.

One thing I know for sure is that asking What’s Important Now? can help you reframe, re-prioritize, and regroup. Try it and let me know how it goes.

About the Author

Stephanie Staples is principal of Your Life, Unlimited. A recovering burnt-out nurse and a serial entrepreneur, she is the author of two books, When Enlightening Strikes: Creating a Mindset of Uncommon Success and Your Life, Unlimited: A Guided Journal, and a regular expert columnist for both print and online periodicals.

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