Thinking is Like a Game, It Does Not Begin Unless There is an Opposite Team
- 20 Sep 2023
- 14 min read
“The World as We Have Created It is a Process of Our Thinking. It Cannot be Changed Without Changing Our Thinking.”
- Albert Einstein
Thinking and games share many common elements, primarily centered around cognitive processes and decision-making. In both realms, problem-solving skills are indispensable. In thinking, this involves tackling real-life problems and making decisions, while in games, it pertains to confronting challenges and puzzles that necessitate critical thinking for solutions.
Thinking can be likened to a game where opposition and the other side are intertwined. In thinking, we shape our thoughts according to our preferences, and in this "game," we always emerge as the victor. Thinking is the realm where we satisfy all our desires.
And it is the game where we always emerge as the winners.
Games always require an opposing team, just as individuals always need an object or subject to think about. A game always requires opposition, whether it is played on the field or within our thoughts. Without a specific focus or object, there is a void of thought, as exemplified in meditation, where the absence of an object can leave the mind empty. Similarly, in the context of games, without opposing participants or teams, a game cannot be initiated or played.
Strategic thinking plays a pivotal role in both games and everyday decision-making. Whether devising plans for your moves in a game or making choices in real-life situations, strategic thinking is fundamental to success. Strategy always wins.
Crafting a strategy is akin to engaging in a game, and success in this endeavor hinges on an individual's prowess in strategic thinking. In this intellectual game of strategy, victory goes to those who possess a profound capacity for thoughtfulness and tactical planning.
Creativity holds value in both contexts. In games, creative solutions and unique strategies are often required for success, while creativity in daily life helps address complex problems and fosters innovation.
Poverty poses significant challenges in nations such as India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Ensuring the integration of the poorest citizens into the formal banking system is a critical step in the fight against poverty. The Jan Dhan Yojana in India has been a game-changer, successfully incorporating the most marginalized individuals into the formal banking sector. This, in turn, has enabled them to access government assistance and benefits directly in their Jan Dhan Account through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT).
Microfinancing has provided access to financial services for millions of low-income individuals who were previously excluded from the formal banking sector. This has enabled them to save, invest, and access credit to improve their economic circumstances.This example illustrates how encountering an economic challenge led to the emergence of innovative ideas and ultimately benefited the less fortunate.
Learning is a continuous process in both thinking and playing games. In games, players learn rules, mechanics, and strategies as they progress. Similarly, life involves a continual acquisition of knowledge, leading to adaptability in thinking based on new information and experiences.
When natural disasters occur, the human mind instinctively shifts towards problem-solving and devising strategies to address the challenges they bring. Humanity has responded by creating early warning systems for tsunamis, utilizing satellite data to forecast cyclone onsets, and employing scientific methods to predict floods and droughts before they happen. These solutions have emerged in direct response to the challenges posed by disasters, demonstrating humanity's capacity to adapt and evolve in the face of changing circumstances.
Focus and concentration are imperative in both arenas. Whether striving to complete a level in a game or analyzing complex issues in life, maintaining concentration is vital. Both thinking and games are goal-oriented activities. In games, the objective is to achieve specific goals or win, while in thinking, individuals set goals and work towards accomplishing them.
Competition is prevalent in many games, igniting a desire for excellence and sharpening thinking skills. Whether competing against others or challenging oneself, competition can be a motivating force in both realms.
Opposing teams or viewpoints encourage critical thinking. When you have to contend with an opposing team's strategies, you are forced to think critically, adapt your approach, and come up with creative solutions. Similarly, when you encounter opposing arguments or viewpoints in your thinking or decision-making process, it encourages you to critically evaluate your own ideas and refine your thoughts. Opposition in games and competitive situations serves as a source of challenge that keeps participants motivated and engaged, encouraging them to strive for their best performance. Conversely, activities lacking opposition or challenge, whether they are games or solitary thought processes, may become dull or less stimulating.
Emerging from political crises and authoritarian regimes is a complex and challenging process that often requires concerted effort from individuals, civil society, and the international community. In the colonial regime the freedom fighters have evolved a means of struggle based on Peaceful protests, demonstrations, and civil disobedience. It has been proven as powerful tools for raising awareness, mobilizing public support, and pressuring authoritarian regimes to change. These movements often rely on the strength of numbers and collective action.
Engaging with opposition compels individuals to broaden their perspective, considering a wider array of possibilities and potential consequences. It also encourages the anticipation of objections and counter arguments, contributing to more robust decision-making. Addressing opposing viewpoints equips individuals with better preparation to handle potential challenges or objections that may arise in the future.
In both games and the realm of thinking or decision-making, encountering opposition provides valuable feedback. Winning or losing in games offers feedback on performance, facilitating learning and improvement. Similarly, facing opposition in thinking leads to a deeper understanding of the issue by prompting consideration of different perspectives and refining one's own stance. In many games and in the realm of decision-making, having opposing sides helps ensure fairness and balance. It prevents one side from having too much control or influence, promoting equity and fairness in the process.
Decision-making processes are another area of convergence between thinking and games. In games, players must make choices that directly impact the outcome, mirroring the real-life decisions that can significantly affect personal and professional aspects.
Civil servants are required to make decisions promptly in response to on-the-ground conditions, whether it's a matter of maintaining law and order during riots or addressing urgent situations like the COVID-19 pandemic or other health emergencies. In such compelling circumstances, civil servants must formulate solutions without becoming agitated and must carry out their duties with a composed and tranquil demeanor.
In thinking and decision-making, accountability often begins with self-reflection. You hold yourself accountable for the choices you make and the decisions you reach. Scrutinizing your thought processes and motivations helps to ensure that your decisions are aligned with your values and goals. In the context of games, accountability ensures fair play. Players are accountable for following the rules and not engaging in cheating or unfair practices. Scrutiny by game administrators or other players helps maintain a level playing field. Games have specific rules and guidelines that players must adhere to. Accountability comes into play when players are scrutinized for rule violations. This scrutiny ensures that the game is played according to established standards. Accountability in thinking includes considering the ethical implications of your decisions. You scrutinize your choices to determine if they align with moral principles and societal norms. This scrutiny helps you make ethical decisions that are socially responsible.
In professional or academic environments, your ideas and thoughts may undergo peer review, where others examine your work to gauge its validity, precision, and comprehensiveness. This procedure serves the purpose of upholding rigorous standards of excellence and accuracy in both research and decision-making. In competitive games or players' performances undergo close examination by coaches, teammates, and fans. This scrutiny serves the purpose of pinpointing strengths and weaknesses, ultimately facilitating growth and strategic adaptations. Similarly, accountability in thinking often necessitates a clear and open explanation of your thought processes and decision-making. This transparency enables others to comprehend the rationale behind your choices and holds you responsible for your decision-making process.
Conflict resolution in thinking involves addressing disagreements in perspectives and decisions through problem-solving, communication, mediation, negotiation, and collaboration. In games, it focuses on upholding rules, fair play, and sportsmanship, often relying on rule adherence, communication, and respectful behavior to resolve disputes and maintain the integrity of the game. Both contexts aim for fair and mutually acceptable resolutions through various techniques and principles.
Perspective expansion in thinking and games involves broadening one's viewpoint to consider diverse opinions, viewpoints, and strategies. In thinking, it leads to a more comprehensive understanding of complex issues, fosters critical thinking, empathy, and aids in conflict resolution. In games, it enhances gameplay by exploring different tactics, adapting to changing circumstances, understanding the metagame, and promoting effective teamwork. Expanding perspectives in both contexts facilitates more open-minded, adaptable, and insightful approaches to decision-making and problem-solving.
During times when society grappled with severe issues such as extreme casteism and the oppression of Dalits, individuals like Jyotiba Phule and Ambedkar effectively tackled these problems by presenting perspectives that expanded societal thinking. Ambedkar, the architect of the Indian Constitution, incorporated provisions within it that aimed to foster social justice, equality, and fraternity, with the overarching goal of establishing a more egalitarian society.
The parallels between thinking and games are striking, revealing a multitude of shared elements that encompass problem-solving, strategic thinking, decision-making, creativity, learning, focus, competition, accountability, scrutiny, conflict resolution, and perspective expansion. These commonalities emphasize the interconnectedness of our cognitive and strategic processes, whether we are engaged in intellectual contemplation or participating in competitive play. Recognizing these connections underscores the valuable insights that can be drawn from both realms, enhancing our ability to make informed decisions, tackle challenges, and foster personal growth in the dynamic arena of Thinking and Game.
"The Mind is Everything. What You Think, You Become."