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It’s Not About the Score, It’s About the Game: iPEC Principle #12

Have you ever played a really intense game of tennis with your favorite couple or a round of golf with your best friends? Think back to the moments you remember the most during those competitions. Was it laughing with your spouse about the awful serving you were both doing? Slapping your buddy on the back for the truly amazing drive he had on hole 9?

Now think harder. Do you remember what the score was at the end of these games? Or even who won? I’m going to bet these details are a little more difficult to recall.

You might be thinking: what’s this got to do with living a fulfilled life or the principles you talked about in rules for living a meaningful life according to iPEC?? I’ll tell you: it has everything to do with them. iPEC Principle #12 is Life is a perfect adventure; a game that cannot be won or lost, only played.

How many times do we think about winning in our everyday life? If you’re like most people, it’s on your mind nearly constantly.

You want to WIN the argument with your spouse.

You want to WIN the big deal with the new client at work.

You want your child to WIN most valuable player in his baseball game.

You even want to WIN the video game you’re playing to unwind after a long day of trying to WIN at everything else.

Where has all this WINNING gotten us? My guess is, for many, it’s led to damaged relationships and a deep feeling of being unfulfilled.

I think people get confused by the saying ‘life is a game.’ They interpret it as ‘life is a competition,’ which is much different. Life is not a competition to be won or lost, it’s a game to be enjoyed. Life is not the final set at Wimbledon; it’s the game of HORSE you play with your son in the front driveway.

Life is about the journey, the moments, the sheer adventure. It’s about letting go of all the shoulds and the expectations and the judgments. It’s about making as many mistakes as possible knowing that this will lead to a deeper understanding of the world and of yourself. The only way you lose at life is if you stop trying and enjoying.

When we take life as it comes and see it all as the perfect adventure, new paths effortlessly open to us. We give ourselves the opportunity to let go and stop trying so hard to prove ourselves. We also set the stage to become lifelong learners, something we will explore more in my next post on Principle 14: Each person we meet is our teacher and student. I urge you to shut off your inner scoreboard, just for a day or two, and experience the adventure life has laid at your feet.

Trish Cody has over 18 years of experience consulting with some of the world’s top Fortune 500 Companies. Today, as an ICF and iPEC Certified Coach and Energy Leadership Master Practitioner, Trish works with clients to uncover their core values and beliefs, clearly see how they are showing up in their behaviors and impacting their success, and to shift their thinking to naturally attract positivity and success. For more information, visit

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