Pl ay t o wi n and become a
champi on i n l i f e
Pl ay t o wi n and become a
champi on i n l i f e
Copyright © 2010 by Dr. Rex S. Gibson
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e Game of Your Life
Dedication 7
Foreword 9
Introduction 13
1st Half of the Game: Why We Fail at the Game of Life
Chapter 1 Fear: Why We Choke in the Big Game 17
Chapter 2 Problems: Game Stoppers 21
Chapter 3 Living in the Past: e Games We Lost,
but Can’t Seem to Let Go of 33
Chapter 4 Justication: No Matter What the Excuse,
You Still Lost the Game 37
Chapter 5 Bad Data: Playing Tennis with a Baseball Bat 41
Chapter 6 e Head Game: e Loudest Heckler 47
2nd Half of the Game: How to Win the Big Game
Chapter 7 e Game of Life: First Read the Instructions 55
Chapter 8 e Best Game Plan: Everyone Wins 63
Chapter 9 Purpose: Your Secret Weapon for Success 67
Chapter 10 Reality: Play Your Game and Play to Win 71
Chapter 11 Luck: Create It, Don’t Rely On It 75
Chapter 12 Ethics: Guaranteed Personal Victory 85
Chapter 13 Condence and Courage: Your Two
Greatest Teammates 89
Chapter 14 Goals and Targets: First Down,
Touchdown, and Victory 103
Chapter 15 Time: Creating More Time on
the Game Clock 121
Overtime: e Score is Tied: Score the Game Winning Goal
Chapter 16 Finances: e Energy to Create New Games 135
Chapter 17 Business: Building Your Fan Base for Success 145
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Chapter 18 Spirituality: e Game that Sets You Free 163
Chapter 19 Relationships: You’re the Captain,
Pick the Right Team 175
Chapter 20 Gratitude: Embrace Your Opponents 185
Bonus Section
Create Your Game and Map Out Your Plan for Success 191
Conclusion 211
e Game of Your Life
is book is dedicated to all “Players” of e Game.
First and foremost, I would like to thank my beautiful wife Emily, for
without her help, I would never be the success that I am today. She has
been an inspiration as well as an incredible teammate. She has played every
position a player could…from bat boy, to player, to coach and condant.
As the saying goes, behind every successful man, there is a great woman.
anks honey…I LOVE YOU!
Next, I want to thank my children for giving me inspiration, keeping me
grounded, and helping to remind me that life IS a game and to always
keep my childlike perspective of life. It is through their eyes that the game
should be played. I also want to leave this book to them to help remind
them as they grow to not lose their own “kid vision” as so many adults do.
May you always play and prosper through games my loves!
is whole book would not be possible without my parents. ey gave me
life and raised me with ethics and morals. ey impressed upon me what
can be achieved through good ‘ol fashioned hard work and never wavered
from a “you can do anything” attitude. I draw strength from each of their
lives and nd inspiration in their marriage. I love you Mom and Dad!
I want to say “ank you” to all the coaches I’ve had throughout my life;
from my peewee baseball coach, to golf coaches, to inspirational life
coaches. No elite athlete gets to the top without the unsung heroism of
great coaches. So I raise my glass to ALL coaches and say, THANK YOU!
Rex S. Gibson
Finally, I want to dedicate this book to all the readers. It is YOU I wrote
the book for. It is YOU who may be my next teammate in a business
venture or helping me coach my son’s baseball team. I trust you will nd
inspiration and motivation to create your life how YOU see it. I know
you have the strength to achieve all that you set out to do…and you now
have the keys to unlock your potential. I postulate that you will ourish
and prosper in abundance through games and rocket to the top, standing
on the top podium receiving the gold medal in “e Game of Your Life”!
e Game of Your Life
Somewhere there is an Ultimate Creator. One absolute source from
which everything and everyone is created.
Everything that is comes from this Creator. It holds the stars in place
and gives the moon its light. It is powerful enough to give the sun
its intense energy and delicate enough to construct a rose in absolute
stillness. is creative source contains all energy that ever was or will
be, It is neither created or destroyed, it is the cause and eect of itself.
It not only has no end, but also no beginning - It Just Is. ere is no
end to what this Creator can do.
For no other reason than for time’s sake, I will refer to this Creator as
“Grace” from this point on.
One day Grace decided to create a place to play (as Rex will tell you).
Now, where would the Grand Organizing Designer of the Universe to
go play? A Playground, of course!
But Grace rst had to carefully select and create this playground. It
needed plenty of equipment so Grace happily began to construct the
entire thing. When all said and done, the playground had slippery
slides, giant swings, epic sandboxes, and a merry-go-round that would
blow your mind!
It had every single aspect in order to have a blast and play with no problem, Grace needed some playmates! If you are all
alone on this epic playground you eventually become exhausted from
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running alongside the merry-go-round before bravely hopping on to
watch the clouds spin above your head!
Grace had so many things to do in the playground and innite games
to play. So one day, aer a long nap, Grace took each game it wanted
to play, one by one and carefully thought about how to play.
One by one, Grace made the rules for each game. Aer completing the
game, Grace picked out a certain skills the players of the game needed
and with absolute certainty, made the PERFECT playmate to play the
game with. e combination could not be more perfect. Grace picked
the game and the playmate in such a way that they could both have fun
every day, constantly improve and above all - be Happy!
How is this relevant?
e perfect playmate is you. e perfect game is your life and the
playground is this entire planet. e purpose is to have fun while
playing with your playmates (especially the one who created you).
e point of me telling you this story is to prove the point that Rex states
many times throughout this book. His entire philosophy is based on
one basic premise: Life is A Game!
He teaches you how to take even the most stressful, serious, and
discouraging events in your life and how to transform those negative
experiences into an event that empowers you to become better, to
transform yourself and to Enjoy Everything!
e Game of Your Life
If there is anyone who is qualied to teach this philosophy, it is Dr. Rex
S. Gibson. He has one of the most successful pediatric dentistry clinics
in the United States (as well as many other successful entrepreneurial
ventures), his income level is in the top 1% of the population and he
has a wonderful family life in which everyone is healthy and happy.
e most important and amazing thing about all of this is how he
literally enjoys every single day. Sure he has days that are extremely
challenging and frankly where others may give up, but he takes on
seemingly impossible challenges, turns them into “games” (he’ll explain
that later in the book) and comes out on top a better businessman
and a better person. You see, the best measure of one’s character is
not how they behave when success is present, but rather how they act
when things get tough. Rex’s character is consistent and true in all
circumstances and his results prove it.
I have read hundreds of personal development books; seemingly
everything from Anthony Robbins to Zig Ziglar and while they have all
helped me in some way, Dr. Gibson’s book that you are about to embark
on has had one of the greatest impacts upon my personal and business
life to date. I thank Rex and I congratulate you as you begin this new
“Game” of your LIFE!
In-Joy Every Page!
Jeremy D Brown
Author of several books including: No Limit Living: How to ink
Big, Act Bold and Live With Purpose
International Speaker, Author and Entrepreneur
President and Founder - No Limit Publishing

e Game of Your Life
When you are a kid, life is full of fun and of games. It doesn’t matter
what the game is. It could be red rover, dodge ball, checkers or baseball.
They simply enjoy the game. Children are not burdened by real
world problems like taxes, mortgages, car payments, jobs, marriages,
and money. Children go to school and look forward to their future.
Remember saying, “I can’t wait to be an adult”?
As we grow up, society forces us to get serious about life. ey want us
to believe that it’s no longer fun and games. It is ingrained in us that
we need to fear the consequences of life and act with caution. Society
sucked the fun out of life. It stole the childlike dreams we had as kids.
Slowly you begin to believe that life really isn’t fun. All the fun and
games are gone. e reality, of course, is that the world didn’t change—
you did. e only distinction between the games that kids play and the
games that adults play is the considerations of the players. Life is full
of games, but when the game stops being fun, we lose interest and don’t
want to play anymore.
is book was written to help you understand how life IS a game, WHY
it is sometimes dicult, and HOW you can recapture your youthful
outlook on life to stack the deck in your favor so you can win the game
of life!
I grew up playing and competing in all types of sports. As I grew up
and decided on a career, I knew I wanted to work with people and help
the people I was working with. As I progressed through my training
as a dentist, I found myself able to relate well with children and they
Rex S. Gibson
related well with me. It seemed that we operated on a similar frequency.
Kids love games and I considered myself to be a big kid. It was as if my
career found me. As I started my career, I used and applied techniques
from motivational speakers I had read or heard and coaches in my
past to create and grow my practice. As I grew as a person, I began to
reect on life. Drawing inspiration from the little people I help every
day, I began to assimilate a theory of life, an amalgam (dental humor)
of universal principles which prove that kids have it right. Life is a game
and it should be played like a game, with unbridled enthusiasm and an
over the ramparts zeal for life.
is book will help you lay out the rules of the game, understand and
avoid the obstacles to success, and cultivate the skills necessary to keep
your eye on the ball to hit that home run, every time. By the end of
this book you will recapture the thrill of victory as you come across the
nish line rst, relive the roar of the crowd as you catch the winning
touchdown pass, and revive the passion which helps every Olympian
to greatness. See you in the winner’s circle!
Now…let the game begin!
e Game of Your Life
“Each time we face our fear, we gain strength,
courage, and condence in the doing.”
– Author Unknown
Fear is a sensation we feel when we are in danger. Fear can be boiled
down to its simplest element: the threat of loss. Fear, or threat of loss,
can be further broken down into a gradient scale. At the low end of
the scale, it reaches from no fear (not afraid to lose anything), to mild-
moderate fear (could lose something valuable, but not too valuable),
all the way to ultimate fear (fear of loss of life). Any time a person feels
fear, he or she feels threatened in some way.
ink about fear in terms of “ght or ight.” Imagine a quarterback,
well protected by his lineman, taking his time to nd an open receiver,
delivering the pass and scoring yet another touchdown. No pressure
made for a great outcome. Now imagine the quarterback whose
lineman can’t seem to hold back the defense. He is under pressure
every play. He has to scramble out of the pocket on every play and
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takes the relentless abuse of sack after sack. Now obviously, we are
not discussing life and death, but when you see an angry, 6’4”, 350
pound man barreling toward you with the intention of mashing you
into the ground, you may feel that your life could be in danger. In the
first example, there is no threat. You are comfortable. The second
example creates a different feeling. Your sense of awareness would
shoot to another level. You would likely be making plans to protect
yourself to prevent injury or worse. You would be much more attuned
to the situation.
“FEAR is an acronym in the English language for
‘False Evidence Appearing Real.’”
– Neal Donald Walsch
The strongest urge people have is survival, and fear is based in
this need to survive. Survival is your most fundamental need, and
every decision you make is based somehow on your need to survive.
Furthermore, all decisions that affect you personally can also affect
everyone you come in contact with. For example, when you decide
to cross the street, you collect the information, process it, and decide
on the best way to cross without endangering yourself or anyone in
the area. When you make that good decision, it means that your kids
still have a father to come home to them, the office still has a valuable
worker, society still has an upstanding part of the community. Even
though it seems like a simple example, it proves my point that
every choice is based on making pro-survival decisions, and that all
decisions affect all aspects of your life and beyond.
e Game of Your Life
If at any time in your daily interactions with people you feel that this
need for survival is threatened, you instantly feel fear. If you truly dissect
the things in your life which bring you fear, then you will see that the
root of that fear is the tension between your desire to survive and the
threat that you will lose the means to ensure your survival.
“Many of us crucify ourselves between two
thieves—regret for the past and fear of the future.”
– Fulton Oursler
But where does fear come from and why do we experience it? e
answer lies in failed success. We all want to succeed and success comes
from being RIGHT. e more oen you are right, the more success
potential you possess. To the degree that a person experiences failure,
that person’s success potential is lessened. It is simple…if a person’s
ability to succeed is threatened, the individual feels fear. We will discuss
in later chapters how to overcome fear, but for now, knowledge is power.
Knowledge sheds light on once unknown subjects. With this small light,
we take our rst step to conquering the game of life.
e Game of Your Life
“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of
thinking we used when we created them.”
– Albert Einstein
Our daily life is a tapestry of barriers; if we choose not to nd solutions
to these barriers, chances are we will never succeed. When we are faced
with a barrier, we view it as a problem that hinders our path to achieving
a certain goal. A problem can be dened as a situation that has the ability
to paralyze a person and stops their ability to continue or move forward.
All problems can be looked at instead as situations. Here, I use the word
“situation” because situations tend to have resolutions while problems
do not. Problems tend to linger with no resolution in sight, while
situations are merely a set of circumstances which require a resolution.
Whether your circumstances are a problem or a situation depends
entirely on you. Most people continue to focus on the problem rather
than focusing on nding a resolution to the situation and preventing
similar situations from happening in the future. If carefully analyzed,
you can usually see that a majority of problems stem from confusion
and/or incorrect information. If you do not have the correct information
Rex S. Gibson
or the information is mixed up, chances are you will nd yourself stuck
with a problem because it is dicult to x a situation that is confusing
or laden with bad information.
“Don’t be pushed by your problems.
Be led by your dreams.”
– Unknown
For instance, once I was lost in Chicago and needed to get to the
Comiskey Park. I was in a part of town that I was unfamiliar with and
decided that I needed to get directions, so I asked a random stranger. e
guy gave me directions which lead me 40 blocks in the wrong direction.
is created quite a problem because I was disoriented, confused, and
becoming stressed. Even though I did exactly what the stranger told
me to do, I was given incorrect information which resulted in an even
worse situation. Another common example that occurs in everyday life
is when a friend or family member gets into an argument and tells you
his or her side of the story. In recalling the incident, he or she may fail to
provide certain details, or even alter the incident to cast themselves in a
more favorable light. Due to the missing or altered information, you may
come to an incorrect conclusion. You might even create more conicts,
and take actions based on altered information. In this case, you didn’t get
any wrong information; you just didn’t get all of it, which creates another
problem. It is equivalent to having to solve a mathematical equation
that never seems to come together correctly because you are missing a
key component. Like in the Star Trek movie when Spock comes back
from the future and talks to Scottie, who has been struggling with an
equation he couldn’t seem to solve. Spock reveals a missing piece to
e Game of Your Life
the formula and Scottie is able to see the solution…problem solved.
In real life, it is sometimes dicult to look objectively at a situation to
nd those missing links. We need to take o our rose colored glasses,
obtain all the correct information, eliminate confusions, and seek the
truth. In the truth lies the solution to all problems.
Responsibility = Problem Control
From a person’s own point of view, a problem that lingers too long is
considered something that is wrong. People even say that when they
are perplexed with a problem. ey say “Something is wrong!” It is a
wrongness. ese can breed into arguments and conicts. Let’s see
how. Anyone can take credit for a job well done, but when it comes to
a problem, there are few who are willing to raise their hand and accept
the punishment. It is a basic human desire to be right. Subconsciously,
we believe the more we are correct, the greater our success potential.
When problems arise, we do one of two things: nd a solution and move
on with life or point the blame in a direction away from ourselves. If
we do the latter, we tend to place that blame in one of two categories:
things and other people.
Blaming an inanimate object for your problems sounds crazy, but
people do it every day. It is comical to observe a fully grown adult
kick a car because it has a flat tire, or watch a person yell at a lawn
mower because it stopped running. Although such things occur every
day, this is truly the stuff that insanity is made of. Our other favorite
target, of course, is other people. Since it is a basic human trait to
believe that we are right, then they (whomever you have elected) must
be wrong. In this fashion, we allow ourselves to save face and retain
our self-confidence.
Rex S. Gibson
The real key to controlling or reducing problems is responsibility.
(This is a truly deep subject and you may need to reread this section
a few times to absorb the entire concept.) The more responsibility
you assume for everything around you, the more control or inuence
you will have over it. You cannot control anything over which you
assume no responsibility. Have you ever seen the commercials on TV
for the starving children in third world countries? I’m not suggesting
whether should send money or not. I am merely pointing out that
these commercials are a good example because they ask you to take
responsibility for the kids, and by taking responsibility and donating
money, you can help feed those children.
“e problem is not that there are problems. e
problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that
having problems is a problem.”
– eodore Rubin
Now let’s take this concept to the next level. If personal responsibility
must be taken in order to exert control and inuence over a particular
situation, then it stands to reason that in order to exert control overt
conict or problems, one must assume responsibility for them as well.
is is to say that you must assume full responsibility for causing the
entire situation, both what you did to create it and any reaction from
others who are in the situation with you. A great example of this is when
a customer gets really heated up at a store clerk. If the clerk enters into
the conict, then the match is ignited, and a ght begins, but if the
clerk simply states, “I can see why you feel that way, and I can help you
with this situation,” the argument is over. By accepting responsibility,
the clerk is able to be in control of the problem.
e Game of Your Life
At this point, some of you might be thinking, “Hey Rex, are you saying
that it is best to cow down, roll over, and give up?” Let me be clear: I
am not suggesting that you admit you are wrong just to keep the peace.
I am suggesting that you simply realize that you have a part in any
conict or problem. If you were mugged in an alley, the reality is that
you chose to walk instead of taking a cab. If someone is mad at you
because of a joke you made, you decided to tell the joke. If you run out
of gas, you were the one who passed three gas stations and chose not to
ll up when you had the chance. It is not easy to look at ourselves and
examine our role in the conicts of our lives, and it takes real courage
to accept responsibility for causing the situations that give us trouble. It
is easy to lay the responsibility on someone else’s shoulders, but doing
so is for the weak and uncreative.
I suggest you look at the situation from the other person’s perspective.
Analyze the situation and ask, “What did I do to make this happen?” and
“What can I do to correct it?” Look for possible misunderstandings—
maybe you didn’t explain something well. e more you start to take
responsibly for the reactions you receive, the fewer problems you
will have with other people. Remember, you cannot have control or
inuence over anything unless you assume responsibility for it. If you
sit back and watch the scene as it unfolds, you will see the truth.
Remember: problems come from confusion and faulty information.
A customer becomes upset either due to confusion or to having
received bad information. It is your job at this point to unravel the
situation either by finding and correcting the wrong information,
or by finding the misunderstanding and helping the customer to
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Here is a helpful hint about what to look for:
1. Who or what was the source of information? Good
information must come from reliable and unbiased
sources that offer complete and unaltered data.
(Examples of unreliable sources: “my next door
neighbor said”…”I saw it on the internet”…”my grandpa
used to say.”)
2. Do you understand what is being said or what is
written? ere is an old phrase- If you don’t know
the words, you cannot sing the tune. e same is true
of our language. If you do not understand the words
correctly, you cannot understand correctly what is
being said or written. How upsetting it is to try to speak
or understand a person who is using a foreign language
that you do not know. Especially if they seem to be
trying to communicate something important. We need
to also consider that we may not know all of the 20,000+
words in our own language, and that perhaps we are
hearing the words but do not have the right meaning.
Once the source of the confusion is found and corrected, the upset
individual can comprehend the situation. Once understanding is
reached, you will see him or her come up in emotion and attitude.
Understanding comes from being able to duplicate or replicate something
exactly. is is why it is so important to make sure that the data comes
from reliable sources and that there are not any misunderstanding
with the words that were used. Imagine putting together a Christmas
present for your child. You pull all 258 parts out of the box, open the
instructions, and nd that they are written in Chinese. at is likely
going to cause you confusion, frustration, and diculty when it comes
e Game of Your Life
to assembling the toy. is same principle can be applied to other
people in dierent situations. Unfortunately, people do not come with
instructions or a nice step-by-step guide; therefore, it is important that
you take responsibility, and use your skills of observation to duplicate
and obtain understanding. Just like the upset customer or the “some
assembly required” toy, the better you can duplicate a situation, the
more control and inuence you have over a situation.
Key Components of a Problem Solver
1. Be willing to analyze a situation objectively. A person
who keenly discerns where the problem lies and what
piece of information is needed to solve it will be more
likely to come up with a reasonable solution. Aer the
missing link is found, you need to correct the existing
information and take steps towards overcoming
obstacles that exist between you and the solution. All
top athletes and teams look for ways to improve, and the
best of the best analyze without emotion. ey simply
nd the key to better performance and implement it.
Finding the missing piece of information is not enough
if nothing is done with it.
2. Do not have excessive pride of authorship. We love
to be right, but people who have excessive pride of
authorship can’t look at their work critically because
they are too emotionally invested in their own creations.
ey cannot look at their own work with fresh eyes,
and thus cannot nd where there may be errors. Don’t
allow yourself to have excessive pride of authorship
if you want to solve problems. No man is an island,
and no one has all the answers, so you need to open
yourself up to constructive criticism in your personal
and professional life. Even Tiger Woods, arguably the
best golfer in history, has a coach. Once you realize that
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you can learn from others’ advice and experiences, you will
nd yourself opening up to solutions in places you never
realized were options.
3. Understand that answers come from an unlimited
stream of venues. The answer to questions can come
from any number of places, so you cannot close your
eyes to any potential venue. e answer may be in the
least likely place. Where did aspirin come from? Answer:
The bark of a tree. This is an unlikely place to find a
pain reliever, but it proves that answers can come from
anywhere. Be willing to nd truth wherever it may live! e
winning answer can come from anywhere.
4. Always be open to the answers. I love the saying, “Don’t
ask the question if you don’t want to hear the answer.” In
order to nd answers, you need to possess a passion to look
for a solution even if it comes from an unlikely source. You
also must be willing to accept that answer. e foolish man
looks past truth in search for a better truth. What I mean is
don’t just look for convenient truths—nd real truth. Again,
top athletes who remain at the top for years nd ways to
recreate their greatness. Andre Agassi changed his coach
and his workout and as a result saw a resurgence to the top
of the standings when many thought he was “over the hill.”
As they say, the truth is not always pretty, but only when
you nd and use real truth can you be a true problem solver.
5. No excuses: get the job done. Successful problem solvers
don’t oer excuses. No one really cares why you didn’t
complete a task on schedule, or what your excuse is for
making a mistake. Powerful people just do what they have
to do, correct any bad products, and apologize for wronging
someone. is is what separates average athletes from the
elite. Elite athletes simply get the job done. No one wants
excuses, and whenever you oer an excuse, it takes the
power out of your apology.
e Game of Your Life
6. Accept responsibility. The person who accepts
responsibility for a problem will get it solved. I am
not referring to personal responsibility, but rather full
responsibility for the situation. Become the parent of
that problem and be willing to stick with the problem
until it is fully resolved. Sometimes those problems go
away quickly and sometimes they take longer, but the
key is responsibility. For example, consultants come
in, take responsibility, and x a broken business. ey
take it on, analyze it, x it, and then give it back. My
wife was an auditor for years, and she would go in, nd
the problems, nd the outpoints, and then provide
solutions. She single handedly took a $25 million
company out of bankruptcy in one year because of the
amount of responsibility she was willing to take on.
She literally took that company’s game from a losing
season to the Super Bowl. at is what great coaches
do. ey take full responsibility for their team and
“make the win.”
7. Be decisive: don’t waste time. Problem solvers view
time as a precious commodity and don’t feel the need
to take a vote on every topic or issue. Some problems
may require gathering information to make a decision.
Good problem solvers collect data, analyze the
information, make a decision, and take responsibility
for that decision. In baseball, you may only get three
pitches. You cannot just wait around for another. You
may not get another chance. Be decisive. If you are
wishy-washy, you will tend to blame someone else and
not take responsibility.
8. Be willing to fail. All great leaders and successful
people have failed at some point in their lives. If you
are not willing to fail, you will never succeed because
you will never put yourself in a position to succeed.
Michael Jordan was the top basketball scorer in history,
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but how many baskets did he miss? Babe Ruth holds the
record for home runs, but he also ranks 94th in career
strike outs! If you want to be great you have to try, and
with trying comes occasional failure. With every failure
comes a little lesson that you can learn from the next
time. You must be willing to fail so you can see these
lessons. ere are very few things in life that can’t be
recouped or xed. Making a bad decision is like taking
a wrong turn: just back up and get on the right path.
“Every great man, every successful man, no matter
what the eld of endeavor, has known the magic
that lies in these words: every adversity has the
seed of an equivalent or greater benet.”
– W. Clement Stone
Why do people give up when they have problems?
People give up when they become overwhelmed. e confusion of the
situation becomes too great for them to handle and they simply shut
down to attempt to protect themselves. When you are not armed with
defenses, you become an easy victim, and are easily overwhelmed
in one fell swoop, much like when America overwhelmed Japan in
WWII with the atom bomb, but overwhelming a victim can be a slow
and insidious process. Over time, each attack weakens the victim and
leads ultimately to a total overthrow. is is exemplied by a boxing
champion. e champ seems unfazed early on in his career, but later;
multiple blows to the head and body accumulate, leaving the champ
vulnerable to losing his title.
e Game of Your Life
“The best years of your life are the ones in
which you decide your problems are your own.
You do not blame them on your mother, the
ecology, or the president. You realize that you
control your own destiny.”
– Albert Ellis
Problems can overwhelm people just like any other force. ey can
come in a large, devastating form like the crash of the stock market,
the loss of a loved one, or a natural disaster. ey can also accumulate
over time, like president Clinton’s multiple aairs, evading taxes over
the years, or excessive drinking. Either way, problems eventually weigh
down your attitude and slow your performance.
Here are some simple steps to follow when you start feeling overwhelmed
1. Reduce confusion. Research and find accurate
information that allows you to create a workable plan
to solve a problem. Also, clear up anything that you
don’t understand about a situation. With these two
things accomplished, you have a platform from which
to launch a program to solve any situations that you
may be facing.
2. Shed the weight and clean up the clutter. As we said
before, small problems can accumulate and eventually
become large problems. Assess your situation, and solve
any small problems that confront you. Handle each one
in a prioritized manner from most urgent to least. Be
decisive and act with condence.
Rex S. Gibson
3. Do not allow further accumulation of clutter. Simply
handle obstacles and barriers as they come up. Do
not procrastinate. Keep your runway clear for takeo,
because if you need to scramble the jets, you don’t want
to waste time cleaning junk o the tarmac.
4. Win. Unfortunately, there are winners and losers in life.
Losers are overwhelmed; winners overcome barriers
and obstacles to eventual victory. is is not to say
that you will win every battle; just don’t lose because
you gave up. Never go out without a ght. Go down in
ames of glory.
Even though we don’t want problems,
we must have them to survive.
One nal note on problems: problems are part of the game of life. What
I mean is, if you got rid of all of your problems, you would not have
a game le to play. Games are made up of rules, obstacles, and goals.
e problems of life are our obstacles. WE NEED PROBLEMS!!! ey
are puzzles for us to gure out, so have fun with them. Play with your
problems like a cat plays with a ball of yarn. e point of this chapter
is not to get rid of all your problems; it is to help you deal with them
eectively so they do not create obstacles in your life.

e Game of Your Life
Reliving past failures is the biggest mistake humans make. We continue
to judge ourselves based on what happened in the past. We tie these past
failures—this garbage—to ourselves and drag it around like a ball and
chain, and then when we are called upon to make a decision, instead
of looking at the relevant data of the current situation, we look at our
ball and chain for the answer. It is this method of decision making that
holds people back. Now, I’m willing to bet that each one of you is saying,
“I don’t do that!” at, too, is garbage. We all do it. I’m not saying this
to berate you—I am just stating facts.
Every athlete, whether playing pee-wee baseball, high school basketball,
college football, or professional golf, has encountered this. It can make
or break that athlete. What golfer hasn’t stood over a two foot putt, a
gimme by any means, and had something in the back of his head say
“don’t miss that…you’re going to miss that….miss it”? It is like hearing
the guy in the stands saying, “hey batter, batter, batter…swing batter,”
and you swing at a horrible pitch. Great athletes nd a way to break
through, drop the garbage o at the curb, and move on to victory lane.
Rex S. Gibson
In e New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, the author explains that we have an
ego, which is you, the pure you, your spirit. We also possess what he
calls a “pain body.” L. Ron Hubbard also describes these two concepts in
his book Dianetics: Modern Science of Mental Health as the analytical
mind and the reactive mind. Others have described it as “the devil on
one shoulder and the angel on the other.” It doesn’t really matter what
you call it, the result is the same. When we hurt ourselves physically
(like breaking a leg) or mentally (like failing at something), it leaves a
scar, whether physical or mental. Knowing that we like being right and
do not like being hurt, we simply lump all painful experiences into the
same category and avoid them. When we draw on these past painful
experiences we make bad decisions that prevent us from expanding
into new horizons and trying new endeavors. It is a safety mechanism
used to protect us from our past bad decisions by keeping history from
repeating itself. It is animalistic…it is designed for self preservation.
e problem is that it can lead to irrational behavior or poor decision
Avoiding making the same mistakes repeatedly is a useful tool. I believe
Einstein said, “e denition of stupidity is doing the same thing over
and over and expecting a dierent result.” I do not want you to repeat
the poor decisions of your past, but I don’t want the past to keep you
from reaching for higher aspirations.
is protective mechanism is like the low oil indicator light on the dash
of your car. e dierence is that the human “low oil light” turns on
even when the oil isn’t low: it could turn on when it is close to low, or
if it thinks it might get low. e dierence is that the car is using real
data, and your indicator is using emotional data.
e Game of Your Life
People, because we like to be right, try to make good decisions based
on good information. e best decisions come from taking the most
current data and formulating the most pro-survival answer for yourself
and others around you, but unfortunately, your protective mechanism
doesn’t do that. Let’s take, for example, the housing boom of the early
2000s. Many people bought, built, and sold multiple houses while the
prices of houses were increasing by double digits each year. at was
a good decision based on good data. en came the housing crash of
2006-2007. e downturn in the housing market came quickly and
caught many people o guard. It created grave nancial troubles for
our entire economy. Now, if you were one of those caught o guard, the
protective mechanism of the ball and chain would tell you, “You made a
big mistake. You are stupid. You should never invest in real estate again.”
If you were to analyze the situation, however, you would nd that the
decisions you made about real estate investment were sound, and made
with the best and most current information you had available. Never
investing in real estate aer the housing market crash of 2006-2007 is
like saying you will never walk near an orange tree because one time
many years ago you walked by one and an orange dropped on your
head, or that you should never eat food from a restaurant because one
time it made you sick.
Reliving old failures fogs up your perception of the wonderful
possibilities in the present moment. Say, for example, a top downhill
skier has an terrible crash in the Super-G, resulting in knee joint
blowouts, a fractured pelvis, a dislocated le shoulder and three broken
ribs. Aer the body heals, the racer is le with the memory of the
crash, the pain of the injuries and the agony of the recovery. It would
be understandable for the racer to simply retire. His instinct says that
if he were to race again, he would get hurt again. He may even go to
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the extent of never getting on skis again. e event may have le him
with such a mental scar that fear now pervades his every thought about
skiing. Any analytically thinking person would know that one accident
does not mean you will have more, but it is the power of reliving past
failures that gives the previous incident control over you. You use
all your past information to help you cope with the present moment
because you want to stay safe, but the real eect is that this action creates
obstacles in your life.
“Only when we are no longer afraid do we
begin to live.”
– Dorothy ompson
e Game of Your Life
Why did you fail? Just ask and people will give all sorts of reasons.
Many of these reasons point to people and factors other than the person
answering the question. ese are called justications. Justications
explain away failures and mistakes. No one likes to be wrong, and
people will go to great lengths to make themselves right despite any
actual failure or wrongness. ey will give all manner of reasons why
something did not get accomplished, and they will blame someone else
for their failure, or better yet, they will blame an animal or an inanimate
object for the failure.
People spend an absurd amount of time and energy giving wimpy,
Why I didn’t do this, or Why I didn’t nish that speeches. Excuses
and justications are protective coping mechanisms used to convince
ourselves that we are right and there must have been some outside force
that kept us from reaching our goals. In reality, nothing could be farther
from the truth. e truth is that you could have nished the task, but
you allowed some other element to deter you from your goal.
Rex S. Gibson
Just like any other form of brainwashing, if you hear something
enough, you will begin to believe it. Individuals tell themselves and
possibly other people why they failed, and as they do this, the lies gain
momentum and power. Finally, after hearing these false truths enough
times, they begin to feel okay about not accomplishing their goals.
In the end, not only do the individuals feel okay about the failure,
but they may even create other justifications as to why they shouldn’t
attempt that task again later.
Justification, excuses, and blaming others are irresponsible behaviors.
The truth is, anything can be accomplished if the correct strategy
is taken in combination with some good old fashioned hard work.
Nothing in life that is worth having is easy to obtain.
I want to tell you a story that is very special to me. It is a story from
which I have found much inspiration and hold very close to my heart.
Here is a true success story about a man named Richard. I know this
man very well, and he told me this story many years ago. It touched
me and has helped me during times when I felt I could not muster
the chutzpah to drive forward. Richard’s father died in WWII when
he was a child. His mother remarried an abusive alcoholic who
lacked the motivation to keep a steady job and was in and out of jail.
When Richard was about thirteen years old, his stepfather got out
of jail and decided to move the family to California. Richard stood
his ground and refused to move away from his hometown with an
abusive, alcoholic stepfather. A few years later, his mother died in a
house fire and his guilt stricken stepfather committed suicide. Richard
had lost not only his own father, but his mother and stepfather by his
fifteenth birthday.
e Game of Your Life
Although this story is sad, I didn’t tell it so you would feel sympathy
for Richard. I told you this as the beginning of a great success story.
With all the drama and trauma that Richard endured throughout his
childhood, he could have easily blamed others for his circumstances and
taken a life path that would have led to crime, alcoholism, and possibly
his demise. is is not what happened.
“You can’t hit a home run unless you step up
to the plate. You can’t catch a fish unless you
put your line in the water. You can’t reach your
goals if you don’t try.”
– Kathy Seligman

Richard worked on oil rigs as a teenager, and eventually put himself
through college, had a family, and owned his own company. is is the
American dream, but is also a story of hard work and perseverance. I
wouldn’t be telling you this story if Richard had blamed everyone else
for his life circumstances and made excuses about why he never made
anything of his life. I tear up every time I tell this story. Whenever I start
to feel sorry for myself and want to throw in the towel, I think back to
Richard and all that he overcame to win the game of life. is man has
been pivotal in so much of my life. He has been my motivation and my
inspiration—he was even my best man when I got married. When I think
that times are tough, I simply remember the story of Richard Gibson and
say, “anks, Dad. You are my hero!”
If you know you are sidestepping success by convincing yourself it can’t
be done, at some point you are going to have to face the music. You must
face yourself and realize that all the excuses you have made about why it
Rex S. Gibson
can’t be done are nothing more than excuses you invented. As the saying
goes, no one will take care of your business like you. is holds true
for your life. Only you are going to make your life a success, and only
you can push past the excuses and justications of your own failures.
“It is easy to dodge our responsibilities,
but we cannot dodge the consequences
of dodging our responsibilities.”
– Josiah Charles Stamp
It takes energy to explain away your failures. If you spent as much
energy nding solutions to your circumstances, you will not only create
a solution, you will also not have wasted any additional energy with
excuses. Stay away from justications and excuses. It comes down to
personal integrity and ethics: take full and personal responsibility for
all failures. No one cares about why you didn’t get the job done. Your
excuses are only to make yourself feel better about your own failure.
Make yourself great by succeeding. Evaluate the aspects which may have
contributed toward the failure, eliminate those aspects, and redirect
your energy toward success!
You need to change your attitude from “Who can I blame?” to “How do
I get this done?” Once you do this, you will begin to empower yourself
and you will become much more successful. is will make you stronger,
faster, and better, but only you can do it. Take charge of your own life.
Begin to create, take responsibility, and live from your own truth. Be a
leader among your fellow men and women; donate what you learn so
others can win too.
e Game of Your Life
Opinions Are a Dime a Dozen
ere are people who specialize in stopping others from succeeding.
I don’t mean that people are literally employed to stop other people
from achieving their goals, but it sometimes feels that way. At times,
you will undoubtedly be surrounded by naysayers and dream killers.
ere’s no way to know for certain why some people are like that, but
it is oen because you make them come face to face with their own
failures. Naysayers and dream killers are people who have experienced
lots of failure in their lives, and because of that, they are bitter and resent
people who succeed. Instead of working toward success in their own
lives, they choose to spend their energy telling others why they can’t or
shouldn’t reach for their goals.
Let’s say that you have a dream to take an invention to market. Naysayers
might tell you all the reasons that you should not embark on your
endeavor. ey will do their best to deter you from your dream. It might
be because they had ideas for inventions but never followed through,
or because they attempted to follow through and failed. If you were to
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succeed with your invention, it would be like rubbing salt into their
wounds. Of course, that is not your intention, but that is how it would
feel to the naysayers.
Some of the greatest inventors faced the greatest ridicule. Many of the
modern conveniences we have today were ideas that people laughed at.
Inventions and things of great importance came out of throwing out old
ideas and traditions. People used to agree that the earth was at, and
when Christopher Columbus rst said it was round everyone said he
was crazy! Sometimes the ideas that people hold as fundamental truths
are the very ideas that are false and holding people back from success.
As long as your goal is set and you are passionate about it, let no one
detract you from your mission. Listen to yourself and ask, “What is the
right thing to do for me?” Stop listening to people whose only mission
is to tell you why you can’t achieve what you desire. ere are, of course,
times when others have valid input, and these t into the category of
constructive criticism. If they are trying to intercede and help you avoid
pitfalls and move you closer to success, then listen and consider what
they are saying.
“No one can make you feel inferior
without your consent.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt
Finally, whether the person is a naysayer or is oering constructive
criticism, evaluate the source of the information. Many times we take
others’ opinions and make them our own without taking into account
the source of that opinion. Poor sources come in the forms of, my
e Game of Your Life
neighbor said, or the internet said, or my mom always did it this way.
You need to learn to analyze the data and not allow bad information
or opinions to be your downfall.
When a sherman casts out a net, he will catch sh but he will also
bring in all the other junk from the lake. e smart sherman will si
through the whole bounty, keep the sh, and throw back the junk. e
foolish sherman will keep everything that he drags in, regardless of its
worth. Poor decision makers are like foolish shermen—they cast out a
net and bring in all types of random information that may or may not
be benecial in their decision-making process. When you don’t separate
the sh from the trash, you end up going hungry because you’re lling
your mind with junk. e smart, successful person is the one who takes
the time to pick out all the junk, leaving only the good stu, and making
a decision based on the quality information.
With all this being said, you should realize that it is going to take practice
to interpret information accurately. To avoid making bad decisions
based on poor data, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Is the source of the opinion a naysayer, or is he or she
oering constructive criticism?
2. What is the source of this opinion and how did this
person arrive at this opinion?
3. Is your situation the same or dierent from the person’s
who is giving the advice? How so?
4. What do you believe to be the Truth? (Decide
for yourself !)
Rex S. Gibson
Opinions: everyone has them. Surround yourself with people who will
oer you constructive criticism that is designed to increase your chances
of success. In the end, you are capable of siing through good and bad
data. Follow the four steps above and you will be well on your way to
becoming a better decision maker.
Intuition: Go With Your Gut Feeling
“is is the nature of genius, to be able to grasp
the knowable even when no one else
recognizes that it is present.”
– Deepak Chopra
What if I do all the exercises you gave me and I STILL can’t make a
decision? Not all decisions are made from perfect data. Even though it
is important to use all data at hand to render the best possible solution,
sometimes you are still missing information and the solution doesn’t
seem clear. In cases like this, your intuition needs to be your guide.
is means having faith in yourself and listening to what you believe
is truth, regardless of what direction the data may point. When you are
going through the decision-making process and you are siing through
the net to weed out the garbage and gather only the good information,
remember to ask yourself how you feel about the information you have
gathered. is is extremely important. e best decisions are the ones
that combine good data that points to an obvious choice and that gut
feeling that says, “You did the right thing.”
“Oen you have to rely on intuition.”
– Bill Gates
e Game of Your Life
What is your heart telling you? What does your gut say? Write down
the situation and all of its possible solutions. rough the process of
elimination, cross o any solution that does not help get you closer to
your goals. If you are le with two or three options at this point, pick
one using your intuition. Decision making is not a democracy: good
decisions are not based on a majority vote. We need to start learning
to use our own minds. Learn to think for yourself—use your thoughts,
not someone else’s. Use your gut and make a decision for your own life.
e best decisions are always decisions that make you feel good. ey
ll you with a sense of overall peace. You become excited and energized,
and you have an overwhelming feeling of BOOM get her done! You
nd yourself saying things, taking actions, and getting results instead
of continuing with activities and conversations that will not move you
closer to your goal.
“When I’ve heard all I need to make a decision, I
don’t take a vote. I make a decision.”
– Ronald Reagan
e Game of Your Life
At this point in the book, we have discussed surface level whys. Yes, you
must use good data to make good decisions, drawing on past painful
experiences can mislead you, and fears and problems hold us back.
Now is it time to discuss the deepest parts of the mind. is chapter
will answer many questions, but it might bring about even more. is
chapter is about you—and I mean the real you. e spark that animates
the body you run around in. Authors like Eckhart Tolle, Rhonda Byrne,
Don Miguel Ruiz, L. Ron Hubbard, and many more have oered answers
to the human mind and spirit. ese writers were all pointing to the
same fact. Some were much more clear and succinct than others. e
terminology that I have seen used to dene mind and spirit have been
Ego / Pain Body, the Id / Ego / Super Ego, or the devil on one shoulder
/ angel on the other; every author is alluding to the same thing: there is
an unknown, hidden, aberrant part of our mind that can take control
of our thoughts and make us do the most irrational things.
We will discuss spirituality in later chapters, but for now let us consider
that there is a spiritual side to life. Let us consider that there are three
parts to a person, a spirit, a mind, and a body. You are not your body or
Rex S. Gibson
your mind, you have a body and you have a mind. If you allow me to
point something out to you as you read this, you use the word my in
front of referencing your mind and your body. We all do. Why? They
are possessions. So what are you? You are the third thing, the spiritual
being, which does not mean anything else than you are you. So it is
inaccurate to say I have a spirit because you are one. This is one of the
greatest simplicities of life that was too simple for the complicated
sciences to see. Much like the law of gravity. Apples always fell and
no one noticed that there was a fundamental principle at play called
gravity. You are a spiritual being. Now do not get confused or feel
weird, we all are spiritual beings. Again, so many other definitions of
the word spirit exists that people are confused by the word. Let’s keep
it simple because it is: it is defined as you, the one who is reading and
comprehending this book, not your body or your mind.
Your Mind: A Help or a Hinderence?
You have observed, as I have, that your mind can either aid you to
think in rational terms and help you move ahead, OR it can hinder you
with doubt, unwanted emotion, indecision, and the “mental debates”
inside your head, that can often be mistaken for healthy thinking or
“careful consideration” when they are really laced with fear..
There is a part of your mind that is very powerful, and can override
your analytical thought process. It is the part of your mind where all
painful experiences are stored. It reminds you of all your mistakes and
failures. It is the part of the mind where FEAR lives. It is that little
voice that talks to you and tells you, “You are going to fail. Be careful,
remember what happened last time you did that.”
e Game of Your Life
It is important to understand that we become fearful when we are
threatened with loss, and if we made a mistake in our past, that
memory tends to replay in the present. Therefore, when a situation
closely resembles a previous painful experience, your past losses can
override analytical thought and cause you to react in a manner which
may not be appropriate or logical for the situation. We have all seen
this happen to others.
Here are a few examples to clarify:
1. You miss the game winning free throw. The team
and fans are disappointed. Analytically, you have an
85% free throw average, but your confidence in your
ability to come through in the clutch is shaken. Next
time you are in the same situation, you know that you
can make the basket, but the past losses kick in and
go to work and prevents you from being the hero.
2. You dated a cheerleader and the relationship did not
work out. Now, six years later, you will not date an
ex-cheerleader, because the previous relationship
with a cheerleader did not work out, so this won’t
either. Even though the two cheerleaders are different
people, those painful experiences left in your mind
identify them as the same and responds the same
way to both.
3. You fell and broke your leg while skiing. Now you
don’t ever want to go skiing again because you don’t
want to get hurt. Analytically, you realize that you
can safely ski down the mountain, but when you
attempt to go skiing, you cannot shake the thought
of your broken leg.
Rex S. Gibson
e real question is: how do I know if I am being logical and objective
or fearful and controlled by my past losses? ere are a few questions
you can ask yourself in a fearful moment:
1. What emotion am I feeling right now? If it is fear
or anger, you are probably not thinking logically or
2. Am I really in danger? If you are exaggerating the
potential consequences, then write down two or three
real consequences that could result from this situation.
See if there is anything signicant that could truly
harm you.
3. Is the current situation similar to a past failure? If
so, how? And how is it dierent? Dissect the current
situation and nd out why it is dierent, why you failed
previously, and take corrective actions to avoid the
previous result.
4. Have courage to act on logic. Do what is rational,
logical, and analytical.
Truth Is Dierentiation
When you hang on to past losses, you will tend to see very few dierences
in situations. e present situation will seem so similar to the past situation
that you will think you are heading for another mistakes causing yet
another loss. “WE CAN’T HAVE THAT”, says the mind, so it overrides
your ability to think rationally and see the dierences in the current
situation and the past situation which created the loss in the rst place.
When you maintain the ability to see both the similarities and dierences
in things, you will discover you can trust your judgment and decisions.
e Game of Your Life
ere is always a way to make something succeed, you just might have
to put some energy into nding an alternate route. It takes courage not
to react to the part of your mind that is telling you “You can’t,” or “You’re
going to fail,” or “Be careful, you could get hurt.” At this point you may
be asking yourself, “How am I supposed to overcome this dialogue of
failure?” e above four questions can help in a pinch, but to really
correct the part of your mind that inhibits you and all of its harmful
eects, you will need help beyond what I can oer in this book. Books
like e Secret and A New Earth have attempted to shed some light on
what we are discussing in this chapter, but in order to truly understand
the mind and to ensure that you can trust your mental clarity thus
decision making, I highly suggest reading Dianetics: Modern Science
of Mental Health by L. Ron Hubbard. is book oers in-depth insight
into the mechanics of the mind and how to eliminate the parts that hold
you back from a full and meaningful life.
e Game of Your Life
Games are fun: just ask any kid. As a child, everything is a game, from
seeing how fast you can run up and down the stairs, to hide and seek, to
learning math. As adults, we tend to shorten our scope regarding what
we consider a game. We limit a “game” to monopoly, baseball, poker,
etc. But what do GAMES have to do with Life?
ere are a lot of similarities to life and games we have all played. e
RULES of the game determine the accepted conduct for the game. It
creates an understanding for all players as to what is legal and illegal
in the game. It is the establishment of what we cannot do and what
freedoms the players have in the pursuit of victory. e OBSTACLES in
a game are the things that keep you from winning. It is the proverbial
“go to jail card” or the “go back three spaces” spot on the game board.
Obstacles are anything that gets in your way to a fast and easy victory.
Finally, what would a game be without GOALS? How would you know
when you have won the game? How would you know when the game
is over? And what is the purpose of the game? e goal is the desired
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outcome. e goal is the event that, when reached, concludes the game.
e goal is the purpose for playing the game. As we go through the
2nd half of the game, let’s remember that life has rules, obstacles, and
goals, therefore, life IS a game!
Can you remember someone telling you as a kid, “Life isn’t all fun and
games”? Well, as a kid, it was. As we grow into adulthood, our games
get more complicated, but nonetheless, they are still games. As adults,
instead of buying houses to put on our monopoly property, we buy real
houses on real property worth real money. e game hasn’t changed—
your perspective on the game did. As adults, the real world can seem
so serious: the consequences for our actions are more serious, and it
doesn’t allow enough room to have fun. Because of this, we revert to
our childhood visions of fun: games. Many of us look for outlets to play
games. We need fun in our lives, so we join a coed soball team or play
poker with some buddies on Friday night.
If you allow yourself, you can make a game out of anything. Look
around, life is full of games—just ask any kid. Use childlike eyes to
recapture the fun of life. Play life like a game. Set goals, play by the rules,
overcome obstacles, laugh, win or lose, but for goodness’ sake have fun!
Life is no fun without games, so know the rules, overcome the barriers,
and win the game of life.
What Are the Rules of Life?
In order to win any game, the rules must be known and followed.
Without rules, a game cannot commence, because everyone in the game
e Game of Your Life
needs to be playing by the same rules. is keeps the game fair. ere
also need to be penalties for breaking the rules to keep the game fair
and maintain the integrity of the game.
Every game is slightly dierent, and you must read the directions to
understand the rules thoroughly, but the basics stay the same: don’t
cheat, don’t steal, treat others like you would like to be treated, be worthy
of trust, do not murder, set a good example, etc. ese are the same rules
that most rational people use to guide them through the game of life.
Although these basic rules are a good set of guidelines to follow, life is
full of hundreds, if not thousands, of dierent sub-games. Each sub-
game presents its own unique set of circumstances and challenges. Each
sub-game can have rules that are subtle or specic. In order to overcome
those challenges, you must know the rules. First, you must seek out the
rules. Do not assume you know the rules unless you have already played
the same game. Ask what the rules are. Write them down if you must,
but know them and follow them.
Please understand, I’m not asking you to follow some of the rules and
ignore others. I’m not suggesting that all rules are intelligent, or even
based in logic, but they are still the rules. An example is driving 55 mph
on two-lane highway. is is an antiquated law, written at a time when
fuel was scarce and cars were inecient and had fewer safety features.
at does not change the fact that when the sign says “Maximum Speed
Limit 55 mph,” it means you should not drive more than 55 mph on
that stretch of highway. We will get into ethics in later chapters, but for
now suce it to say that personal ethics and following the rules is the
only way to truly win the game of life.
Rex S. Gibson
Overcoming Obstacles
Now we will discuss the barriers that keep us from reaching our goals.
Between the beginning of a journey and the nal destination, you will
need to pass over, around, or through one or more obstacles or barriers. I
bring this point up not to be negative, but to enlighten you about the fact
that barriers, which can derail your path and lead to failure, loom around
every corner. ey are just waiting for you to make a mistake or lower your
guard. In order to reach your goal, you must remain alert and vigilant,
never allowing your attention to be pulled away from your goal. If you
see someone who has achieved a high level of success, you are also seeing
someone who has overcome many obstacles and adversities in her life.
roughout your journey, you will see some barriers coming, and others
will seem to pop up out of nowhere. Whether the obstacle is known or
unknown, you will need to navigate the waters to reach your goal. One
of the sayings I live by is, “Plan for the worst and work toward the best.”
When you take that attitude, you can be prepared for the unexpected,
or at least be able to handle an unexpected situation that arises with
condence and skill. Just like Bear Grylls from the show “Man Versus
Wild,” the more prepared you are for the unexpected; the easier it will
be for you to overcome the barriers that oppose you. Each obstacle you
come up against oers the opportunity to throw in the towel. at is
the job of obstacles: to get you to give up. It is you against the barriers,
My feelings on this subject run deep. In college, I wanted to get a tattoo,
but not just any silly tattoo. I wanted it to have meaning. I wanted it to
be something that inspired me when I saw it. In my research, I came
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across a saying written in hieroglyphics. It is translated as, “He who
desists aer attack is the strengthener of the enemy’s heart.” Nothing
POWER TO YOUR OPPONENT. is slogan is with me all the time,
imbedded in my skin. To this day, I draw power from it and use it daily.
Too many people give up on their dreams because the obstacles have
overwhelmed them. ey set out on a journey with a goal in mind, but
as soon as the going gets rough, they pack it in and decide to give up.
In order to achieve a high level of success and maintain that level, you
must build the proper emotional and mental capacity to perform your
absolute best every single day. You must also have the mental fortitude
to stay the course and not allow anything to stop you from reaching your
goals. In other words, you must be seasoned for success. Success is not
for the faint of heart. Success is a learned behavior, achieved through
hard work, sweat, and—unfortunately sometimes—tears. e more you
succeed, the more you will continue to succeed; success breeds success.
What Is Happiness?
When are people the happiest? When they are winning. Happiness is
achieved through success…through overcoming life’s obstacles and
barriers while working toward your goals. Part of that formula is
overcoming obstacles, fears, and barriers including the unseen obstacles
that pop up unexpectedly. As discussed earlier, when you set a goal and
move toward it, all manner of obstacles will present themselves. Some
of these obstacles are predictable and some are not as obvious. Look
at life’s little obstacles like the game Whac a Mole. As an obstacle pops
its head up, you whack it and wait for the next one. When it shows up,
you handle it and wait for the next one. If you play the game of life like
Rex S. Gibson
a game of Whac a Mole, you will nd that obstacle and barriers become
their own sub-game. As you whack each mole, you get one step closer
to winning the game.
“Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I’ll give you
a man who will make history. Give me a man with
no goals and I’ll give you a stock clerk.”
– J. C. Penney
Basic Rule of Life: You Grow or You Die
ere is a law of nature that if you are not growing, you are dying. ere
is absolutely nothing in between. Take a look at nature: trees don’t stop
reaching for the sun. eir whole lives they are moving up toward the sun,
pushing themselves to get closer to that goal. As soon as the tree stops
reaching for the sun, it begins its death. Human beings are the same. e
day you stop growing as a person and looking for the next goal to attain
is the day you stop growing and, hence, the day you begin the descent
toward death. We see this happen when older people are deemed unable
to care for themselves and placed in an adult care facility. is is not to
say that adult care facilities are bad, but the reality is that the average stay
at an adult care facility before the person passes is less than two years.
Some would argue that the person had failing health, and that may be,
but if you combine fragile health with the loss of the ability to attain new
life goals, the person stops growing and begins dying.
Growth is defined as expansion whether personally, emotionally,
educationally, or spiritually. When you stop expanding, you begin to
shrink. ink about a rock thrown up in the air. e rock goes up to
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its maximum height, there is a moment that the rock stops going up,
and at that moment the rock begins to descend. is is no dierent for
humans. We are born, we have no choice but to grow and learn, and
at some point when we reach adulthood, we either continue to grow
or we begin our descent toward our ultimate demise. Expansion is the
key to continued happiness, regardless of the circumstances around
you. A person does not have to expand and grow like a rocket ship; a
person just needs to continue moving forward, even if it is at a slow
pace. Progress is progress!
Remember, happiness comes through the PROCESS of overcoming life’s
challenges while seeking to reach their goals.People can have happiness
as long as they have further goals to attain. Once a person stops reaching
for more, setting goals, and expanding as a person, happiness is a thing
of the past. So, if you nd yourself unhappy, realize that you must not
have a game to play. Set a goal, dene the obstacles to overcome, be
happy, and grow, grow, grow!
Time Out: Taking a Break from the Game
ere is a misguided belief in our society that tells people to take a
break, smell the roses, and retire early. e concept is well intentioned,
but the people giving that advice don’t realize that retiring early could
have detrimental side eects, and that being busy is really what creates
happiness. I recommend and practice small breaks or vacations instead.
A long weekend can do a lot to recharge your batteries. Sometimes
a break can be something very simple. For example, I take mental
vacations by going to motivational seminars. is may seem confusing
to you, but what is the purpose of a vacation? To recharge, to get more
energy, and to regenerate yourself so you can start looking for dierent
Rex S. Gibson
ways to accomplish your goals. I get all of this energy and information
from other motivational speakers. One of the biggest turning points
in my life was when I nally decided it was okay for me to be busy. I
decided that, not only was it okay, but it was a really good thing, and
it made me happy. Once I stopped listening to people who wanted me
to slow down and take a break and allowed myself to be busy, I started
accomplishing so much more and, as a result, became happier and more
satised with my life.
“Happiness is a matter of one’s most ordinary and
everyday mode of consciousness being busy and
lively and unconcerned with self.”
– Iris Murdoch
Do more, take on more, and continue to move toward your goals. I
have no desire to retire at y—not even at sixty. I am not sure I will
ever stop. I might play a dierent game, but I will never stop trying to
achieve more and do as much as possible. e day you stop striving
to reach that next level is the day you die. No truly successful people
stop working. ey continue setting new goals, strategizing ways to
reach those goals, and working relentlessly to achieve those ends. ey
continue not because they have to, but because it makes them feel good.
It gives them a sense of satisfaction and contentment.
e drug of powerful people is goal attainment.
“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when
you take your eyes o your goals.”
– Sydney Smith
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We have discussed many things up to this point, and if you absorbed
even half of the concepts, you are well on your way to setting and
attaining higher and better goals. There is one concept which can
act as a decision lighthouse guiding you home to a place free of bad
In order to understand this concept, we must establish some
background information. People always align their efforts toward
their goals. This is true of all people! The vast majority of people are
working toward constructive / good goals, but there are the exceptions.
The exceptions may not even realize that they are moving toward
destruction, but outside observers can see it easily. The person who
works toward destruction / failure has given up due to too many
failures. So, those persons whose efforts seem to moving them in the
path of destruction / failure ARE aligning their efforts toward their
goals…their goal to fail. So, you are aligning your efforts…IS IT
Rex S. Gibson
No person is an island.
No person can exsist or succeed alone.
Winning At Games In Life
Quite simply the best decisions we all can make in life would consider
the broadest parts of life or the greatest benet to the greatest number
of people and things. We will call this the GREATER GOOD for short.
is is how you create the best of all possible scenarios.
We do not live in a perfect world where the perfect choice is available
to us. A perfect choice would be one that benets all things and people
involved. Here we have a question of percentages. What is the highest
percentage of benet to the most things the decision or activity touchs.
us as we roll along through our life, we can commit to making our
decisions along the line of the greater good.
ose decisions would be respected by the most number of people and
would prove out in time to be milestones toward our success.
As discussed in the previous section, the best solution must incorporate
the greatest good for the greatest number of people and things involved
or inuenced by your decision. A solution or decision can only be made
based on information that is known at the time of the decision. is
is why I suggest collecting as much information as possible regarding
a particular situation before rendering a decision or selecting a path
of action.
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New information comes to light every day. With new information, you
will invariably nd that some of your best decisions were wrong. is
tends to make you feel like you made mistakes. is is the wrong way to
look at it. ere may be new information today that you were not privy
to when you made the decision, but that does not invalidate the previous
decision. It simply means you need to create a new best solution and
make the appropriate corrections. C’est la vie—that’s life. Life’s path, like
a car going down the road, will require many corrections. Live today
and make the best decisions based on all of today’s data.
Rule: Benet the Most and Harm the Least!
Best Solution is Based on All the Information
Available at at Time
e 24-Hour Rule
This pearl of wisdom has kept me from making bad decisions in
moments of high emotion. Have you ever heard some gossip or received
some information that infuriated you? ese situations come up in
life all the time, and when they do, you feel compelled to act or react
immediately. e 24-hour rule can keep you from going o half cocked
and regretting your actions later. Remember when we discussed the
reactive mind and how it can make you act irrationally? ere is a
fail safe switch. Giving yourself some time to re-analyze and see THE
DIFFERENCES in a situation can lead you back to a good decision.
When a highly emotional situation comes up which seems to require an
action to be taken, don’t do anything. Wait, collect all the data—good
and bad—si through the information, and formulate an initial decision.
Rex S. Gibson
If the decision does not require immediate action, wait 24 hours to review
the information and ensure that your initial decision is the correct choice
for you. You will nd that when the emotion dissipates, you can maintain
your composure and use your reasoning mind to create the best solution.
e more you train yourself to look for the truth in a situation, and give
yourself time to process the information, the more high quality decisions
you will make. e more this becomes a habit, the fewer regrets you will
have. Although being decisive and making snap decisions is a desirable
quality for successful people, rash decisions never created a winner.
Quick Guide to Good Decisions
ere are four questions you can ask yourself when making a decision.
ese four questions will help you decide whether the solution that you
have come up with is the best possible solution:
1. Is there any relevant information that I can draw on
from the past?
2. Is the solution created from all current information
at hand as opposed to past presumptions or failures?
3. Does the solution create the most good for the majority
of people and things involved or inuenced, or the least
harm to the majority of people and things involved or
inuenced by the solution?
4. Have I given myself ample time to allow any emotion to
dissipate and therefore not aect my decision-making
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“is is the true joy in life, the being used for a
purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one;
the being thoroughly worn out before you are
thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of
nature instead of a feverish selsh little clod of
ailments and grievances complaining that the
world will not devote itself to making you happy.”
– George Bernard Shaw
To review, a game has rules, barriers, and goals, but why do we play
the game at all? Why do we need a goal? The answer to these questions
touches on the deepest, most basic need in humans: purpose. It is the
why, the drive, and the reason for doing what you do. The purpose
of having a goal is that it gives you a reason to keep playing the game
of life. When you get down to the basics, it gives your life meaning,
and it is necessary if you want to keep moving forward. If you’re not
moving forward you might as well pack it in and accept mediocrity.
Rex S. Gibson
The bigger the goal, the bigger the obstacles, and the bigger the
reward; the main thing you have to focus on when you are moving
forward through these obstacles is your why. Your why is the core
reason or purpose that you have for reaching that goal. When you set
a goal, ask yourself why you want to reach it. Keep asking why until
your answer gives you goose bumps. When this happens, you have
discovered your true why.
For example, you may have a goal to earn a certain amount of money
every month. Let’s say your goal is to earn $20k on a monthly basis.
Now, ask yourself why you want to earn that amount of money. Why
do you want to earn $20k monthly? Possibly because this will give
you the house and the lifestyle you desire.
Why do you want to have that particular lifestyle? Hmm, good
question. You may want the house because of the large rooms and the
open space. Well, why do you want the big rooms and the open space?
Do you see my point here? You must keep asking yourself why you
want to reach your particular goal. As you do this, your final answer
will describe how reaching your goal will give you some type of feeling.
Emotion is the fundamental impulse of the universe, and it motivates
our every action. The more you are in touch with your why, the more
emotionally attached you will be to your goal.
I cannot stress enough how critical it is for you to define what you
want. You must have a definite purpose and a definite plan for the
attainment of that purpose. If your goal relates to business, how many
people will it take to make your company as big as you want it to grow?
Continue to ask yourself questions to gain more clarity.
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e Right Purpose—e Right Answer
When it comes to your life and your purpose, there is no right or
wrong answer. Purposes are as individual as snowflakes. What is right
for you may not be right for me. Being a computer analyst might be
your passion, while it will never be mine. This does not make it wrong.
I loved cars when I was growing up, and still do. I loved anything
with a motor. I look back on my life and I am pretty fortunate that
my parents wanted me to have a good education, and even though I
didn’t’ become an over the road trucker, or a NASCAR driver, I pursue
my passion for cars in other ways. I have owned, modified and sold
many, many cars. I have even had cars on the cover of Popular Hot
Rodding. So, even though I didn’t use my passion for my occupation, I
made sure my passion stayed in my life. The only wrong answer is not
to follow your own path. The focus should not be on right or wrong
so much as on choosing your own path instead of allowing someone
else to define your purpose.
When you nd your purpose and set a goal that you are passionate
about, nothing can stop you from attaining your dreams!
“All religions, arts, and sciences are branches of the
same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward
ennobling man’s life, liing it from the sphere of
mere physical existence, and leading the individual
toward freedom.”
– Albert Einstein
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What Is Fake Real and What Is Really Real
I once read that “Reality is what we all agree on”: the grass is green, race
horses are fast, and rocket ships go into outer space. Actuality is what the
individual perceives and holds to be true. It is a subjective thing. at
isn’t to say that actuality is widely held truth. Christopher Columbus had
to prove that the earth was round; he knew it was, but he had to prove it
to the masses in order for his actuality to become other people’s reality.
You must realize that what is actual for you, may not be actual for another
person. us it is not a reality, by the denition above. Because of our
varying life experiences, our perceptions can be quite dierent. Every
person has lived a dierent life, with dierent circumstances, and dierent
perceptions. As the saying goes, if you were to ask ten witnesses about the
same accident, you would get ten dierent recollections of the situation.
You should base your decisions on your own actuality. Another word
for actuality is belief. Successful people believe that they are right.
ey know that their actuality is correct, even if there is no other solid
Rex S. Gibson
evidence to prove it. Conviction of your own beliefs or actualities is
what separates leaders from followers. How did Einstein come up with
the theory of relativity? Did he agree with others? No. He used his own
mind, followed what he knew to be true, and created his own actuality.
en his actuality was tested, continued to hold true, and it became
reality for others.
What is truth? Truth is only truth if you believe it to be true. In other
words, something is true only if you nd it to be true. e color red to
someone else will never be the same as the color red you see through
your own eyes. Have you ever heard a rumor about someone that you
knew was untrue? is rumor could be widespread, but nevertheless,
is false, no matter how many people spread the lie. Seek to know and
live with the truth.
Many times in life we are frightened because something is unknown to
us; however, if you train yourself to see the truth in situations, it will
take the fear out of life. For example, if you were to walk through a
haunted house for the rst time, when the ghosts, goblins, or demons
jump out at you, it is scary. When you walk through the second time,
however, you are expecting those things and you are ready for them, so
it is no longer scary. You must analyze the information and make the
best decision with the information you have at the time. is includes
any information from past experiences.
When you nd your own truth and lter the lies from the data, you learn
to disregard all the junk. You learn to see a situation for what it truly is.
Your vision starts to become clear and things become less scary in your
life. e more you continue to work on this and keep focused, the more
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it becomes a xed habit in your life. is takes practice and dedication,
but it can help you advance your life to a higher and richer level. e
more dened your truth becomes and the more it is incorporated with
integrity, ethics, and your morals, the stronger you become and the less
intimidating life will be.
Fear blinds truth. People look away from things they fear, so any
situation that contains fear must be viewed and evaluated for the
actuality in it. A dark alley can be a scary place, but once that alley is
ooded with light, it no longer has the same eect. If you do not face
your fears and illuminate them with truth, you will be doomed to repeat
history and be haunted by past failures. I’m not saying that looking at
your fears is easy, just that it is necessary. e hardest part about facing
your fears is nding the truth. e truth is not always pretty, but it is
true. Once you have faced fear and seen truth with conviction and
courage, you will nd yourself swelling with power you never thought
you had. It is this power that magnies your chances of expanding and
achieving all of your goals.
“Fear can’t hold a candle to unswerving faith,
much less muster up the guts to even attempt
to blow it out.”
– B. G. Jett
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“I’m a great believer in luck, and I nd the harder
I work, the more I have of it.”
– omas Jeerson
You hear it every day: “He’s so lucky to live in that house,” or “She’s
so lucky to have that job.” Luck can be dened as good fortune that
came to someone without his or her own doing. When most people
speak of luck, they are usually speaking of good luck. According to the
denition above, people are helpless victims of their own lives rather
than being active players who control the outcome of the game. Luck
is actually a product of hard work combined with a good strategy and
the correct amount of eort directed in the proper places to achieve a
certain outcome. Derek Jeter is a top baseball player and has remarkable
natural talent, but he would not be as great as he is without taking
batting practice every day. Top athletes know that there is very little
luck involved in their successes. It is a matter of being prepared and
creating a foundation of basics that create success. Keeping this in
mind, an individual can either choose to cause things to happen, or be
Rex S. Gibson
aected by what life hands him. If a person chooses to create things and
make things happen, then that person is choosing to be an author of
their life’s events. He/she is literally writing the script to life. In order
to be an AUTHOR OF LIFE, an individual must shun the idea of luck
and believe adamantly that all things can be accomplished if one puts
forth the correct eort in the desired direction. A person who chooses
to be the eect of things around them, clings to the belief that he or
she is not in control of destiny and, regardless of hard work will never
truly reach his or her goals.
If It Isn’t Luck, What Is It?
For those of you reading this book who like the idea of being the author
of your life rather than someone who was cast into the situation, I
suggest you replace the word “luck” with POSITIVE DECISION. And
what does POSITIVE DECISION have to do with luck? e answer lies
in a person’s viewpoint. If you believe that you are in control of your life
and have the ability to steer or inuence life’s outcomes, then all you have
to do is decide that the particular situation be that way. Events in our
lives happen and we wonder why and how they happened. e reality
is that nothing ever happens without us putting the event into motion.
e real question is, did you make those things happen or did they just
magically happen? I suggest that you create your fortune by manifesting
your own luck. WILL events by asking them to be, demanding they be a
certain way, and decide they take a certain form. is is more than the
power of positive thinking. When you decide and stick to your decision,
you make the future; you bring the event into existence. For example,
no one has become a successful movie star or singer without going to
auditions and taking singing or acting classes. Sure, you sometimes
hear those, “I was sitting at the bar and was discovered!” stories, but the
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person telling the story likely le out the endless rejections and broken
deals that came before being “discovered.” at actor or singer was not
lucky—he or she had a goal, continued to intend that the goal would
be reached, and was rewarded with being “discovered.”
“I’ve found that luck is quite predictable. If you
want more luck, take more chances. Be more
active. Show up more oen.”
– Brian Tracy
You may have heard that life isn’t fair…well, it’s not. We are not all created
equal. Some people have attributes that give them advantages over other
people. In order to oset these so called disadvantages, you need to create
your own circumstances for success. Nothing happens by luck alone; we
must be active players in making what we want happen. Even the person
who wins the lottery bought a lottery ticket. So where do we t in on this
spectrum of luck vs. POSITIVE DECISION? Do we cause it, or do we just
get lucky? If you want to be luckier, then you ought to decide that more
things will happen to increase your chances of getting lucky.
“Luck is what happens when preparation
meets opportunity.”
– Seneca
People make things happen or work to put themselves into desirable
situations where the chances of their success happening is so high that
they usually expect it to happen. When you think about the thing that
you want, you begin to move in a direction that brings you closer to it.
Rex S. Gibson
e more you think about your goals, the more momentum you create,
which propels you toward your end destination or goal. By looking
through the classieds, you are much more likely to nd a job than if
you just cross your ngers and rub your rabbit’s foot, hoping “luck” will
bring you a great new job.
It appears that the universe we live in, likes the
decisive individual who shows commitment to
the decision through follow up action.
Have you ever wished that a certain person would call you, and not a
minute later your phone rings? Low and behold, when you pick up the
phone, it is the very person you wanted to talk to calling. Coincidence?
No, that’s the power of decision. Some might call it “the power of
positive thinking,” or “mental visualization,” but here we are going to
call it simply DECISION. To get what you want, create a picture of it in
your mind, and make it as real as you possibly can. Focus on the color,
feel, weight, size—any detail you can include to make the image more
realistic will be benecial. Create it just like an artist. Keep that mental
picture of your creation and keep creating it, keep doing it. You should
always be changing and improving the picture, making it even more real.
Everyone’s mental images of what they want will be dierent, and that is
why it is so important to give your mental image detail and specicity.
Even people who want the same thing will have diering images. A
woman wanting to get into shape might create the mental image of
herself walking into a dinner party in a form-tting little black dress.
A man with the same goal of getting in shape might picture himself
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throwing a Frisbee with his buddies on the beach, showing o his toned
physique. You have to personalize your mental picture—make it your
own. e most important aspect of POSITIVE DECISION is repetition.
You can’t just think about what you want once and be done with it. Do
it over and over and over again, day in and day out. Picture your goal
as oen as you can. e more you visualize what you want, the closer
you will move to that picture. e more the image is present, the more
real it becomes. You literally think it into existence.
How Do I Become e Author Of My Life?
Let us take a quick look at being an author of a book. Take this book
for example. I wrote this book. I didn’t let someone else write the book
and I just agreed to it. I didn’t sit on the sidelines while someone else
wrote down a bunch of thoughts about life and then signed my name to
it. I WROTE THE BOOK. Yes I have editors and people who help me
with formatting and publishing, but I created the words…I wrote the
manuscript. I created the time in my life and took responsibility and
said, “I’ve got something to say and I think it could help people…I am
going to write a book!” In order to be an author, you have to take full
responsibility. Now Life is a little larger subject matter, so to author a life,
an individual must come to grips with responsibility…for their life and
for all circumstances, even when you don’t want to. If you allow anyone
or anything to have any level of responsibility over your circumstances,
you have given up your potential to be the author. We oen engage in
behaviors that limit our ability to be an author, such as surrendering,
blaming others, defending mistakes, or evading responsibility. ese
actions put you in a position where you are no longer the author; you are
instead one of the characters in the story. A hockey goalie may see the
great Wayne Gretzky coming toward him and feel inferior to his massive
Rex S. Gibson
slap shot. In that split second, he decides the outcome. He has already
decided that he will lose. He has already decided on the excuse that he will
use when his team loses. is way of thinking makes the man a victim to
the circustances, not the author of the situation he wants to have happen.
He is allowing circumstances to dictate his future instead of being the
master of his own fate. Alternatively, he can choose to have the attitude
that “No one can score on me. I am the best goalie in the world!” is is
being a master of fate. Being an author of life is all about responsibility.
Your level of control is in direct proportion to the level of responsibility
you take for life. Many people don’t understand that concept. ey think
everything is somebody else’s fault and do not take responsibility for the
situations in their own lives.
is is not to say that bad things never happen. Unfortunate events
happen all the time, but the things that happen are not as important as
how the individual reacts to those events. What you do and how you
think following a setback is crucial to whether or not you will be the cause
over your life circumstances. If you lose your job, will you sit and wallow
and blame someone else for ring you? Or will you choose to hold your
head high and nd a great new job? In the world today, many people are
falling into the trap of being an innocent bystander to their own aairs,
blaming their situation on the economy, a bad boss, or the ever-popular
“bad luck.” In reality there are many people who are keeping their jobs,
maintaining great marriages, and experiencing great success. It is these
people who continue to be the author in their lives, no matter what their
environment throws at them.
“Luck is tenacity of purpose.”
– Elbert Hubbard
e Game of Your Life
Don’t Play the Victim
Sometimes things will happen that are just bigger than a single “you”
or “I.” We choose how much we allow these things to affect us. If
we simply turned off our televisions and ignored new reports when
the media started smearing the economic downturn in our faces,
the recent financial crisis could have been avoided. If we had all
looked at ourselves as masters of our fate, as being fully responsible
for our own lives, we would not have let these reports influence us.
The reality is, the media won, and people went into panic mode
and stopped spending and investing. Results are a matter of how we
handle ourselves in the situation and what we do to get ourselves out
of that situation. If my business is not performing well, I act to find
a solution and find a new way to overcome those obstacles. I believe
the Marine Corp. Motto states it best: Adapt and overcome! I do not
blame the economy for affecting my practice because I don’t want to
live my life as a victim. I don’t let the situation defeat me; I find a way
to make it work.
It is hard to look in the mirror and call ourselves out on playing the
victim. It can be very hard to overcome the barriers of life. One thing
that all successful people have in common is that when the going got
tough, they rolled up their sleeves and did whatever needed to be done
to make things happen the way they wanted. People told Henry Ford
he could never make an aordable automobile, and what did he do? He
made not just one aordable car, but millions of them. His creation, the
Model T, was the most successful car ever made. He did not let people’s
negative opinions aect him. He assumed responsibility for making
his dream a reality. He authored his dream of making an aordable car
Rex S. Gibson
for every American, and he made it reality. In the process, Ford also
invented the assembly line, a process nearly every factory utilizes today.
He found a better way to do things. He was “lucky,” as we say, but his
success was entirely under his control. He tackled the problem head on;
he did not become an eect of it, but rather, solved it. He made it happen.
In high school, someone once said I was the luckiest guy he knew. is
perplexed me, because I didn’t come from a wealthy family and I wasn’t
particularly smart. I just worked hard, surrounded myself with good
people, and worked toward my dreams. What my friend didn’t realize
was it wasn’t luck that brought me the great things I had—I brought
them to myself. I used the resources I had to create the things I wanted.
I wasn’t unique or lucky; I simply positioned myself to increase my
chances of success. It is the same for the success stories we hear about
people who come from situations like extreme poverty and rise to
become business executives. ey in turn raise their kids to become
successful, and the cycle continues. ose people did not get where
they are because of luck; they just kept pushing themselves closer and
closer to their goals and never gave up on them.
Why Do People Believe in Luck?
People want to believe in the mysterious and the magical. It is in our
nature to live in a whimsical fantasyland where anything we wish will
immediately come to fruition. It appeals to our human emotions. at
is the reason ction and romance novels are so successful. Luck does
not exist in reality; we make things happen. e person who wants luck
would do well in a socialist society. ese people want to be taken care
of. ey want things to be given to them. ey think they need someone
to take care of them and tell them what to do, no matter how old they
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are. Few people blossom or succeed highly in socialist societies.
They don’t thrive. Socialist societies have fallen. Russia, all the
eastern block countries, eventually failed because they did not have
the desire to move forward and do more. Without the opportunity
to further themselves, people lose the willingness to do much of
anything. It is like running in a hamster wheel: people may run for
a little while, but once they realize they’re staying in the same place,
they’ll stop moving.
“Shallow men believe in luck; wise and strong
men in cause and effect.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Three Steps to Creating “Luck”
There are three basic steps you need to take to create your own luck.
Sometimes, these steps happen quickly; other times, they can take
much longer. It depends on the situation. Like Derek Jeter, like
Tiger Woods, like Michael Jordan, be the elite athlete and follow
these three simple steps to victory and success.
Just like a tachometer on a racecar revs up, you can rev up your luck
by implementing the RPM Method.
Rex S. Gibson
Step 1: Responsibility. Take full responsibility for all
situations in life. Never place blame at anyone or anything
else’s doorstep.
Step 2: Positive Decision. Create your future by seeing it
in bright, vivid mental pictures.
Step 3: Massive Action. Get moving. Work with relentless
eort toward your goals. e future will not wait for you to
get o the couch. It is coming. You had better be prepared
for its arrival.
Take big game hunting as a sport. Taking responsibility puts me in
the hunter’s position: the creator of things to come. When the animal
is in my sights and I take aim, I am already postulating the animal
going down. en as I take action and pull the trigger, I make my goal
become reality. If I miss the animal I am aiming at, I could blame it on
the environment and say the wind caused by bullet to stray o course,
but that would put me in a victim’s position, and in hunting, that is
a very dangerous place to be. Anytime I hear someone blame their
lack of success on someone or something else, I know right away they
are being an Eect and are not taking responsibility for the situation.
Full responsibility no matter what happens is not a position that most
people want to take—it is actually a very dicult position to assume,
but it is an absolute necessity if you are going to make anything happen.
is not a position that most people take—it is actually a very dicult
position to assume, but it is an absolute necessity if you are going to
make anything happen.
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Take calculated risks in life, but take them based on integrity, ethics,
and morals. Without a strong ethical or moral code, doing the right
thing may never occur to you. Ethics is defined as right versus wrong.
Morals are defined as a society’s agreed upon rules and laws. Integrity
is defined as not violating your own personal ethics and morals.
When you hold true to ethics and morals, and your decision is based
in integrity, you own your actions and you will be in charge of your
own destiny.
Successful people maintain good ethics, morals, and personal
integrity, regardless of circumstance. These values are not values of
convenience—they are the mark of a leader, and you must become a
leader to become truly successful.
Hold true to core values and be willing to fail. Success can only be
had in the face of potential failure, and if you do not put yourself in
a position to fail, you cannot have success. By definition, success is
winning, and you cannot win if there is nothing to overcome.
Rex S. Gibson
ere is a huge dierence between leaders and followers. Success,
leadership, and power are desired by the masses, yet understood by
only a select few. Not everyone can be a leader. It is up to you to decide
which lifestyle is in harmony with your life and goals. e people who
pick up books like this, read them, then apply the lessons into their
daily lives and are willing to learn new principles in life are the leaders
of this world.
Intentions: Good Versus Bad
Any time you experience troubles in your life or your business, you
have to ask yourself, “Are my actions fullling my purpose?” If they
are, keep moving forward. If they are not, you must analyze your true
intentions and alter your actions accordingly. Check your intentions
as well as others’ intentions on a regular basis. is will not only help
you identify the right people to work with, but it is also healthy for all
For example, let’s say I am working hard all day and I want to come
home to a peaceful and clean home, but when I get there, I notice the
dishes piled in the sink. It might move me toward getting upset at my
wife or someone else; however, before I react I must try to understand
what her true intention was.
I know she did not leave the dishes in the sink with the intention of
making me upset—of course not! She might have been rushing out the
door to help a family member with something or to make it to work on
time, and she just did not have the chance to get to it. Now, instead of
emotionally reacting, I can respond accordingly. Aer all, how many
times have I le the dishes in the sink?
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If you make it a habit to look for people’s bad intentions, you are barking
up the wrong tree. People are generally good. Sure, there are some bad
apples, but for the most part people have good intentions. We all make
mistakes along the way, but when you realize people generally have good
intentions; you can look past a lot of petty issues and spend less time
being aggravated by others. e only person in control of your actions is
you. When you surrender control over your emotions to another person
or circumstance, you have surrendered your leadership.
A great example of tolerance, calmness, and understanding occurred
when my son and I were at the local supermarket picking up some food.
I am losing my hair, and my son pointed out a guy who was bald and
blurted out, as kids sometimes do, “Hey Daddy, he is losing his hair
too, and he has none le!”
e individual my son was speaking of could have gotten really upset
because it was a slightly embarrassing situation for him, but he took
his experience and realized my son meant no harm, and he didn’t get
upset at all. I admire people who embrace this way of life.
“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist
in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole
experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the
long run than outright exposure. Life is either a
daring adventure or nothing.”
– Helen Keller
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“People who ask condently get more than those
who are hesitant and uncertain. When you’ve
gured out what you want to ask for, do it with
certainty, boldness and condence.”
– Jack Caneld
Condence and courage may be vastly dierent, but in the end, they
are both equally necessary to lead a rich and fullling life, one that is
full of risks taken, goals achieved, and dreams fullled. It is possible to
have all of the condence in the world, but not have the courage to act.
Likewise, it is possible to have courage without any condence in your
own ability. One without the other will help you achieve some of your
goals in the short term, but this success cannot be sustained over an
extended period of time. Both are needed to prevent boredom, foster
growth, and create balance in your life. It is important to examine both
of these ideas in greater detail.
Rex S. Gibson
Condence can be dened as knowing that you have the required skills
and abilities to complete a certain task successfully. For example, a
professional surfer will have no problem jumping into the ocean waters
and catching a huge wave. He knows that he has the required skills
to make it from point A to point B without drowning in the process.
Courage can be dened as taking a leap of faith in the face of uncertainty
and attempting a task without any certainty as to its outcome. Saying,
“I love you” for the rst time to a romantic interest is something that
takes an enormous amount of courage. ere is no guarantee that you
will hear the answer you expect, no matter how many times you may
have been in the same situation in the past.
Condence is a state of being, while courage may come in surges when
we need it the most. A courageous person may run into a burning
building to save a child, but under regular circumstances, the same
person would never attempt such a dangerous feat. On the other hand,
a condent person may still engage in the same risky behavior, but
with the knowledge that he or she has the skills to come out on top. A
reghter has the skills to run into a burning building to save a child,
and he knows that he possesses the skills not only to save the child,
but to get himself out safely as well. Instead of viewing his behavior as
a gamble, he has the condence to dive into every situation with the
knowledge that he has the skills to succeed. In daily life, we rarely need
adrenalin based courage to fulll our duties and obligations, but we do
need condence.
Let’s look at the concept of condence in further detail. Condence
stems directly from competence. Competence is formulated from three
ingredients: Education, Decision, and Reponsibility. First and foremost
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you must educate yourself on or about a subject. Let’s take a chainsaw,
for example. is can be an extremely dangerous tool without all the
three ingredients to competence. If you don’t know how to start and
stop it and how it reacts in dierent situations while using it, or what to
wear for safety, operating a chainsaw could be an extremely dangerous
undertaking. You must educate yourself about the tool, to know you are
in control of it and safe from its’s danger. You must Decide that you are
of stature and strength to be able to control the chainsaw, otherwise you
could get injured. And nally, you must take Responsibility for the tool,
which is to say that whatever happens while you are operating it is your
action. is closes the door on become a victim the saw, the tree, the
circumstances you are in. If you have all three elements, you will be able
to use a chainsaw competently, and as you use the chainsaw over and
over again with competence, you will obtain condence in your ability
to safely operate the tool. When you are faced with not knowing how
to do something, isolate what you don’t know and correct it! Without
competence, there is no condence!
Ingredients for Competence:
1. Education
2. Decision
3. Responsibility
“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself
is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength;
mastering yourself is true power.”
– Unknown
You must have all three elements to be competent and condent. If you
are lacking condence in any task, one or more of the three ingredients
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to competence will be absent or misunderstood. When you are faced
with not knowing how to do something, nd which element is absent
or misunderstood and correct it! When you know you have all three
elements, you will gain condence that you can complete the task or
project with competence. Without competence, there is no condence!
When Courage and Condence Meet
Just because courage and condence are dierent doesn’t mean they
cannot work together. To review mistakes and pinpoint what you did
wrong and how you can improve takes courage. To examine your life
and understand why you don’t have the condence to do something or
revisit where a situation went wrong can be scary and embarrassing. It
is easy to assume that everyone can read, but illiteracy abounds. As a
society, we know this problem exists, but we look at it from a detached
point of view, not really understanding its impact. For an illiterate
person to admit that he can’t read would be a courageous act because
of the stigma attached to it. e biggest person is one who can pinpoint
his own mistakes and shortcomings, learn from them, and make the
appropriate changes to better himself and others.
Simple Steps to Having the Courage to Fix Your
Faults and Become More Condent
1. Admit when you need to improve on something.
Only big people can admit to and acknowledge their
own faults.
2. Choose to change your faults. Make a point to change
your faults, or simply choose to gain more knowledge
of a particular subject so you can have more condence
when dealing with that aspect of your life.
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3. Listen, learn, and absorb. e most successful people
that I’ve ever met are good listeners. They absorb
everything, since you never know when information
may come in handy, and they learn from every
experience to prevent repeating past failures.
4. Examine which ingredient is missing from the
competence formula. Look at your failures without
rose-colored glasses and gure out why you failed.
Did you not have enough knowledge, and therefore
act blindly without fully understanding the situation?
Did you not have enough personal control over the
situation, and allow other elements to inuence the
situation? Did you fail to assume the proper amount of
responsibility, and therefore blame someone else for the
failure? Find the missing link, correct it, and try again.
5. Be sure to check your sources. Knowledge is powerful,
but you must make sure it comes from accurate
and reputable sources so you can have the correct
information to make the most informed choice
possible. Hearsay is seldom accurate. We have all
learned about “stock tips” given by other people. ey
are not trustworthy. It is the proverbial, “My neighbor
said.” that often leads to a path of bad decisions.
Your friends and neighbor’s intention can be good
when oering advice or information, but their ability
regarding verifying information can be faulty. is
is not a question of trusting them as people, it is a
question of their care and skill at siing out facts. We
have all passed along information without verifying
the validity of the information in an eort to help. e
bottom line is, you have to build your house on a solid
foundation. It is your responsibility to ensure you have
your facts correct that you base your decisions on.

Rex S. Gibson
A common mistake can also be information from an
unreliable source. For example, if you need help with
your nances, do not ask your neighbor who is just
as broke as you are. is is like asking your friend the
mechanic to x a broken pipe that is ooding your
house. Make sure you are getting your information
from a valid and competent source. Do they know what
they are talking about? Do they have the kind of results
you want? Where are they getting their information?
ese are all very important questions that need to be
asked, otherwise you will only ever reach the level of
knowledge that these people have.
If you approached every area of your life this way, you would experience
staggering success. The most successful people I know found the
missing pieces to their problem or situation, learned what they needed
to know, and then made the appropriate corrections to create success.
is sounds like a simple thing to do, and it is, but it is not easy, and
it will take a large amount of courage. e successful in life have the
courage to know what they did not know or had the courage to face
their shortcomings, and correct that BEFORE they acted. And thus
their success was no accident.
Where Does Courage Come From?
Sadly, there is no magic pill that we can take for courage; it simply
comes out of necessity. When something absolutely needs to be done,
you will nd the courage to do it; however, what one person thinks is
necessary diers from what another person may nd necessary. For
instance, if a dog falls into a river, you may not jump in, but if a baby
falls in, there is no question that you would jump in to save the child.
Successful people understand their own necessity levels and act out of
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purpose rather than fear. e stronger the purpose for any given path,
the more the necessity for action, and the greater the action required
for you to muster courage to complete the task.
“Have the courage to say no. Have the courage
to face the truth. Do the right thing because it
is right. These are the magic keys to living your
life with integrity.”
– W. Clement Stone
ere is no reward without risk. It takes courage to takes risks, and
if you set loy goals, it will take courage to rise to the occasion, raise
your necessity level, and reach your goals. e point is: set loy goals.
e higher your necessity level is, and the more you must reach your
goals, the less courage you will need to start a new task or embark on
new goals.
Condence in the Face of Adversity
Far too many people in life give up too early. ey lack the courage to
ght adversity in order to complete the task.
“Most of the important things in the world have
been accomplished by people who have kept on
trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”
– Dale Carnegie
Look at how the United States put a man on the moon in four years. How
many people had to hold that dream in their minds and unwaveringly
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move forward through the required steps for four straight years until
completion? NASA had to design and build a spaceship, then gure out
how they were going to get several men into that spaceship and onto
the moon using a computer system that had less power than today’s
cell phones.
Getting a man on the moon is the result of strength of passion,
determination, purpose, and courage. Don’t tell me that there is a
problem out there that does not have a solution: it is a matter of your
resolve to nd the solution. Put an unwavering eort into nding the
solution and implement it! Do you know how many people told NASA
that it could not be done in four years, that it would never happen, or
they were crazy for even trying? I’m sure that the people at NASA had
moments where they thought, “Maybe they’re right…it can’t be done,”
but their purpose was strong enough to keep them moving forward
until they achieved success!
e only thing standing between you and the life of your dreams is an
absolute, unwavering decision to act with courage and complete the
goal no matter what.
Intention is dened as the will to do. Let’s take this concept just a step
further. When I say intention, I mean what you truly mean to have
happen. is idea works hand in hand with positive decisions. If you
intend to have something happen, you are creating what you want. By
placing intention into your actions, you create a sense of drive to the
goal. It is the bullet shot straight at the target. I want to share a story
about intention. I live on a small ranch with my wife and kids. We enjoy
e Game of Your Life
the farm life and all that goes along with it. One year, I got 120 baby
chickens to boost my egg production. I got them home and situated
in a large horse watering trough with food, bedding, heat lamps and a
watering container. I stood back and admired my brood. I then went
inside to make lunch for myself and my two boys. About an hour later,
I went to check on the day old baby chicks. As I stood over their tank,
something told me to li up the watering container. To my horror, a
baby chick lay squashed under the two gallon watering container. As
careful as I had been to ensure this didn’t happen, one chick managed
not to get out of the way in time. I picked up its cold, lifeless body. I felt
terrible that I was responsible for the death of an innocent baby chick.
At first, I considered simply
disposing of the chick, thinking,
“that’s life on the farm.” At that
moment, I had an overwhelming
feeling. I was not going to let this
little chick die. As I held this lifeless
creature, something came over me
and I placed my lips on its tiny
beak and gave a few pus. Yes, I
gave a baby chick mouth to mouth.
I kept doing this for ve minutes.
To my surprise, she started
breathing, at rst very shallow breaths, and over the next 20 minutes,
she opened her eyes and was able to stand on her own. Within an hour,
it was like nothing had happened. She had been stuck under a 10 pound
watering can for an hour. It would be like having a car crushing your
chest. I decided to name her Molly Brown, as in the unsinkable Molly
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Brown. To this day, I can still pick Molly out of the brood. I tell this story
so you can understand the power of intention. It is the concept of making
things happen at all costs. e mantra, “Failure is not an option,” is perfect
for this situation. It takes a strong purpose and a lot of courage to
overcome the adversity that life hands us. Go forward and breathe life
back into your GAME.
Courage to Change
Courage: why do some people have it while others don’t? I am not talking
about courage in the form of heroism. e courage I am talking about is
the courage to pursue your passion or purpose in the face of others who
might judge you harshly. I am speaking of the type of courage it takes to
maintain the dedication to follow the steps and make things happen. I
am also talking about the courage to change. I am talking about having
the courage to have a high level of personal integrity.
Only with personal integrity can you be fully responsible for mistakes,
able to correct and solve outpoints, and move on with life. Unsuccessful
people blame others and find fault in everyone but themselves.
Unsuccessful people have their ngers pointed in every direction but
toward themselves. is is the greatest act of cowardice.
Say “YES!” to Life
e movie Yes Man with Jim Carrey is a great lesson about nding
the courage to get in the game. In the movie, Jim’s character, Carl, is
persuaded by a former colleague to attend a “Yes!” motivational seminar
where inspirational guru Terrence Bundley publicly browbeats him into
making a covenant with himself. Carl reluctantly promises to stop being
e Game of Your Life
a “No Man” and vows to answer, “Yes!” to every opportunity, request,
or invitation that presents itself. From that point on, Carl says “Yes!” to
all sorts of opportunities, and his life begins to turn around. He meets a
new girlfriend, begins learning new languages, and starts ying lessons.
His previous dull, sad life begins soaring for the stars. I am not saying
that you should say “Yes!” to everything, but the point is that we need
to open our minds to new opportunities. You never know what joy and
fulllment will be found when you say “Yes!” to life.
Action Steps for Courage and Condence
Here are some simple steps you can follow to make yourself more
open to acting with courage and more willing to take action even in
uncomfortable situations.
1. Say “YES!” to Life. Expand your horizons to new
experiences. You never know what joys you may nd.
2. Start with the basics. Educate yourself and get the
knowledge you need to succeed. Be willing to admit
what you do not know as the rst step to organizing a
plan on what knowledge to acquire. Ask yourself if you
are willing to take full responsibility for all that happens
good or bad. Decide to refuse to give up. Decide to
nd and correct anything that is causing your plans
for success to go o track. ese steps will make you
competent. Repeated condence breeds certainty. e
more certainty you possess in your abilities, the less
courage you will need.
3. Act with purpose. e more your actions align with
your purpose, the less courage it takes to perform the
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4. e rst step. Remember, the most courageous step is
the rst step. Set loy goals, raise your necessity level,
and take the rst step to achievement.
5. Carry out all tasks with integrity. In the process of
achieving your goals, make sure that the actions you
take have a positive impact on others, and that any
harmful eects are minimal.
6. Always look for alternatives. Being courageous and
foolhardy are two very dierent concepts. Take risks,
but make sure they are worth it. If the risk is not worth
the end result, look for an alternative way to reach
your goal.
7. Don’t give up. Far too many people have the tendency to
give up too early. All great inventions and achievements
in history were attained by people who were persistent
in their belief that their dreams would eventually
become reality. As they say, necessity is the mother of
8. Act with INTENTION. Create what you want by
intending things to happen. Breathe life back into your
purpose and make your dreams come true.
9. Create momentum and nish what you start. When I
was in college, I went out and canvassed for a political
movement for renewable wind and solar power. I did
my homework and knew everything I could about
renewable energy, but I was still nervous my first
day out. e more I talked to people, and the more
donations I received, the more condent I got. is
built momentum, which helped me through the entire
summer until school started up again.
e Game of Your Life
“Success means having the courage, the
determination, and the will to become the person
you believe you were meant to be.”
– George Sheehan