Game Theory of Life

Through my indecisive moments, I have rationalised by one of the two things:

  1. Game Theory OR

  2. Will this be a good story to tell my grandkids!? (Later on that 🙄)

Through most decisions, game theory has helped me more than anything. Take a situation where your ego is involved and you might have significant losses, and the other party may need to extend a hand to you, to make this situation work in your favour; this may be applying for a job 👔, a risk experiment 🔮, asking your crush out ❣️, etc... There can be four outcomes:

  1. (0,1): You don't take a chance, the other party does; the odds work in your favour, you win.
  2. (1,1): You take a chance, and so does the opposite party; the odds are in your favour, and you win.
  3. (1,0): You take a chance, the opposite party doesn't; the odds are not in your favour, and you might end up losing entirely.
  4. (0,0): You don't take a chance, the other party doesn't take a chance; you both lose.

In the above situations, you have a 50% chance of winning, and out of which a 25% chance of where serendipity happens to you, without you even moving a finger.

But in life, as my friend Gaur puts it, "we have to optimize for serendipity". And hence you got to make sure you put in your best foot forward and make sure you don't miss out on (0,1) case, (as Twitterati puts it) you got to“shoot your shot”.

The other thing which one has to cater for is your enthusiasm. You got to protect it.

You see, enthusiasm to do anything is limited. It is that state where we're hopeful that good things will happen to us, and we're willing to take action for the good things that will happen to us. In these moments, we're highly driven, tunnel-visioned even, and agile towards the doors that can open in that direction, even if our first few attempts go astray. Spending too much time theorising these moments pulls us back from the inertia. You can't expend your energy on naysaying or whataboutery or cynicism cause that is self-defeating.

We got to tap on these moments of enthusiasm judiciously and shoot our shots ☄️ with irrational optimism! Without enthusiasm, without optimism, you're deferring things away from yourself as you'll forget to look at the opportunities which are coming your way.

Pseudo-science believers call it “ ✨ The Law of Attraction ✨” and scientific believers call it 'confirmation bias 🔍', but it JUST WORKS!

Eventually, mindset IS everything, right?

There was a time when I rolled my eyes when I saw people tattooing ‘Believe’ on their arms, and I've scoffed at people who'd spend hours praying. But in some twisted logic, we're all only trying to ‘optimise for serendipity’ and put game theory to practice and letting desirable outcomes happen to you by taking your chances rather than not.

Who knew statistics could be poetic...

Further reference.


Originally was written on 15th April 2018

Further edited on 14th October 2021 to add sections on Enthusiasm and Serendipity.


To reply you need to sign in.