Why “don’t hate the player, hate the game” is terrible advice

Harboring contempt for the system

Image for post
Image for post

Every time we want to resent the success of another, there’s always somebody to remind us not to hate the player, hate the game.

But in reality, when was the last time hating something accomplished anything?

This empty, frivolous meme is not a sustainable career strategy and it’s not meaningful advice. It’s just a license for cruelty. Towards self and others.

Look, we live in an unfair world where there is no universal justice system and success does not have a line. It sucks. And it can be infuriating and discouraging.

But harboring contempt for the system will not bring us any closer to our dreams. Doing everything we can to destroy and discredit the game is not a smart use of our time and talent.

My favorite horror novelist depicts this human struggle in his chilling book about subliminal advertising:

If the competition legally uses it, what choice does even the most morally uplifted company really have? Everyone has to stay competitive. There are no individual villains. The whole system is the villain.

If we are still pissed that our dreams have not come true yet, that’s fine. But let us channel that energy into meaningful activities that help move our story forward. Because no matter how strong the gravitational pull of cynicism is, the world is not going to coerce us into hating it.

Our job is to reduce the quantity of fear and loathing and suffering in the world.

First inwardly, then outwardly.

Are you playing the game better, or playing the game differently?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

Image for post
Image for post

It’s the world’s first, best and only product development and innovation gameshow!

Tune in and subscribe for a little execution in public.

Join our community of innovators, artists and entrepreneurs

Written by

Author. Speaker. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Founder of getprolific.io. Pioneer of Personal Creativity Management (PCM). I also wear a nametag 24/7.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store