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“This is the easiest game ever!”

You’ll be saying that. You will say it because you will have made it true. There is only one rule. Two words long, it is a command. Are you ready?

Rule #1 – BE HAPPY.

Yes, it is that simple. The best part is (again) you make it so.

What do you know about games? You know there are rules.

·       You must take your shot before the ball bounces more than once. (Tennis, ping-pong, pickleball)

·       A ball in play must bounce only once (actually, fewer than twice) within the boundaries. (Tennis, ping-pong, pickleball)

·       You must keep your feet inside the lines. (Football, wrestling)

·       You must always protect yourself. (Boxing, martial arts)

·       Keep an accurate score. (Golf, any sport that keeps a score)

·       The pieces can only be moved this way. (Chess, checkers, backgammon, other board games)

Need we say more? You get it, right? Think of any game you know how to play, and you’ll see there are rules. Adapt those, if you like, to your life. At the very least, write rules about how you behave when you are alone, and write rules that govern how you behave when you are with others.

Every game has rules and a way to keep score and a way to become the winner. This is your game. You will win. You will make the rules, define the boundaries, take the risk, get the reward – whatever it takes, you will do it and you will win. What is the reward? See Rule #1 above. It is more of the same – more happiness for you.

The rules define the discipline you must learn and follow to win the game. Even though you can simply choose to follow Rule #1 above, the more clearly you state the rules that govern YOUR GAME, the easier it will be to win it.

You may find some way to regard this as purely ridiculous. You may kick this idea aside and tell yourself rules are for losers. Yep, you nailed it. With or without the rules, you may choose to lose, to be unhappy. Always an option, you may wish to stop reading here, as this book may not be for you…

You are a winner. Because this game is so easy to win, you may discount the reward. Don’t do that.

In case you hadn’t noticed, that was the first negative statement in this introduction. “Don’t!” How many times have you been told that?

Here we are going to turn the tables (you can do that when you are losing at chess or checkers, too) and we are going to make every rule a positive statement to the best of our ability. Almost anything that can be said in the negative can be turned to a positive command.

So, instead of “Don’t do that.” You are going to say, “Do this.”

Go ahead and regard this as purely ridiculous, then learn to enjoy the entertainment value in laughing at yourself. You might just like that. Learn to enjoy laughing at yourself and see how that adds to your joy. More laughter, more joy, more happiness – you are winning.

You say you are a rule-breaker? That’s OK, because you are going to keep score. You want to lie on your score card? That’s OK, too, because you are going to learn to be honest with yourself through discipline and practice. You’ll soon see you cannot fool yourself and then you’ll get more of what you came for – greater happiness. Being honest with yourself pays big dividends! Playing by the rules is how you win big!

Everything you are about to learn here leads to honoring your commitment to yourself. Learning to love yourself and loving to live your life by your own rules may be the easiest path to enlightenment. Your happiness is virtually guaranteed by your own self-directed good behavior. Playing by the rules may never have been so much fun.

If you find one or more of your rules is limiting your enjoyment, change it or them to match your needs. You created this game. You wrote the rules. Your life and your happiness depend on your ability to live within the disciplined guidelines you have set for yourself.

This introduction could continue for another several pages. But it is not necessary. The truth is so plain to see, you might want to just get started now. Break out a pen and paper and start writing rules. See how much you can get done in fifteen minutes, an hour, an afternoon. The only time limit on any of this is whatever time and effort you are willing to put into your rulebook. Writing it down makes it real.

Seriously, just start now writing the rules to your game. Make stuff up and have fun with it. If it helps you to get started, write the rules to a game you already play and modify them to fit your life. It matters little how you begin but do begin. You are at the beginning of your new happy life. At this point, allow yourself to feel the excitement of joy as you create your new, disciplined life. One of the easiest ways to be happy to do something is to say to yourself, “This is fun.”

Unless it is in your rules that you should not feel joy. In that case, play the game any way that works for you. Just write the rules and play now.

Life can be a game. It can be the “easiest game ever” – if you will learn to live with discipline and play by your own rules. You already have what it takes to get this right. The less influence you allow from outside sources, the purer will be your creation.

That creation is and will be your happy life. “The easiest game ever!”