Playing a bigger game means putting yourself on the line without abdicating your power or influence. For some, a spiritual path of giving up worldly possessions is a calling. By going inward, they commit to refining and purifying themselves, relinquishing accountability for anything else. But the bigger game requires that we stand up for a passion or belief, and find a way to give it impact in the world. Big promises and big commitments have no power when they are tentative or secret. When we make the game bigger than ourselves and risk failing, then we begin to play a bigger game. When we measure the impact of what we know by the number of lives touched, we are playing a bigger game.
Neither of these paths is inherently better, more important or valuable than the other. Each has finer qualities and challenges. Neither one has a unique claim to heaven. But Hell lies between. It is the domain of those with big ideas and an inability to commit or execute. When we can only hold a cosmetic view of our dreams and are unable to make the brave leap needed to commitment, we are stuck. Unable to let go of the idea of something better and still not aware of how to make it a reality.
This in between is purgatory really. A constant struggle that produces little impact for you or the world is stultifying to the soul. To be slowly ground down in pursuit of small incremental change is to sacrifice a life unlived on the altar of safety and personal confusion. To those that populate this sad territory, there is no going back. Some never hear a call to a bigger game (or bigger questions). In this case, ignorance may well really be bliss. But once you have heard that voice, the only way to find safety is to risk all in service to a bigger game.
The concept of the bigger game comes from a coaching framework designed by two of my colleagues, Rick Tamlyn and the late Laura Whitworth. If you hear a call towards something bigger, check back here for stories of those who play the bigger game, and check out Rick’s website at http://www.ricktamlyn.com/bigger-game.html