Learning to play the game of AND…John Page Burton

Most of us grew up and many still live in a world of “either-or”. We have been conditioned to believe that in any given situation we must choose between one thing or another. As children, we may have been given the option of a cookie or a brownie but under no circumstances could we entertain the idea of having both. As adults this conditioning may still be firmly in place. For example, Diana and I enjoy the beauty and lifestyle of the Sonoran Desert in Tucson, Arizona and we equally enjoy the cool pines and the amazing outdoor lifestyle afforded to us in the White Mountains of north eastern Arizona. Several years ago we found ourselves trying to determine which location we would enjoy living in more? The answer was always the same… we enjoyed living in both places. We were left with no other choice but to play the game of AND. In other words, we decided we would seek a SOLUTION that would allow us to enjoy both. Once we became very clear, the universe provided us with the opportunity to purchase a wonderful home in the White Mountains AND at a great price. We successfully played the game of AND.

In short the theory says…I can enjoy this AND I can also enjoy that. Mine happens to be a real estate example, however, the AND theory works for everything. For example, a person can be married AND still be their own person or a person can be employed as a forensic scientist AND moonlight as a stand up comedian.

This summer Diana and I found ourselves in a new discussion. We both love the Sonoran Desert, especially in the winter months and we absolutely love hiking, mountain biking and skiing in the tall pines of the White Mountains. We also desire to spend a couple of months a year in our favorite beach community in San Diego. With out going into great detail, we have created and executed a plan to bring this reality into the fold. Hello San Diego, 50 yards from the beach!!!

***It is important to note that long before any of this could become our reality, we first had to visualize the specific lifestyle we desired to create. Next we determined the amount of income we needed to create to fund this lifestyle AND we created a business model that would allow us to generate income working from wherever our physical location happened to be. Because we are open to playing the game of AND the above lifestyle has become our reality. AND everyday we express our GRATITUDE for the lifestyle and relationship we have been BLESSED with.

Designing and playing YOUR game of AND.

ACTION. We must be willing to take the action steps necessary to walk away from the either-or mindset. We must quiet the voices that say it is impractical to have a “convertible sports car” instead of the “Soccer Mom Mobil”. When you play the game of AND you will figure out a way to enjoy them both. If you are starting a business you will be faced with a plethora of what appear to be either-or financial decisions. Prioritize the ones that will earn you the greatest potential ROI and then figure out how to appropriate the funds to build your business using the concept of AND. Dieting doesn’t have to be the either-or starvation scenario that it is often portrayed to be. We can still eat fun food, just less of it! Thanks Jenny! Taking the right actions are the key to making the game of AND work for you.

NOW. It’s NOW O’ ClOCK, are you living an either-or mindset or are you willing to engage in a healthy game of AND? NOW is the time to determine the town/city where you desire to live, the car you drive, the neighborhood you reside, the school your children attend, the friends you include in your circle, the career you choose, the adventures you desire to embark on and most importantly who you desire to become in the process. “I have to be an accountant because it pays the bills” doesn’t work in the game of AND. “I am going to take some night courses and follow my dream while I serve my accounting clients during the day” is an example of playing the game of AND. NOW is the time to leave the either-or mindset behind.

DECISIONS. Decide what you desire your lifestyle to look like and make the conscious decision to take the ACTION to make it happen. Most people who live lives of quiet desperation are POOR decision makers. Remember, NO decision is a decision. If you struggle with making decisions, now may be a GREAT time to start sharpening your saw. I have a friend who defers every decision to his wife. Besides being a very weak masculine trait, it speaks volumes about his fear of making the “wrong decision”. He would rather “throw her under the bus” than be “wrong”. Practice making small decisions and moving up to bigger ones. The more confident we become in our decision making ability the sooner we can leave the confines of an either-or world and begin playing a big game of AND.

We can truly have the lifestyle we desire. We don’t have to remain stuck in an either-or mindset but we will have to get very clear on what we desire our life to look like. There should never be guilt attached to living well. The key is that we are equally generous with what we have been blessed with. Some call this tithing others describe it as paying it forward, regardless of terminology it is safe to say that givers GAIN!

Here’s to your game of AND!

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