# Life is a zero-summed game?

Welcome to game of life – it’s called a zero-summed game. It starts with this simple multi-variable equation:

Aw + Bx + Cy + Dz = 0, where

A, B, C & D are coefficients you adjust to life’s aspects (w, x, y, & z) you want to maximize.

For example,

w = career
x = relationship
y = finance
z = character

Of course, you define what these are – what’s important to you.

In an ideal world, you could have A, B, C & D all equal to 1 (or 100%), but that would violate the law of this zero-summed equation.

Realistically, you can’t achieve 100% in all aspects of life. In other words, as you gain some, you lose some.

Let’s look at some practical examples of how this equation is applies to people we meet daily, and how it relates to you.

Have you met someone who’s a rich jerk? If we are using this example equation,

A(career) + B(relationship) + C(finance) + D(character) = 0, then

this super-rich jerk would probably score 100% on A and C, but -100% on B and D, which results in a zero-sum.

Have you ever met someone with a good career, in a harmonious relationship, very wealthy, with great characters? Yeah, didn’t think so

Have you ever met a poor gentleman? Plenty of those out there as well.

Listen, I’m not here to say what’s right or wrong, what’s important or not important – the takeaway here is that you can’t have it all.

We all have 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, 365 days in a year (366 on leap years), and only so many years to live… and that’s the resource we have to maximize each coefficient.

Define what’s important to you, but do realize as you focus on obtaining perfection on some aspects of your life, other aspects will suffer with it.

Just because you’ve achieved maximum result in one aspect of life doesn’t mean you are successful, because you’ve failed in other aspects of life.

So, who wants to start a meaning discussion about whether we should strive to have a balanced coefficients, or go with extremes by having 100% of somethings and -100% of rest of the somethings?

Edit: I’ve just realized eHarmony is probably using my zero-summed game equation for their matchmaking service… they’ve expanded the variables to 26 and match people based on similar coefficients.

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### 3 Responses to Life is a zero-summed game?

1. jenny says:

you have a few typos!!

i very much liked reading this

2. Steven Chang says:

I did say meaningful discussion haha.. thanks for pointing them out… so where are the typos? Surprised no one challenged me on the math.

3. Interesting post! A nice numerical touch on such seemingly intangible subject matter. Thanks for submitting to the make me laugh blog carnival hosted at http://www.caralynerickson.com today!