…today’s secret…Casey At The Bat.
The sneer is gone from Casey’s lip, his teeth are clenched in hate. He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate;
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go. And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey’s blow.
Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright, the band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light;
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout,
But there is no joy in Mudville – mighty Casey has struck out.
Let’s think about this ditty little poem for a bit.
Casey is playing what Simon Sinek calls a finite game. The game is known by all players. Someone wins. Someone loses. Uniforms are worn. There are rules and referees to enforce those rules. Metrics are kept. There is a beginning, middle, and end.
The mindset behind a finite game is to win.
Casey lost this one. He probably went home, propped up his feet and slurped a few beers. “Hey, I’ll do better tomorrow.”
Some would think Casey is not committed, just ‘merely determined.’
The other Sinek game is an infinite game. In an infinite game players are not necessarily known. There may be a code of conduct, but no exact rules. There is no end until one or more of the players stop playing.
The mindset of an infinite game is to keep playing.
Problems arise when finite and infinite games and finite and infinite mindsets get mixed.
We fought the Vietnam War with a finite mindset. We played to win (some say poorly). The North Vietnamese were playing with an infinite mindset. Their objective was to keep playing. Eventually, we quit playing.
Russia invaded Ukraine with a finite mindset and are learning their opponent is playing with an infinite mindset.
Life is a infinite game. Life existed before us and life will exist after us. Once born, we are players in this infinite game. We play until we quit/die.
Our choice during our life is whether to play life with a finite mindset or an infinite mindset.
Finite mindsets play life for more money, more toys, more power, etc.
Infinite mindsets play life to advance a bigger cause. To help those around them rise. A life of service.
The people you are helping are not thinking about finite and infinite mindsets. They are just looking to work and play well with others today, tomorrow, and beyond.
Your help is only one of the many helps they need over many tomorrows.
Hopefully, you are not measuring your organization’s success by the metrics you keep.
Hopefully, you are not like Casey and just ‘merely determined.’
Hopefully, you will be remembered for your commitment, your life of service, for what you did for others.
Hopefully, your deal is living a finite life in an infinite game with an infinite mindset.
Way to go.