Get into a game that has no end. If there is an end you will be interested in the final result no matter what. If there is no end, you will be interested in the process. Do not aim to win, aim to stay in the game as long as you can. Aim to learn while you are on the playing field. Aim to play among the best players.
You do the first step. There is nobody around. Nobody invited you to play. Nobody invited you to come. But there is also nobody who can tell you that you should go away. There is nobody to tell you that you can’t play. Thus, you can stay on the field and advance. You are the one to authorize yourself. And surprisingly it works! It also feels lonely. It does. You look around to catch a glimpse of somebody you know, to spot a smile you recognize. To smile back at a friendly face. And you realize that you are completely alone. There are only followers. And you have to act like you have been here hundred of times before, and convince others that you know what you are doing and where you are going. And they will follow you. That simple. Well, you know the game a little bit in fact. You know you are here to play, not to win. Thus, you do not compete. This does not mean you can relax, slow down and prattle. People who follow you rarely become your friends. You can never turn to them and ask casually “What do you think, should we do this next move or not?”. They expect you to know it all, and this is why they are following you. The moment you show a sign of doubt you lose your way.
You have to be convinced of what you are doing. And you have to sound convincing. You have to be honest and integer too. You have to play clean, to trust and to inspire trust in the people around you. You can’t be false even a bit. If the game gets dirty, if it feels like you are becoming a salesman, you should be able to stand up tall and walk away saying out loud “This is not how I want to play.” And know that there is no return and be done with it. And you are supposed not to regret your actions. And there is not one face on the field who will let you be vulnerable.
It is an exciting game. It is the game you will embrace. It has the value of the patience and the persistence. It holds the passion and the commitment. It is worth the effort. It is worth it all to keep walking across the never ending field, to keep playing the no end game. It is damn lonely too. Have you ever walked on the sand dunes in the dimness of the night? You walk alone, you hear a light noise, you imagine right away that somebody else is walking close by. You can almost see his face. You smile back. You look around. No one. You look around only to realize that the wind and the sand had made the noise that made your heart jump and faint. And then you feel hundred times more lonely than ever before.
You just have to continue walking. Alone. That’s the game. And when the pain of loneliness becomes silence, you will enjoy its verse. And the break of the day will find you walking.
Barcelona, February 5th 2013