To me, life is a game. As outlined in Determinism and Choice, I see every choice one makes as determined by one’s past experiences and as a logical conclusion there is no free will. (Please read the blog post to avoid confusing/rash conclusions from this radical summary.)
Until I know differently, I also logically conclude that there is no meaning to life, a very hard to digest idea. To avoid lethargy, I see it useful to define one’s own meaning for life and follow that. Be it to live life well or achieve more freedom.
Life is therefore a “game”. But not in the “messing around” sense, but rather like a table-top game that you play with others. Ideally with others, not against others. Playing agains the game, to play it well.
It remains, though, a game. And that suggests a certain emotional detachment to the game’s events – I know, that playing table top games to a lot of people is a very emotional and heated event, so maybe this is not the best metaphor. I find that the outcome of a game doesn’t usually matter in the grand scheme of things.
You play life best and achieve the best outcome when motivated, happy, energetic. This is also when the game is most fun! Yet when you are emotionally involved and don’t see life as a given in which your actions are the only thing that you can really influence, you can no longer play life well. This harms not only yourself, but also your environment: people who are target for bad mood, who you take energy from etc.
Taking a step back means returning back to a state in which you can see some of the unwanted life’s events as a given without getting pulled in the frustration of their existence. It allows you to have the energy to deal with them, bend your narrative in a way that allows you to emotionally handle them and take action to overcome another “out of the nowhere” obstacle to your dreams.
Noone said it was going to be easy. And yes, even totally unrelated obstacles are part of the journey.