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The Imam's Daughter

Mastering the Game of Life
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This is a program i taped off PBS by Connie Podesta. Below i have summarized the program.

Step 1: Understand the Rules

  • You cannot play a game without knowing the rules. The same can be applied to life. You need to understand the rules of life.

Step 2: Identify the Objectives

  • You need to find out what the object of the game is.
  • What are the objectives of your life?
  • Are you fulfilling these objectives well or poorly?

Step 3: Assess the Players

  • Ask yourself: Is this a person you want in your life? Is this the place I want to work, people I want to work with?
  • Look at yourself too because you are the most important player in the game
  • We have choices in how to behave and react
  • Understand your childhood but don’t use it as an excuse for poor adult behavior
  • Stop blaming other people

Step 4: Develop a Strategy (to master the game of life)

  • Rule: No one repeats a behavior unless it works, unless there’s a reward
  • Take a look at yourself first- How are they getting their needs met by treating you the way they do. Example, a mom asks her son to do a chore. The son whines and complains so the mom says fine I’ll do it and she does it. She is rewarding her son’s whining and complaining by doing the work for him.
  • Strategy: If someone treats you badly once- that’s sad for you. If someone treats you badly twice – you were a participant. If someone treats you badly three times- you’re stupid.
  • Be responsible and be accountable for your behavior.

Step 5: Do Your Best

  • Work is not supposed to be fun, that’s why they pay you to do it.
  • So work hard and don’t complain

Step 6: Always Play Fair

  • Like in a game, if you cheat the other players will lose respect for you and you will lose their trust. The same applies in life- if you cheat then the people in your life will lose their respect for you.
  • Cheating: Getting angry, yelling, guilt-tripping, silent treatment, complaining
  • You have 4 choices of how to behave, and only 1 is fair.
  • 1) Assertive: the fair choice- where you are open, honest, talking to other people, don’t expect people to read our minds. Here when you talk you use “I” in your sentences.
  • 2) Passive: cheating- sitting the game out. Where you are afraid to take risks, afraid of getting hurt, so you keep your feelings inside and pretend nothing is wrong because you don’t want any fights. You want everything perfect perfect. This can be a good response sometimes (pick your fights). The problem- If we don’t learn to express our feelings in a healthy way, it manifests itself in our bodies.
  • 3) Aggressive: cheating- where you scream, yell, throw things OR whine, cry, compain. These two ways are both aggressive. This is where you choose an emotion to get what you want. When you talk you use “You” in your sentences.
  • 4) Passive-Aggressive: when you go back and forth between passive behavior and aggressive behavior. Your mood keeps shifting. The difficult people in your life are actually actors. They can get angry or sad to get their needs met.
  • #1 thing a person wants in a marriage: Love, respect, admiration, etc. Yet even though we want love and respect, we behave in a way that actually does the opposite. Getting mad at someone or making them feel like a bad person pushes them further away instead of getting them closer.

How much is your life worth? Some of us value our life far too little. We accept our relationships as they are and don’t think we deserve to be treated well and have good relationships. We gamble and risk our relationships like they are not worth anything. These 6 steps are hard- But its worth it and you are worth it! You deserve to be loved, respected, and treated well.

Connie’s website


Connie Podesta is a motivational speaker that radiates a super-charged, high-energy presence that immediately involves people and has them responding to her exciting challenge to reach for the best in themselves! Connie obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Speech/Drama and Education at Northern Illinois University, her Master's Degree in Human Relations at Eastern Connecticut University and her certification as a Licensed Professional Counselor from the State of Louisiana.

This article by Mona Eid.