The book explains how to defeat the off-game systems in our lives by using the simple, Four Steps To Achieving built into the game board:





Together, with the Four Steps To Achieving On Your Game Pyramid, they help defeat the Off-Game systems we live in.

Here’s the big picture – Off Game Systems (on the left) create impediments to our achievement. My research shows using the Game Board and On Game Pyramid we can achieve ON Game Living.

Details below.

The Off Game Systems We Live In


The Daily Off Your Game System:

Busyness-Achievement Loop

The Busyness-Achievement Loop is a daily system that roots us in Off Your Game living. It fits within a longer-term system of professional rewards, cultural accolades and practical needs that pull us away from peak performance, our dreams and passions over years, not days.

In reality, the short-term Busyness-Achievement Loop supports any negative longer-term forces in our lives since it hinders our ability to take stock of what’s happening, and to manage our achievements. Basically, buzzing along impedes thoughtful consideration and active management of external influences. So, we’re less likely to take the committed action needed to persevere and succeed.

A full description is in Chapter 2 Of On Your Game!

The Long-Term Off Your Game System:

Profession Versus Dream Loop

The Long-Term Profession Versus Dream Loop, in Figure 2.3, is the second of the two Off Your Game systems. It exposes how the benefits of professional advancement, while certainly successes, can also have a dark side. They cement us in our current roles and profession. When our profession is insufficiently aligned with our interests and dreams, it can become an Off Game system, as our friend Alex demonstrates. This creates long-term challenges to a successful life.

A full description is in Chapter 2 Of On Your Game!



Game Board

My research shows the majority of us notice off game impacts throughout our days, but we don’t act on them. We allow them to occur over and over, stifling our achievement…over years.

We may act on the big ones, like loss of a job, because we’re forced to. But it’s often the small habits within our daily or weekly lives that are the actual obstacles causing our goals and passions to slip away. Day by day, our default choice of “do nothing” becomes the greatest enemy to our achievement.


And it’s all too common.

It’s up to us whether to sustain impediments to achieving every day, or to decide – right now – to do something about them.

The Game Board™ makes it easy, in the moment, to NOTICE an obstacle and it’s off-game impact, DECIDE to take action, and ACT on the next step.

It brings mindfulness into the moment.

On Your Game

Four Steps To Achieving

To keep achieving, anything in the way must be managed or removed.

NOTICE the obstacle, the Off-Game Impact

DECIDE to manage (or remove) the off-game impact and what to do

ACT by taking the next step


CHECK-IN on progress

On Your Game Pyramid

This On Your Game Life Pyramid lays out some of the internal requirements and choices that support a high achieving life. There are many versions of motivational and meaningful-life pyramids. The main point is to recognize that external factors act on us based on who we are and where we are in the pyramid. The stronger our foundation and mid-layers, the more on our game we’ll be. This applies to daily productive boosts at the heart of being On-Game, and long-term achievement supporting On-Game living.

Firing on all cylinders over the long term means we’re investing sufficient time in all layers of the pyramid, including those individuals who matter most to us, and in our spiritual, intellectual, emotional and physical needs. They all must be addressed in a sustainable way. Put together, we have the roots that incline us to be patient, helpful, kind and powerfully productive. This feels good.

If our life is a dramatic departure from this picture, it means selected parts of our lives are receiving disproportionate time, attention and emotional resources, to the detriment of others. The imbalance wears on us. We start to feel weary. With a clear picture of what’s happening, we can start to shift our patterns more on-game.

Below are descriptions of each level, and the role it plays in being On Our Game.

Foundational Level: These are things like a positive mindset, sufficient sleep, healthy eating, exercise, basic social and emotional intelligence, and often a spiritual activities. They are required baseline components from which to build an On Your Game life. Revolving around physical and mind health, they constitute the cradle and fountain of our motivation. Our depth in these foundational areas determines the vigor of our on-game conviction. It nourishes the root of our on-game spiral. This spiral is the achievement “that feeds on itself” so many interviewees talk about.

Mid-Level: Mid-level elements are the heart of daily-life decisions. Time allocation choices for work, family and friends, as well as other personal interests play out here. They are supported and determined by the depth of our Foundation Layer elements. When well rooted, on-game decisions are made and Notice, Decide, Act plays out in our achievement. This experience naturally leads to greater experience of Pinnacle elements. It’s the booster-point for the positive on-game spiral grounded and sustained in our Foundational choices.

Pinnacle: Feelings of success, contentment, presence (mindfulness), other-focused living (compassion) and plenty (abundance) arise from favorable Foundation and Mid-Level choices. This is the blooming of our OYG spiral. It’s where we become magnetic for new opportunities that hasten and broaden our achievement. It’s when we’re firmly that winner in the room. And everyone knows it.


  1. Which elements in the OYG Pyramid are not sufficiently prioritized in your life today?
  2. What result will you experience if you make these elements a higher priority?
  3. What impact will it have on your achievement?
  4. What, if anything, is keeping you from making this productive change?

When using the OYG Pyramid and Game Board, we experience smoother progress and achievement.

The volatility diagrams explain this.

Long Term OYG Living

Cut the volatility. Live an On-Game life.

We must manage the things that challenge our accomplishment. They may be minor tiffs with family members that perpetually perturb us, or seemingly major professional issues, like no room for advancement with our current employer.

Long term simmering issues ware on us. They pull us off our game. And we have a tendency to overreact once we’ve finally “had enough”. We may be unnecessarily volatile, even when dealing with predictable patterns that we know and understand…but didn’t deal with soon enough. The outcome is rarely ideal. It’s the point when feelings get hurt. When we make rash decisions. When we birth regret.

The chart below, The Volatility of Off-Game Performance, shows how it looks. This is no good.

It’s off-game at best, disruptive at worst. It means living in growing agitation. Why tolerate the turbulence? Success and life satisfaction need not be sporadic. Volatility need not reign.

This pattern plays out with short-term issues. “This situation pisses me off…and has been going on for too long!” And it plays out across the long-term as meaningful interests are left behind.

In this off-game world, the busy flow of daily activities prevails. It triumphs over the small, ongoing, adjustments required to keep life well-tuned. Once again, we’re seeing a predictable result from not managing off-game patterns that are both common and known. They thwart our short-term on-game boosts and our long-term success.

Yet, this isn’t how it has to be. Another path available to us all is a smoother flow of events in life. One in which we consider and manage the off game impacts much sooner.

This is shown in STAGE 2 of Chart 3.2 How The Game Board Smooths Our Success.

It depicts how regular use of the game board, in the flow of our days and weeks, can smooth off game impacts. It keeps things closer to ideal, since we’ll catch small waves that distort our on-game path sooner, before they create a storm.

Through habitual use we should experience something like STAGE 3, when we’re able to sense and correct issues while they’re still minor, realigning challenges into a comfortable and sustainable flow as we go through our days.

This less volatile pattern, from making small corrections as we encounter negative impacts, is what on-game living looks like. It feels in control. It gives us the space to plan. It supports staying ahead of the game, not behind. It makes us that winner in the room.


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