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Life is a lot like Monopoly. You know why? At the end of the day, it’s only a game!

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The most powerful move in Monopoly isn’t mentioned in the rulebook.

It’s the moment when you realise it’s all just a game. The money’s made up, the lines on the board are made up and your identity’s made up. It’s all made up!

You remember at any time you can walk away from the game and there’s a big wide world to explore that you’d forgotten even existed while you were fixated on every role of the dice.

A typical game of Monopoly plays out like this…

In the game of Monopoly, the powerful player who has locked down the board only remains powerful while the other players stay fixed on the game.

Every time the dice is thrown, the weaker players grimace, cringe, sigh and shrug as their “life” gets tougher and tougher. The powerful player giggles, laughs, scoffs and puffs with pride as he watches his fortunes grow.

But then it happens, as it always does, the weaker players say, “You know what, I’m done, I’m not playing this game anymore – you win – I’m walking away.” At that moment, the spell is broken and all the power shifts.

Suddenly, the strong player begs for the game to continue, the weak player sheds their feelings of hopelessness and becomes capable, intelligent and empowered once again.

Are we all just playing one big game of Monopoly?

The same is true for life. The moment you realise it’s all just a game, you are free to play it however you like. As soon as you see the world for what it really is – a system set up by people no more intelligent than you – then you can begin to set up your own systems.

Recently I drove out of New York through the industrial wastelands of Jersey; I was heading down to Philadelphia to see a friend before flying on to Florida. I stopped at a gas station and looked at the faces around me.

A woman stood zombiefied behind a counter staring up at a screen, a man stared lifelessly into his coffee cup, two people droned on in conversation about some sporting team they worshiped and a few others milled around like empty bottles waiting for collection.

The scene was depressing to say the least and yet totally avoidable.

Ask any of these people why they don’t just jump on a plane and move somewhere nicer and they would say, “I can’t, I have bills, I have a boss, I have family and friends here, I don’t have enough reserves…” Basically, “I have to get past GO and collect my 200 bucks.″

The game is real to them, they are stuck playing with unlucky dice. They are free to move, explore, learn, thrive… to get up from the board-game and change things but don’t know it.

Now it’s easy to see this in a group of truck-stop unfortunates, but can you see it in yourself?

What are the unspoken rules of the game you’re living by? What would you love to walk away from if only you dared? Where would you love to go? What game would you play if you weren’t playing the one you’re in? Would you like to play the same game but as the top-hat rather than the little dog?

If you released yourself from your current “game” what would come next? Think about it…

Daniel Priestley is a successful entrepreneur, event producer and author of ‘Become a Key Person of Influence’.

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