I've played some games to win.
I've played some to lose. Sometimes you really win the big game by losing the small ones. You know it when you are playing those.
I've played some games because I have to play it, without bothering about winning or losing.
I've played some games where I didn't care about winning or losing.
I've played some games without realising how dangerous it could be.
I've played some games with absolute awareness of how dangerous it is. But still went ahead because winning it meant a lot to me. Also, knowing the level of risk/danger beforehand gave me a chance to strategise better.
I've also played some games 'not to lose'.
Of all the games I have played, it is the last one that I would never want to play again. Because now I understand the difference between 'Playing to Win' and 'Playing not to lose'.
Playing not to lose holds you hostage. It also brings in mediocrity in the way you play the game. Doing just enough so that you don't lose. For that reason, it is also the safest way to play. You dont have to stretch yourself to your limits. It is also the easiest way to play.
Playing to Win, on the other hand, is highly demanding. It demands being aware of the risks and knowing how to counter any attacks, and believing in your ability to dodge attacks or launch counter attacks, when required. It demands absolute faith, commitment and focus.
So, how do you play your game?