I loved playing Monopoly as a kid. (I actually still love playing it now as an adult in my 30s.)
Although it is just a game, it teaches a lot of valuable lessons that can also be applied to real life, specifically wealth-building.
If you want to play Monopoly successfully, then you need to follow a few steps.
And funnily enough, if you want to live life successfully, then I recommend you also follow the same steps.
Here’s what they are.
Step 1 – Learn the rules
As with any game, there are rules to follow, and if you want to play, you first need to learn the rules.
In the case of Monopoly, it’s things such as:
- How much money do you get when passing go?
- When can you buy a street/property?
- When can you build houses/hotels?
- How do you remortage?
- What happens when you get sent to prison?
To navigate through life and society, we are also presented with a set of rules to follow. But instead of calling them rules, we call them ‘The Law’.
If we break the law (aka, the rules), then we are reprimanded in the form of monetary fines, community service, house arrest, prison sentences, etc.
These punishments take away two of our greatest resources; time and/or money.
Therefore, by breaking the law, we are effectively told to ‘Go Back 3 Spaces’ in the game.
Most people are aware of the basic rules of life and follow them diligently. From a young age, we are taught not to steal, assault, or break the law in any way.
On the whole, we have learned the rules of life and the game that we are all a part of.
Step 2 – Create a strategy
What’s your strategy when playing Monopoly?
Do you like the buy the most expensive streets over the less expensive streets? Do you focus solely on getting full sets and building houses? Or do you hunt down the railways and utilities?
Whatever it is, you’re thinking of ways to invest your regular £200 payment from passing GO in order to increase your income.
In other words, you’re purchasing income-producing assets.
Related Read: How to Buy More Money (Income-Producing Assets)
Throughout the game, your strategy may change depending on the roll of the dice and which streets you happen to land upon.
An element of luck is involved and you need to make the best decisions based on the opportunities that are presented to you.
This same principle applies to your life.
However, in the real world, what most people are actually doing is just circling the board, collecting their £200, and spending it just before passing GO again. (This is what’s known as living paycheck-to-paycheck.)
Yes, they follow the rules (by not breaking the law) and they’re probably good and decent people, but that doesn’t mean they’ll automatically win the game.
If you want to win the game of life, you need a strategy.
Related Read: My Super-Simple 4 Step Guide to Building Wealth
Step 3 – Play to WIN!
Nobody plays a board game to lose. Everyone wants to win, or at the very least, play a strong game and end up in a favorable position.
We manage this desire to win with the balance of risk. After all, we don’t want to make one risky purchase of hotels and then bankrupt ourselves.
…but we do have to take some degree of risk, albeit a calculated one that we can shoulder should it all go tits-up.
In real life, it’s important to note that the term ‘win’ can mean different things to different people.
For some, winning is sitting at the top of The Sunday Times Rich List. For others, winning is a happy and healthy family with 2 children in a quiet part of the Cotswolds.
Whatever your personal definition, money plays a part. You may not strive to be a billionaire but nobody wants to have to worry about money. At the very least, you want to be able to live comfortably and feel secure.
To create your win, in Monopoly or in real life, you’re going to have to take some calculated risks.
Stock, bonds, property, business. All these investment options carry a degree of risk, so in real life, people avoid them, even though the riskest move of all is to NOT invest and keep going around the board whilst inflation erodes away at their savings and monthly salary.
(If you’re not sure what I mean by the inflation comment in that last paragraph, check out this post here. Scroll to the bottom and read the section titled WARNING – Inflation!)
Although risk cannot be wiped out altogether, it can be managed appropriately.
BONUS: Create your own piece
The Monopoly board game comes with a variety of different pieces. You can be a boot, an iron, a ship, a dog, a horse, etc.
You pick (or sometimes you’re given) your piece and you play the game.
But if instead, you want to be a piece that’s twice as tall, covered in glitter, spins every time someone rolls, and shoots fireworks every time you buy a new property, then you go for it!
You have the luxury to design who you want to be in life, and you should do so unapologetically.
You still have to follow the rules and be a law-abiding citizen, but you can wrap your game plan in as much technicolor ribbon as you desire.
This is YOUR unique game and YOUR unique life.
Gone are the days when success could only be achieved by chaining yourself to a desk for 60+ hours per week.
It is possible to make money, have fun whilst you’re doing it, and have the time to enjoy it.
Related Read: How (& Why) To Detach Your Money From Your Time
Life is a game
Learning to navigate our way through life is the same as learning to play a humble board game.
However, when it comes to life, the majority of people learn the rules, but they fail to strategize and think about how they are going to win.
Instead, they just circle the board over and over again, living the same year on repeat, thinking that one-day things will just magically change.
News flash: If you want to win, you need to play to win!
The difference is, that, unlike a game, you cannot restart or play again. You only get one shot, so you might as well go all in!
P.S. … go all in, but do it in a calculated way. You’re not gambling!
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