I remember hearing business professor Adam Grant talking about success back in 2015. He said that “Success is less like Battleship (sinking other ships), and is more like the rising tide that lifts all boats.â€ That’s such a beautiful image, and one I’d argue is even more needed today.
I grew up playing the game battleship and found it an early opportunity to harness my emerging type-8 enneagram personality. There’s such satisfaction in taking down an opponent and feeling successful as a result. What’s not to love about the game description?
“Feel the authentic thrill of the battle when you wage war on the high seas in the game of Battleship… It’s a full-out assault. Position your ships strategically to survive the relentless strikes. Then target your opponent’s ships and wipe them out.”
As I got older, I realized this is a cheap view of success. If someone else has to lose or be torn down for me to thrive, something is wrong with me (and likely the system around us). Yet that is often how we view others. It’s also why we may not feel super excited by the success of those closest to us. It feels like a loss to us vicariously. We assume boats have to sink for the game to be played.