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Today’s Blog:  Expectations and Game Thinking

Welcome to the “Ultimate Problem Solving Blog”. This weekly blog is extracted from the basic 10 Week Course I offer – “How to Solve Any Problem”. If this is your first time on this site, Welcome. The course is based on my research into Game Based Thinking – a basic approach to dealing with the challenges and obstacles that comes with daily living and human interaction.

Let me give you a short introduction to the concept of Applied Game Thinking.


If you are already familiar with applied game thinking or game theory  just skip ahead to today’s blog.



For Beginners: What is Game Thinking?

Applied Game Thinking is a system that explains why and how individuals and organizations strategize, i.e. make decisions when one person (or more than one other person, place or thing) might also affect the outcome of the decision.


The work is based on a concept called Game Theory. In the 1930’s John von Neumann (December 28, 1903 – February 8, 1957) developed an interest in how people strategize in certain environments especially game environments.

Hungarian American physicist  inventor,  computer scientist, polymath and one of the greatest minds of the twentieth century, Von Neumann had made, and would make major contributions to a number of fields.

Von Neumann, a skilled poker player, began to explore the obvious and subtle elements that made a person a winning player.

He saw that the best players had  an understanding of various models of conflict, competition and cooperation between intelligent rational decision-makers.  Even children have this understanding when playing simple games.


Von Neumann saw that the same elements used in poker and even simple games like Tic-Tac-Toe. Game Thinking  could also be applied to more complex systems such as economicspolitical science, and psychology, as well as logiccomputer sciencebiology and business and personal relationships.   Originally, his explorations focused on games where someone wins at the expense of others (win/lose games). These came to be known as zero-sum games,

Von Neumann improved and extended his ideas on Applied Game Thinking. He and many others defined  games and the strategies one could apply in games based on various factors.  Including:

  1. Is it a win/win game or a win/lose game?
  2. Do the players compete sequentially as in chess or simultaneously as in Rock-Paper Scissors?
  3. Do all the players have access to the same information (perfect-information) or so some players have access to information that the other players do not have (Imperfect information)?


I am a wealth, success and human potential mentor and coach. I spend most of my time refining and expanding the ideas in classical game theory and presenting them in a form that even a nine year old can understand.

By applying the concepts in game thinking and following the suggestions in this course you will be able to solve any problem if it is actually solvable. In addition many problems that previously seemed impossible to solve will fall into the realm of the obviously solvable.

If you are interested in exploring applied game thinking on a deeper level I suggest you explore the many Ebooks and soft covered mentoring and coaching books listed on the RealUGuru.com website.

I also offer a large number of personal mentoring and coaching programs.

Lewis Harrison


Today’s Blog: Give Up Your Expectations

In order to be content, happy and successful you need to give up destructive expectations.


I am not saying one should not plan for the future. It is that many of us actually have expectations for the future that have nothing to do with creating a plan in the “Now”.  An expectation focuses on the future of what may be. Few of us see it that way. Instead we make assumptions without facts in the present and then focus on what we think is the future without doing what needs to be done. I am not opposed to all expectations.  Expectations can be of value in making choices in interpersonal relationships. Here expectations can help us define “expected” behaviors from others. Expectations can also help us in the enforcement of agreements and creating a model for accountability. This makes them of use in creating effective life strategies.  Clearly in the game of life one can survive and prosper if one has expectations about the strategies and potential choices and actions of other individuals.

As I often repeating throughout all my books (your can find them at www.RealUGuru.com) one of the major sources of problems is false or inaccurate beliefs. Many of our beliefs result from our natural desire to repeat things that are familiar to us. Human beings are hard-wired to seek comfort and familiarity and habit is a huge source of comfort. In a world of uncertainty this translates into a natural desire for the familiar, which in turn is expressed through habitual behaviors.  Thus our beliefs of what will make us comfortable also influence our expectations for the future.

Often what is familiar and habitual for us has a negative influence upon us? An unaware person wouldn’t even notice this. Many of us are more comfortable with those things we are most familiar with, even when repeating these things have negative or unpleasant consequences. Given an opportunity to choose between the familiar but negative, and the unknown but possibly positive most of us would opt for the familiar and negative.  It might be said that we gain some pleasure from being with the familiar even if it is negative. The general notion is, “Better to accept the negative and familiar than gamble on the unknown.”


Many psychologists believe that happiness depends largely on our personal history concerning fulfilled or unfulfilled expectations. If our expectations seldom come to pass we are more likely to lose faith, become unmotivated, develop a poor attitude or be generally unhappy. Many a problem solver will seek to create some systematic approach that can be taken to increase the chance that one’s expectations will come to pass? This question poses an interesting dilemma. On the one hand it is best to have no expectations at all. On the other hand if your intention is clear and you live a life that is guided by creative thinking as welled as clearly defined agreements, with defined boundaries and accountability with other  then most of what you have intended will come to pass. At times there will be some unexpected small event that leads to unexpected consequences yet the skilled decision maker can usually compensate for these events fairly quickly.

Once we have reached this level of awareness then we must deal with the behavior of others. Even if we have personally transcended attachment to expectation and regret we will still need to be in relationship with others who live their lives through expectation and regret.

A practical approach in dealing with those who think this is to have enough reserve in your life to compensate for the challenges that may arise out of regret/expectation based thinking. This is how you complete the “happiness” puzzle.


Extraordinary and ordinary thinkers see the world differently and respond to it differently as well. The expectation of ordinary thinkers seldom take into account factors like “Black Swans” – small, seemingly inconsequential events that eventually lead to large, often unfortunate consequences.

In the end it is love and compassion that will define your ability to transcend the ordinary and live a life free of suffering and unnecessary struggle



  1. What beliefs do you hold on to that you could not prove to be true?
  2. How are these beliefs obstacles to you getting what you need?

Here is a recommended film to help reinforce the lesson in this lesson:


The Game: This film stars Michael Douglas as a person who seems to have it all. He also has arrogance, narcissism, self involvement and disdain for the little people.  He is has not yet discovered that he is his own worst enemy. His brother, played by Sean Penn helps nudge him to get where he needs to go. This film will be of special interest for anyone who has attended one of these weekend human potential/personal development seminars. If you haven’t “got it” yet, this will help you get it.





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If you are looking to take the next step in your life a great place to begin is by reading my Ebook.


The book can be purchased and downloaded by clicking below at:

Winning The Game Of Life: A Primer on Lewis Harrison’s Applied Game Theory



Lewis Harrison – RealUGuru, is a writer, mentor, success and wealth coach, content-rich, motivational speaker, and an entrepreneur specializing in problem solving and strategizing  based on game thinking, applied game theory and Game Thinking.

He is the author of over twenty-two books published in five languages.


Don’t forget to tune to the RealUGuru Radio show every Thursday 4-6 PM EST  at WIOX 91.3 FM or on your smart device at WIOXRadio.org.

WIOX is a diverse station that broadcasts original programming including presentation from NPR, the BBC, Democracy Now etc.

If you are interested in business success in the 21st Century in the arts or in any other endeavor you need to read Lewis’ recently published business books.

You can find books on game theory and business success here:



This course and all the offerings on www.RealUGuru.com  focus on the application of applied game thinking, gamification, decision science, positive psychology, happiness,  and visionary thinking to solve basic, complex and extreme problems. He is the creator of a free course on business success and human potential.

Here is a short interview with Lewis;



Lewis more about Lewis work at www.RealUGuru.com

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