Are you playing the Finite or the Infinite Game?

Are you playing the Finite or the Infinite Game?

Dec 04, 2019

And just like that, it’s December once again.

It’s time to look back at the year 2019, and check if there are goals that can still be achieved before the year ends.

It’s time to “close some books” – be it financial, emotional, professional, spiritual, relational. And when I say “close some books,” I don’t necessarily mean to end, but just to do some form of assessment so we know where we stand and decide whether it’s time to tweak, accelerate, decelerate, sustain, or abandon.

The challenge is doing the above while we’re busy preparing for Christmas – the decors, the parties, shopping for gifts, and getting stuck in traffic!

What to do with goals that will not be achieved this year

Like any regular mortal, I know I won’t be able to tick some of my 2019 goals that I set during our Annual Family Goal Setting we had on December 30, 2018 in Siquijor.

I wish to share a quote from Confucius about this matter:

So, I guess you and I will be needing a lot of adjustments in action steps for 2020. 🙂

Most of the time, it is so tempting to adjust the goals, just so we can tick off some items. I swear, there is a “dopamine effect” when you tick off an item in your to do list, that sometimes if I accomplish something during day that was not included in my original list, I will still write down that task, just so I can check it! Raise your hand if you’re also guilty of this. 🙂

What game are we playing?

In a world where success and happiness are routinely measured by numbers – grades in school, how much money you make, how many followers you have, how many likes your posts garner, etc., we may end up giving too much weight on goals that are easily measurable. And when we do this, we may end up playing what Simon Sinek calls the finite game instead of the infinite game.

Sinek gets inspiration from a book by James Carse written in 1986 entitled Finite and Infinite Games. Finite games are those with known players, fixed rules, and an agreed-upon objective. An infinite game has both known and unknown players. The rules are changeable, and the objective is not to win but to keep playing.

Left: Finite and Infinite Game written by James Carse in 1986. Right: The Infinite Game written by Simon Sinek in 2019.  

So how does this apply to our goal setting?

When you set your goals, do they sound like “to be the best” or “the number one” or “the first” or “earn X amount?” If so, then you are just playing the finite game.

In order to play an infinite game, you must have a just cause. According to Sinek, a just cause is propelled by your why (your objective in life that never changes, and is a product of your past). However, your just cause is not so much about your past but your vision of the future. It is subjective and changeable and you can have more than one. It is your big dream or dreams for that matter. It should be service-oriented, inclusive, resilient, and idealistic. 

My personal just cause is to make investing for everyone. I dream that one day it would be as easy and regular as brushing your teeth, that you would be embarrassed if you didn’t do it, no excuses.

I remember when I visited the la Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona in 2017. I became emotional as I marveled at the unfinished yet beautiful masterpiece of Antoni Gaudi. I humbly felt that my tiny efforts in helping parents raise children with high FQ in order to achieve my lofty dream of making investing for everyone will definitely be unfinished in my lifetime but it should not dishearten me at all. I am playing the infinite game.

Author at La Sagrada Familia church in 2017. Others are FQ Book readers residing in Barcelona who sent their respective selfies with the iconic Gaudi background.

This December or even January, when you go set your goals again, you may want to consider assessing your goals list. Are you playing the finite or the infinite game? Because come to think of it, even if our individual lives are finite in nature, the best way to live our life is to play an infinite game.



1. Watch out for our part on the BYUtv show “Family Rules.” We talked about family goal setting. 🙂

2. Mom and Son Podcast – Season 4 Episode 10 (THE IMPORTANCE OF REUNIONS)

Today’s episode features Marvin Fausto and balikbayan Bong Aquino, long-time bestfriends from Ateneo High School who had just celebrated their batch’s 40th High School Anniversary. We discuss the importance of reunions and the kind of mindset they have developed towards friendship through the years. Tito Bong actually moved to Chicago, USA many years ago and shares how to keep a friendship alive despite the distance. Join in on the kwentuhan and tawanan! Stream the episode now!




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Originally uploaded on Anton Fausto’s YouTube Channel:–uh1o

3. Thanks to those who already bought the FQ Book, especially to those who took the time out to send me their feedback. Your feedback is food for my soul. To those who have not gotten their copy yet, here’s a short preview of FQ: The nth Intelligence

You may now purchase the book in major bookstores, or if you want autographed copies, please go to FQ Mom FB page (click SHOP), or (click BOOKS), or email us at

4. Want to know where your FQ stands? Take the FQ Test Challenge now! Click link.

Rose Fres Fausto is a speaker and author of bestselling books Raising Pinoy Boys and The Retelling of The Richest Man in Babylon (English and Filipino versions). Click this link to read samples – Books of FQ Mom. She is a Behavioral Economist, Certified Gallup Strengths Coach and the grand prize winner of the first Sinag Financial Literacy Digital Journalism Awards. Follow her on Facebook & YouTube as FQ Mom, and Twitter & Instagram as theFQMom. Her latest book is FQ: The Nth Intelligence.