Book Reviews

Play Your Bigger Game

Rick Tamlyn

Self Improvement, Empowerment, Inspirational, Spirituality


More than just a book, Play Your Bigger Game is a concept that will take you only nine minutes to understand but a lifetime to play. It was designed from the premise that life itself is one big game. ... More

Feb 11, 2014 PattiFoy
This book was fun to read. I really liked it, and am eager now to play my own bigger game!

Here's why.

[FYI, I'm not going to discuss the layout or the squares on the game-board. A lot of other reviewers have done that if you're interested.]

What I find compelling -- and will discuss -- is some of the philosophy behind it and why I think that basis is its winning element.

As Rick says:

"The Bigger Game is designed to create a paradigm and perspective shift."

It's clearly not business as usual.

In fact, speaking of business, you can apply it to that, or to your life's work, but just as easily to anything that holds meaning for you. This might include relationships, personal activities, or your interactions with the world at large. Just about anything, really, big or small.

Here are 3 of the main ideas that make it so different than a lot of the motivational how-to books I'm familiar with.

>> It's About the Journey

"One of the underlying philosophies of The Bigger Game is that goals are overrated."

Rick emphasizes over and over your enjoyment of the process itself. When you choose the right game, this includes enthusiasm that you evoke in yourself, the creativity you open to, and rewards you enjoy as you move around the board.

So even though you have some objectives in mind (of course; it's a game, after all), they are not the motivating factor as much as being in the moment, enjoying the moment, and being open to unforeseen ideas and opportunities.

You're encouraged to remain flexible, inspired, and responsive to what unfolds.

"Once you begin playing your own bigger game, something organic happens. You give up the need to control and strategize everything. It’s not that controlling and strategizing are bad and organic is good, but controlling and strategizing are tasks conducted from the left side of the brain (logic), and sometimes we need to lean a little more to the right side (creativity)."

Your attention isn’t all focused on outcomes. You're involved in the playing!

Since our experience of life is always in this moment, it behooves us to keep our focus there (or rather here!) instead of just looking ahead as we grind through necessary tasks simply as a means to an end.

>> It's a Game, and You're PLAYING

This idea in itself is very freeing.

Not only does it feel good, but the spirit of play opens up our innate abilities to imagine, be inspired, get creative, try things out, and most of all, enjoy the process.

"This is a no-pressure situation. We play here. ... When we play, we tap into our highest levels of creativity and engagement. ... This is about finding your passion and purpose and whatever it is that so fully engages you that it never feels like work."

To me, this element is crucial and if not for this idea, I wouldn't even want to involve myself in this process.

But because of the emphasis on play, I'm excited and naturally positive as I prepare to jump onto the game-board!

>> A Productive Flow

"Be open, available, and in the creative state of flow—fully engaged and always aware. ... Don’t try! Be! Let go and trust the process, for there are already forces in play."

By being a fully engaged participant in the game from whatever square you're on, you automatically become more aware of being part of a bigger picture.

You'll notice many synchronicities that not only create new opportunities but can even act as a guidance system.

"A huge part of playing The Bigger Game is accepting that you don’t need the how; the game will take care of that."

Rick is so good at helping you focus on and uncover whatever is important at any given square.

You get the benefit of his and others' practical experience with the game to such a degree that that you find yourself inspired as well as confident that his guidance will be beneficial.

For each square, he offers detailed ideas and suggestions, often in the form of questions to ask yourself, and often things you wouldn't even think of but that could make all the difference.

It's obvious how the resulting clarity will be a major element of what keeps you moving in a positive direction.

>> Recommended!

In summary, this book offers you an enlivening framework for making more conscious decisions that are in alignment with what has meaning for you.

Just as importantly, it offers excellent guidance culled from Rick's own extensive experience. Priceless.

I highly recommend you get the book and play your Bigger Game! I'm going to!

And as Rick says:

"Understand that you’re always on the game board. Instead of waiting for the future to come, why not make up your own life as you go?"

[All quotes from Play Your Bigger Game by Rick Tamlyn.]

Note: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for review purposes and this review reflects my honest evaluation. (The only reason I'm giving it 4 stars instead of 5 is I haven't had time yet to actually play the game!)
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Feb 05, 2014 Eleven11
I was really intrigued with the idea of this book, that "life is all made up, so why not make it a game of your own design..."
In "Play Your Bigger Game," Author Rick Tamlyn has created a gameboard for life, and I would sum it up in this way: The game board includes nine squares (not boxes), and no matter where you are in the game of life, you can always find yourself on one of these squares, and from that point, you can see more clearly your next logical move, and you can find amazing clarity and inspiration. This book, this game, is a tool. An incredibly simple and easy to understand tool. Nine minutes, in fact, is all it takes to get this game - and yet it works.
I think one reason it works so well is because of the fun factor. Who doesn't like a game? And when you are having fun, you relax and you open yourself up to ideas and inspiration that you might otherwise have missed. Fun opens up the path of least resistance, and that is when amazing things can come rushing into your life.
Another thing that impresses me about The Bigger Game is that you can use it to look at your life as a whole, or you can use this to look at specific goals or projects. I am a writer, and I am using the game board to sharpen my current book, and it is really helping me to focus and see where I am and where I would like to go with it.
Play Your Bigger Game now - you've always been playing this game of life, you just didn't know it was a game, and you didn't have a game board - now you do! Go for it!

*FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.
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Feb 05, 2014 tinietao

In “Play Your Bigger Game”, Rick Tamlyn describes how he first played his own bigger game. As a teenager, he was the senior youth group leader at his church. Both of his older brothers had had the same role, and while he was following in their footsteps, he also wanted to do something that had never been done before.

He wanted to make a lasting and significant impact, so he brainstormed with the adults at his church. After a few days, he decided on his big project: to fund raise and organize a trip for thirty six people to go visit an Appalachian community, where one of their mission churches was located. While he had no idea how to go about making it happen, he had a sense of passion, purpose and focus, as well as plenty of supporters who also shared his vision of contributing to the lives of others.

And they made it happen! They were able to travel over 500 miles to visit this community, and once they were there, they found many activities to do that benefited and made life easier for the people of Annville, Kentucky. Rick Tamlyn describes this as a pivotal experience for him, as he felt a powerful sense of fulfillment that he had never felt before. He had brought a dream to life that had once just been an idea in his head.

The rest of the book is filled with stories of people playing their “bigger games”, fueled by a compelling purpose and commitment to a goal, regardless of whether or not they knew how to achieve it… and often times, they didn’t know the “how”. Rick Tamlyn emphasizes that we do not need to know the “how” right off the bat.

When we have the drive, vision and emotional investment in a goal, we end up figuring it out along the way. The many examples from the business and non-profit sectors, as well as uniquely personal stories from individuals, in the book illustrate just this concept.

What I really liked about this book is that it reminds me to think bigger, because if you shoot low, you’ll probably hit your target but you won’t be happy long-term.

The book is also a great reminder for me to think about the reasons why I do things. When I have the right motivation (the compelling purpose Rick Tamlyn talks about, or the huge passion and devotion to a larger-perspective vision), I will be able to stick with the direction that I’m headed in and the things that I’m doing because it’s not just about me but about something bigger that goes beyond myself.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Hay House for review purposes. The following are my personal and honest opinions.

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Jan 13, 2014 Loveandtreasure
What would you say if I told you that you’re never really stuck in life? Rick Tamlyn, author of Play Your Bigger Game: 9 Minutes to Learn, a Lifetime to Live says that,

"You may feel stuck because you have been focused on what you’re lacking, but when you play on the game board, you focus on your gifts and how to unleash their beauty and power."

He believes that we’re never stuck and that we’re actually always on one of the 9 squares in this game called life. I received the book Play Your Bigger Game: 9 Minutes to Learn, a Lifetime to Live free from Hay House for review purposes. I had eyed this book several months ago and I was really looking forward to reading it. While the premise of the book is good to at least console you a bit and make you aware that you’re never as lost, stuck or alone in life as you think you are, I recognize that this book has some areas for improvement.

The author Rick Tamlyn, who co-created this game with Laura Whitworth, states that:

"The Bigger Game offers a philosophy and methodology for finding and releasing the full expression of your purpose and talents so that all of your years may be golden-and fun, too."

So this philosophy isn’t necessarily embraced by everybody, but it is a solid philosophy nevertheless. For many, it’s a relief to know that the term ”‘Bigger’ [in the title] refers not to the size of the game but to the impact it has on you and your personal world around you…You will feel more capable and more resilient, because playing your bigger game ignites your creativity and excites your mind.”

What Does the Bigger Game Consist Of?

The 9 squares (which are presented until a quarter of the way into the book, a little too far into the book if you ask me) are:

* comfort zones (which aren’t positive or negative in this context, it just means that you’re comfortable where you are),
* hunger (when you desire something more. It can take three forms, either we don’t want something, we want more of something or we sense that something is missing),
* compelling purpose (you’re looking for or have found a driving purpose) “Your compelling purpose is something so powerful that once you identify it, you can’t not do it, any more than a great singer can quiet her voice or a great writer can lock his stories inside. This irrepressible desire or force within comes from a place of deep knowing. It’s very much a part of who you are or, perhaps more likely, who you want to become… Your hunger pushes you. Your compelling purpose pulls you.”
* Your compelling purpose evolves as you grow. It is comprised of these audiences:
* Yourself when you’re young
* Others when you’re moving from childhood into adolescence
* The Field when you’re older (it stands for the world around you)
* Once you find your compelling purpose, “There’s no other option but to do what would normally be extraordinary, but now is required.”
* assess (this is where you want to double check how you are doing, where you are and where you need to go)
* bold action (this is where you make the leap to make it happen).
* gulp (you feel both excitement and fear at this stage. You’re nervous, but ready for action),
* sustainability (a checkpoint where you identify what you need to do to sustain yourself and have a lasting impact)
* allies (“this is where you stand when you’re recruiting, building, and nurturing the support network for you and your bigger game.”)
* investment (you’re considering the time, money, effort, plan and process you’ll need “to create, run, and sustain your bigger game.”)

The Pros about the Book and the Game:

* I like the premise– we’re always playing in this game called life and are on one of the 9 tic-tac-toe-like squares. Note that it’s interesting author chose “squares” not “boxes” because boxes feels confined and constricted
* Identifying where we are on this 3 x 3 matrix can provide some clarity as to where we’re going in life, since it serves as a GPS location
* It is possible that we are on multiple squares at the same time
* It’s a game that never ends. While that can seem daunting, in a way it’s inspiring, because your potential to inspire and continue attempting to make your life, the life of those around you, and the lives of people around the world better, never ends either.
* You have no opponent or competition (other than yourself and your limiting beliefs)
* You “never have to stop playing your own version.” This is awesome because you can start feeling comfortable that you playing your own game, for a greater good is good enough. I love that! What’s inspiring to know is that:
"Your unique bigger game lies at the intersection of what your heart desires and what the world needs.”

“All that’s required to begin play[ing] is an earnest desire to have a more meaningful and successful life and conscious awareness of where you are right now, where you want to be, and where you need to go to get there.”

* It’s exciting since, “you must decide to set something in motion even without knowing what it is. It’s like stepping into a mystery… It’s like starting a pregnancy: you know something is coming that will change your life; you just don’t know exactly what form it will take.” Not knowing everything will allow you to be in the “now” and to give yourself permission to be creative as you go.
* I love how the author took the advice of what to do with his life, which was “Rick, your job is to breathe life into people and their plans” especially since Rick Tamlyn’s father got to the end of his life without feeling a great sense of satisfaction on how he had spent his time on Earth. This has gained more momentum after the events that have happened since 2001 and has inspired Mr. Tamlyn to help more and more people.
* Mr. Tamlyn has great advice jewels embedded throughout the book, one of them being:
"Keep in mind that goals are overrated. It’s fine to have them. I recommend them. But we have become so goal oriented in our work and personal lives that we aren’t open to the magic and spontaneous opportunities that pop up. Go with your goals- love them and embrace them- but put more focus on the game you are playing, and watch yourself reach your goals magically.”

* When it comes to engaging in the game, a positive result is that we think and develop as leaders.
* Better yet, when we are playing our bigger game we’ll find that our focus “grows wider, encompassing not just yourself and others, but a much bigger, longer, and wider picture.” “Bigger Games often serve a greater good, because the player experiences an expansion of perspective and a compelling desire to have a lasting impact.” If we all were playing a bigger game, we could literally change the dynamics of the world and the legacy of generations to come.
* Aside from our cause growing bigger, we grow bigger given that an “important feature of your bigger games is that they require you to grow. In fact, if you already know how to do it, it’s not a Bigger Game.” And the best part is that that author says that, “You’ll be so compelled that you will find a way- and amazingly, you’ll have no sense of struggling or frustration, only that liberating feeling that comes with expressing the full power of all of your gifts.” Even if we do experience struggles and frustrations, the beauty of it will be that they’ll be OUR struggles that we chose to take on and not struggles that were imposed by someone else looking out for their own benefit or their own bigger game.
* And as Bigger Gamers, we don’t have to play and reach our desires alone, since “In that state of being [mentioned above], you’ll experience another phenomenon. You’ll attract allies and supporters into your life like never before. Their complementary skills, talents and knowledge will meld with yours. A team will form, sometimes without conscious effort, and you’ll accomplish more than you ever could have done alone."

The Cons About the Book and the Game:

* Perhaps it’s the portion of the title, “9 Minutes to Learn, a Lifetime to Live,” that affects me, but I think that the book could be much shorter than it is, if it really does only take 9 minutes to learn. Of course, using examples typically makes making a point clearer, but in the case of this book, some examples go on and on for several pages and are not powerful (others really are inspiring). What’s worse, is that many of these examples are repeated in different chapters. And as you know it’s not pleasant to hear something that you really don’t find interesting numerous times.
* I always like to highlight the books that I read, but I found that I didn’t highlight anything in this book for at least the first 10th of the book, and what I was highlighting was just an interesting fact about an example-nothing life changing for me. This was a red flag. In my opinion, the author should captivate the audience right away. It was a good thing that I was interested in reading the book and finding what exactly this 3 x 3 game matrix looked like, otherwise, I would have put it down way at the beginning.
* I think that this book needs additional editing given that there are facts and examples that are repeated in various chapters and instead of making the point at hand clearer, it just makes the content drag a bit.
* Personally, I wish that the order in which the squares were presented and the order where they fall on the game board was the same. The fact that the order of the squares is random and the order in which the squares are presented is random, makes it seem like the order of what is one each square was an after-thought. And if that’s not the case, and the author just prefers to present the squares in a specific order because they make more sense to him, it would be ideal if the squares were changed to the order/location in which he presents him so that everybody can instantaneously gain as much sense as he does.
* The game would be more useful if there was actually some hint, no matter how small, regarding where to move forward to if you were standing in a specific square already embedded in the game. This would serve as a layout, for people who felt very very stuck. Something like when you’re ___ and ____ is happening do this. Of course, there would be many possible outcomes, but at least people could start turning their wheels better.
* Although the definitions of the Bigger Game are good, I wish there weren’t as many definitions.
* These are some of the definitions:
* “The Bigger Game sets you free to live in state of full engagement and creative play.”
* “Your bigger game can spring from anything you are involved in, whether it’s working on a college degree, building a corporate career, starting a business, nurturing a family, or fighting for a cause. Some bigger games you may choose; some may choose you.”
* “Our bigger games arise from who we are, and they determine who we become and what legacy we will leave. We create your bigger game by investing in it with the full force of who we are. In the process, we become thoroughly engaged and driven, not by goals or expectations but by our own compelling purpose.”
* and there are dozens more… which makes me wonder, what is THE definition of the Bigger Game… because over-explaining what the game is, dilutes its impact, in my opinion.

* While it’s great that this book has helped thousands of people, with today’s desire for crisper, more actionable advice, it would have helped a great deal if the author focused on the actual content of the game, instead of the many repeated examples, given that I feel that people who choose to read and are drawn to this book don’t need that much convincing. They’re typically the people who would say, “GAME ON!”

* The experience that this book reminds me of is being on the verge of playing a real board game with family. You want to enjoy yourself in the little time that you have. And yes, you want to learn what the game is about, but you want to learn how to play as quickly as possible so that you can get onto the business of actually playing it. Feeling this way comes from a place of being excited. However, if you focus on the extraneous information too much, getting through this book can feel more of a chore than a joy…. and that’s a shame because we should feel “pumped up’ to live a meaningful life for the benefit of helping others, and I found having to pump myself up several times to at least be as excited as I was before starting this book. After a while… with so many examples, it starts to feel more of a maze than a matrix. Thankfully, there were many powerful quotations in the book that kept me going.

In Sum, Do You Need this Book to Play a Bigger Game?

In sum, “the Bigger Game is simply a tool for tapping into your inherent abilities by opening your eyes, focusing your mind, and unleashing your talents- and the board is where you go to free yourself from whatever limitations may have been imposed on you, either by yourself or by others.”

So playing it is really up to you. If you need to let go of limitations, if you need reassurance that you’re not stuck, if you need inspiration for how playing it can be have an impact on the causes that you care about then by all means: Play it. My only advice, leave the content that doesn’t benefit you on the table and grab and make a difference with what does.

One of the beautiful dangers of playing this game is that “There’s one thing you can be sure of when you allow yourself to turn up the hunger dial: the status quo will no longer work for you.” And that is good, because as we know the status quo is often not good enough.

One of the best quotation that makes playing this game and reading this book worth it in and of itself, is

“If you settle into a life or career without weighing the benefits and the detriments, then you run the risk of going on cruise control- or out of control altogether.”

So just the potential to stop and check your GPS location to identify a really valuable destination makes this book worth it.

The ultimate beauty is that there is no score to keep when playing this game, and by playing a bigger game one can acquire greater purpose for fully living life engaged.
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Jan 12, 2014 hollyreflexology
Expectations will really determine how much you enjoy this book and how much you get out of it. This book was my first exposure to Rick Tamlyn and his Play Your Bigger Game philosophy. As such, it gave a good overview of the framework of the nine squares in his "board game" of life.

The reason why I was disappointed was because I was hoping for a more hands-on book with more tools and exercises to apply his philosophy. Instead, the book primarily described the framework and gave many stories of people who were playing their bigger game. Most of the advice on how to apply the theory was in the form of a bullet list of questions. E.g. for the chapter on Investment, the hands-on advice was a list of questions like, "How do I need to grow? What do I need to begin? What strengths can I build upon?" There was one tool on the "Wheel of Life" that was useful, but no others.

I was also disappointed because I had expectations of this book because of the publisher, Hay House and because of the book description. Hay House is known for their more spiritual and alternative publications, but Play Your Bigger Game was VERY corporate-y. As well, the book description set some high expectations similar to someone applying for a job and stretching the truth a bit in the resume. I know this is not the fault of the author, but it causes you to expect something else and when you don't receive it, you are disappointed. E.g. "9 minutes to learn". Reading the book to learn the theory took MUCH LONGER than 9 minutes.

If you have attended Rick Tamlyn's trainings in person, I'm sure you would find this book to be an excellent reference and I assume he does teach the whole game in 9 minutes. However, as a first-time introduction, the written word lacks the dynamic interaction that seems to be present in his workshops and live trainings (as he describes them in the book).

Having said all that, the reason I do give this book 3 stars instead of 2 is because I found the concept of playing your bigger game intriguing. It did make me consider how to branch out in a bigger way. I also enjoyed reading the real world examples and learned about some fascinating projects as a result.

I'm sure a live workshop would be amazing. Some things just don't translate all that well into print, that's all.

Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher to review.
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Dec 29, 2013 WorldDrive
Play Your Bigger Game by Rick Tamlyn is an interesting way to look at life as a game. The publisher says it “was created to counteract that self-limiting, fear-based approach to life.” If you are living your life in this manner then I think this book is for you.

What the book describes is a game board containing nine squares. Within these squares are different ways to categorize the situation you are in (or season of life if you will). This gives a person a go to method for interrupting their limiting beliefs/patterns. Instead of saying “my life is falling apart” you can take a quick look at the game board and decide to say “I need to assess this and check with my friends.” Doing this helps give clarity and helps you see things as they really are.

While some things feel repetitive in the text I think a person can learn a lot from reading it. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to keep better track of where they are in life. This lets you see where you are and decide your next move into the future.

For further information or to see other reviews visit the book’s page on Amazon.

*Note: I received a copy of this book at no charge in exchange for my honest review.*
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Dec 18, 2013 alpha_andy_omega

Rick Tamlyn's Play Your Bigger Game is a 5 star read. You don't have to be one of those highly motivated types with huge dreams and goals to benefit from this book. There's a lot of good information here. I love the idea that our lives are "all made up." We're all in the process of creating our life moment by moment, so the Bigger Game concept is designed to help aid in focusing and creating what we want our life to look like. The game board is presented as a tic tac toe grid, with nine squares containing concepts such as "Hunger", "Compelling Purpose", "Assess"... Each game square is explored in its own chapter. What I like about the game board is that it's open ended. It's a guide, but one that puts all the decision making into the user's hands. I also like that it's set up for positive thought and action rather than a win/lose scenario. The author does a good job of explaining the Bigger Game, while offering many inspiring examples of folks who have successfully used these ideas to their advantage. As a small business owner, I found several concepts, in Playing Your Bigger Game, that I can put into practice immediately.

I was not financially compensated for this post. I received the book from Hay House for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

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Dec 03, 2013 fairiesmarket
Play Your Bigger Game 9 Minutes to Learn, A Lifetime to Live by Rick Tamlyn gives an interesting perspective about life and how it's all a game. A game that we can choose to play or sit back and let others play while we watch. I have to admit that I was not captivated by every word but I do understand the author's philosophy.

Play Your Bigger Game is a nice reminder that we are all capable of making necessary changes and that we should challenge ourselves to participate in our lives and make things happen. The mundane things that take every minute of our lives are what keep us from realizing that life is a game that we need to play-daily.

Taking a good assessment of your current situation never hurts. Rick Tamlyn provides a game plan that is easy to follow and encourages the reader to move about the board and make changes that matter. While the approach isn't for everyone it is easy to understand and implement.

I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for review purposes.

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Nov 30, 2013 DimiraOnline
Play Your Bigger Game: 9 Minutes to Learn, A Lifetime to Live by Rick Tamlyn, we are given a game board with nine different squares. I received the e-book for Play Your Bigger Game. In the book you are given an example of a game board that looks like a TIC-TAC-TOE board, you can use to find out where you are in your life or career. With this game board it also helps you find out where you want to be. Rick Tamlyn has helped individuals, leaders, team and organizations achieve great things, because they were driven by a deep and meaningful, compelling purpose which the Bigger Game board helps to bring out once you step on it. Each chapter in this book tells us about the different squares on the board. Since this is your BIGGER GAME it doesn't matter where you start.

Hungering for more out of life?

What makes this game board fun is that there is no order in which we start. We then go to any other space we desire. The squares are named Comfort Zone, Hunger, Compelling Purpose, Assess, BOLD Action, Gulp, Sustain Ability, Allies, Investment.
It is great that we are given many examples of Bigger Game players in this book. This book is an instruction manual that comes with a game and shows us how to play (get more out of life). I am now Playing the game. It is helping me not stay in my comfort zone. I have moved to the Compelling Purpose square and know where I'm headed in my career.

I was not financially compensated for this post. I received the book, Play Your Bigger Game by Rick Tamlyn, from Hay House for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for review purposes.
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Nov 19, 2013 BookLover
Play Your Bigger Game: 9 Minutes to Learn, A Lifetime to Live by Rick Tamlyn is based on the idea that life is all made up so make a game of it. In Play Your Bigger Game we are given a game board with nine different squares which we can use to find out where we are in our bigger game and where we want to go. I personally found this a fun and entertaining way to find our purpose and also where we want to go from where we currently are. Each chapter in this book tells us about the different squares on the board.

The fun thing about this game board is that there is no order in which we are required to go. We can start on any space we want and then go to any other space we desire. Two of my favorite squares are the Allies square and the Assess square. In the chapter on the allies square we are shown all the different types of allies we can have while playing our bigger game. In the assess square we look at where we are and where we want to go.

Overall, I liked this book. This book is like the instruction manual that comes with a game and shows us how to play. I would recommend this book to those who want a fun new way to find their purpose and also where they want to go.

I acknowledge that I received this book free of charge from Hay House in exchange for my honest and unbiased review of the book.
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Nov 09, 2013 MediaMs
Early November is a time I assess the year. I think it happens very organically in this space of time. Seriously, who has time to redefine goals or plan out New Year's resolutions in any weekend after Veteran's Day? Sometimes I focus on the physical environment; the stuff: Replacing ruined carpeting, having newer shoes before we get rain, and more comfortable chairs (everywhere) – these are my simple needs. I want to meet my needs, right? Yet, we can all agree it is very easy to not put time into maintaining everyday comforts, because, well -- we're comfortable.

You heard me. It's complacency and the unconscious desire to let our brain impulses run their rutted existence. We don't even see the clutter, the needed repair, the squeak in the wheel after a while. Digital photographs are a miraculous tool, if you find ways to let them lovingly nudge you awake. And I've recently given thought to a plan for having photos of these everyday things, before and after, in order to stay grateful and motivated. And once I replace an item, the old can fully go! Self-help titles might tell me this is merely de-cluttering, but self-coaching for low-attention creatives, I prefer to call it.

Rick Tamlyn has recently released his book, {i}Play Your Bigger Game{/i} published by Hay House. To be clear, I was sparked {u}after{/u} reading the book to give myself a plan, like the small one I mention above. I didn't pick the title because I needed a bigger game, or did I?

I'm reviewing it specifically with the BookNook community, as it is one of the newest releases. Know that the material it covers is the author's documentation of a popular workshop he and others provide as training at corporations, agencies, institutions and the like. With that in mind, I will honesty comment that this book may be more engaging as an audio book. I can hear the author's enthusiasm in his sharing. The structure of the book isn't faulty, I think I agree with the author's own early assessment that it is best to read the book through once fully and go back to read chapters as one develops their own "Bigger Game."

A collection of twelve chapters, plus many pages of endorsements and a lengthy afterword are definitely suited to people looking for motivation, selecting chapters to focus on as one begins a Bigger Game. Rick differentiates a Bigger Game from a life purpose. You're likely to create a good work, or many if you already know your purpose. So, I think, "the game" prepares you to define a meaningful path in which your purpose most often intersects.

I engaged as soon as he brought forth the most person-centered ideas some of his students developed. I was led to look up further information on the organizations one woman developed to better serve foster children [one,]. Although every story of every student he has impacted is likely very important to him, I sometimes found the process difficult to follow when punctuated continuously with success stories.

The book makes a big promise in its own tag line, "Nine minutes to learn, a lifetime to live." I can tell you it took me more than nine minutes to figure out -- but I was delighted to figure out on my own that the claim was "nine minutes" due to the model having 9 boxes (like a tic-tac-toe board). It asks you to step out of your comfort zone, tells you it's important to invest in yourself and your own ideas, good stuff ultimately.

This book would make an inspired gift if you are witness to a friend already on the cusp of stepping out in a big way with some creative idea. That empty-nester sister-in-law, or the still-at-home recent college grad, musician friend, or anyone looking to change careers, that type. When asked, I'm guilty of asking for gifts I will not budget for and invest in on my own. Is that a bad thing? In that small way, I still see myself as a child in accepting gifts. But, this year, I did make the step of asking for what I wanted, instead of simply deeming myself unworthy. You could be the compassionate person who sees a need in someone where this book's advice could be their nudge to that first step.

I acknowledge that I received this book free of charge from Hay House in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.

You can purchase a copy of this October 2013 release, {u}Play Your Bigger Game {/u} on the Hay House website and other retail sites.

I'm interested to know what folks think of the Twitter public offering announced this week. There's people who barely know what Twitter is thinking it's a grand investment. Would it be a bad pun to say I find Twitter to be a lark? My drive to write consistently in my blog since adding book reviews to my blog has also increased my desire to type in 140 character increments on Twitter, coincidence? You decide! Please feel free to comment, dear followers.
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Nov 09, 2013 SammSikora
Play Your Bigger Game is a simple, coaching-esque methodology and philosophy of living, really, that is designed to break the monotonous, tedious mold that so many other life coaching and "change your life", pop psychology crap tools fall prey to in order to help you live a life that has impact and meaning. Rick's method is encompassed by a very simple, 3x3 square diagram with various components that each describe a different stage of play in your bigger game and help you ground yourself, narrow your focus and make your next best move. That's it - the concept is genuinely that simple and elegant. You can begin from anywhere - just like tic-tac-toe as Rick explains - and keep going for the rest of your life and never stop playing. Good-Great-Excellent, making achievement one big soul-feeding, rabble rousing game of intellectual and spiritual delight.

What I genuinely loved about this book is that Rick was fearless with his admiration for his late working-partner-in-crime, Laura, who co-partnered with him in designing The Bigger Game Board, as well as his inclusion of fairly normal, accessible people such as Alice Coles amongst more recognizable individuals and companies. This made his concept seem accessible and easy rather than far out of reach and outlandish for someone who doesn't have the impenetrable ego of a Steve Jobs or the capital of a monster company like Coca Cola. His style and tone are easy going and conversational, the stories are inspiring and meaningful and overall the book is exceptionally well laid out and jam packed with tons of information and ideas that can get anyone moving straight away from one square on the grid to another in just a matter of minutes (although it might take a bit longer than that to start seeing results - this isn't a miracle cure, folks!) These individual parts come together to create a lovely Kindle book that is entertaining, useful AND inspiring.

I genuinely can't find anything that I would change except making a printable version of the Play Your Bigger Game board available as a freebie to anyone who buys the book and wants the convenience of having their own graphic(s) on hand - I feel like this would be helpful for Kindle readers and paperback readers alike (not everyone likes to write in their books, can scan the page or has the benefits of knowing how to work a graphics program!). Other than that, I think the book is smashing and I am excited to read through it again and to start applying the questions, techniques and suggestions that were made to start towards playing my own Bigger Game!?
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Nov 06, 2013 aimeeroo
I'll admit, I had a bit of a hard time getting into this book. Maybe because it seemed more geared towards business minded folks, but the more I read, the more I began to see that it was for anyone, not just business people. In fact, the story that stood out to me most was that of a sweet grocery bagger who made each person's visit a bit more special by including "Thought of the Day" slips in their bags.

The concept is that life itself is one big game, so why not play a game that is fun, exciting, and fulfilling? Of course, even though we might all want to live a life like that, we often get stuck in our comfort zones, or worse, we hold back out of fear.

Play Your Bigger Game teaches you how to play on life's game board, which the author lays out in the book. Personally I loved the idea of approaching life like a game because it just felt a lot more fun than other ways to think of accomplishing goals and dreams. Usually these things are approached with such rigid terms and it can become more of a burden than a joy, which might be why a lot of people give up on their goals.

The book talks about natural "game players", which we may all recognize some of these in our lives. These are the people that are always taking things to the next level, or approaching tasks in new and creative ways. If you are one of these people already, there will still be something to learn in the book. The way the book is written will help both natural big thinkers and those who want to think big. I love what the author says when describing the book:

The purpose of this book is to: Reveal the Bigger Game player you already are, help you find the Bigger Games that excite and challenge you to fully deploy all of your energy and gifts, teach you to consciously design the person you're destined to become, allow you to feed the hunger in your soul, help you to make a major impact, and allow you to leave a lasting legacy.

Overall a great read, and something I will be re-reading parts of for years to come. Yes, the concept of the game really does take just a few mins to learn, but it is a game that will take a lifetime to master.

I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for review purposes.
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Oct 23, 2013 ddawley

In Play Your Bigger Game, Rick Tamlyn teaches a new way to ferret out and live a greater life purpose. I loved the concepts he teaches, in examining each square of the Bigger Game. He often suggests relaxing and leaning into your bigger game. It is important not to worry about it or put a deadline on your discovery of your bigger game and compelling purpose. It will come when the time is right. Many self-help books want you to find your purpose and live your dreams, but I have found many of them don't have much helpful advice on how to do that. This book, by moving you from square to square, as you play the game, shows you how to find your way to what is most important to you, where your comfort zones are, and how to find allies to help with your compelling purpose. Overall, I liked the book a lot and found it very helpful.

If there were anything I could change about the book, it would be to add more examples of people who have played the bigger game who are more real to the average person than Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson, and heads of corporations. I loved that Rick started out talking about the bigger game he learned to play as a teenager. I find it hard to relate to the scale of the game played by billionaires. I love hearing how a firefigher played the game, or a worker in a corporation changed things for the better.

Being in the flow is part of the bigger game philosophy, so you know that your bigger game is going to be what you love doing. That is always the biggest game of all.

FTC Disclosure: I acknowledge that I received this book free from Hay House Publishing to review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment.

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Oct 02, 2013 hhreviewer2

Play Your Bigger Game by Rick Tamlyn is about shaking your whole life up and making a change, whether big or small. Rick Tamlyn is a highly enthusiastic, upbeat author who clearly loves his work and loves helping people to achieve great success in their lives. The system he has created is savvy yet simple.

In Play Your Bigger Game, the author first outlines the game card that the reader will use to play the "Bigger Game". Then Rick clearly explains each square on the card to aid in determining where the reader is in their life right now, and where they want to be. It is a great concept, especially for people who learn visually or kinetically. Rick also invites everyone to create their own squares for themselves, if the ones he's already presented don't quite fit, which makes it very customizable.

My one caveat perhaps is that this approach may not be for everyone, but that shouldn't take away from the value of the "Bigger Game". For instance, I personally am not motivated by an enthusiastic coach or uplifting stories of individuals who are natural "game players", although most people are. I believe that anyone with a more external locus of control or who responds to a passionate coach or inspiring stories would greatly benefit from Play Your Bigger Game. It was a very enjoyable read.

This is my review of Play Your Bigger Game by Rick Tamlyn. I acknowledge that I received this book free from Hay House Publishing to review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment.

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