Jeff Rogers: Life is a Game- Learn to Play


In the bustling world of Macy’s, amidst the chaos of post-Thanksgiving shopping, Jeff Rogers found himself in a situation that would become a turning point in his life. Standing in the men’s department, an unexpected encounter with a giant of a man presented not just a challenge but an opportunity for Rogers to unveil the secrets of navigating life’s giant, stressful situations.”Excuse me. Can you help me? May I ask you a question?” The words came from the towering figure, seeking guidance in a moment of potential chaos. As Rogers reflected on the science of human response to stress—fight, flight, or freeze—he introduced a fourth option: release and unleash your creative genius.According to Rogers, we are all born creative geniuses. Research suggests that up to 98% of us exhibit genius-level creativity at the tender age of 5. However, as we progress through the educational system, societal norms encourage us to stow away this inherent creativity, relegating it to the recesses of our minds.Drawing on personal experiences, Rogers recounted his journey to rediscovering his creative genius. From performing at Second City alongside comedy legends like Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert to studying creativity and innovation at prestigious institutions like Harvard, Stanford, and MIT, he pieced together a formula that he now imparts to global organizations like Microsoft, GM, and Pepsi.The key to unlocking our creative genius, as Rogers reveals, lies in six magic words: “What if? As if. If, then.” These words, when harnessed in tandem, open the door to limitless possibilities and creative solutions.”What if?” serves as the catalyst, allowing the mind to explore uncharted territories of thought. It invites us to entertain new ideas and possibilities, breaking free from the constraints of conventional thinking. Once the door is ajar, the next step is to say “as if,” prompting us to imagine and empathize with the scenario as though it were already a reality. This shift in perspective broadens our horizons and fosters a deeper understanding of the situation.Finally, “if, then” completes the formula, encouraging us to play with the newfound ideas and possibilities. It challenges us to consider the consequences of these imagined scenarios and opens the door to innovative problem-solving.The transformative power of these six magic words unfolded for Rogers during the encounter with the giant at Macy’s. Faced with the question, “Can you help me?” he responded with a resounding “Yes.” By unlocking his creative genius, he embraced the role as though he worked at Macy’s, assisting the giant in selecting a coat.As the giant expressed gratitude for the exceptional service, Rogers capitalized on the moment, playfully suggesting an employee discount at the cashier. The result? Laughter and a discounted purchase—a testament to the magic of creative thinking.In essence, Jeff Rogers’s message resonates beyond the confines of a department store encounter. It challenges us to reflect on our own lives and ask, “Are you ready to ask, ‘What if?'” The invitation to unlock our creative genius beckons, reminding us that within every challenge lies an opportunity to unleash our innate brilliance.Life, according to Jeff Rogers, is a game—a game in which creativity is the ultimate power. Learning to play this game involves embracing the magic of “What if? As if. If, then.” So, as you navigate the complexities of your own giant, stressful situations, remember the words of Jeff Rogers and step into the realm of creative genius—where possibilities are endless, and solutions are born from the playful dance of imagination and reality.