How to Win at Monopoly and Life

One of the more important life lessons I learned as a kid was from the game Monopoly.

The way to consistently win at Monopoly is embracing mutually-beneficial trades. Monopoly is all about trading. Human society is all about trading.

You start trading early and aggressively work to make a trade. However, you do not attempt to get the best possible trade. You never try to take the other person for all you can. Think from their perspective and get creative to try to get them what they want. In Monopoly it’s okay to let them get a slightly better deal than you. In life it’s okay to let them get a significantly better deal, as long as you still benefit.

I make a trade with the person on my left, and I’m willing to give them a monopoly, maybe even a better monopoly than I get from the deal. People think I’m crazy for not trying to get the most possible from the deal. But then the person on my right wants to trade. We both get monopolies and suddenly I’m sitting there with two monopolies, dominating the board, but no one is bitter about it.

In Monopoly this is a good way to turn the odds in your favor, particularly if you are repeatedly playing the game with the same people. In life this becomes even more beneficial. It works in all sorts of areas, personal and professional. It reduces stress and that uncomfortable feeling of getting “ripped off.” It creates fewer enemies and makes people want to work with you and suggest you to others. It starts attracting others who think the same way. Then you really start winning. The longer people see you using this strategy the more it pays off.

For years I thought I was so smart and special for thinking this way, but then I started listening to Audible books about finances and getting rich and found this concept repeated again and again. It’s not all Scrooge McDuck. It’s surprising how many successful people in our world subscribe to this idea. They’re the ones for whom success comes naturally.

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