In most (modern) board games, there’s a phase where you build an engine, and a phase where you use that engine to achieve victory. This is not explicit, it’s just that in the first part of the game you choose things that give you more power, while in the last few rounds you maximize victory points. And then you win!
For instance, in San Juan, you win with victory points. The core mechanic is: pay cards to build buildings. Some of the buildings give you lots of victory points, while others give you powers that help you get more cards.
At the start of the game, build only buildings that help you get more cards. Points don’t matter. Near the end of the game, build whatever gets you the most points. Cards are about to be useless. Only points matter.
In life, there are activities that build our engines, that grow ourselves or improve our circumstances. Some other activities are just winning.
Winning is looking at beautiful things, art or the faces of people. Winning is laughing while my children goof around together. It is playing music, dancing all-out, soaking up the sun.
Winning is also taking action to move the larger system, the country or the world, in a better direction. Donating money helps, but if we participate in a campaign, we get to experience the winning.
What gives you victory points at life? Those activities that give you the feeling, “Yeah. This is what we are here for.” For me, looking out a plane window during takeoff. Eating great food. Cuddling with my partner. Playing Beat Saber with great ardor.
We never know when our game will end. Cards will become useless. Victory is never useless, so collect some points every day.