The Nash theory – How can it help us win?

The Nash theory - How can it help us win?
The Nash theory - How can it help us win?

The famous theory of the mathematician John Nash (the one who played so well Russell Crowe in the movie “A Brilliant Mind”) suggests that in order to win a game we must know what our opponent is doing, so that we can anticipate.

This theory, also framed within the so-called “game theories” – along with other authors such as John Von Newman and Antoine Agustín Cournot-, is used in various areas of personal life and organizations, where we need to learn to obtain results creating better strategies.

It is very interesting to be able to apply Nash’s theory in everyday life as well. Understanding that if we help the other we can also obtain what we want, in the time we want it and with the same resources that we already have.

Win-win is always the best trading strategy
A win-win where both parties are interested in obtaining a certain element being aware that they can help the other in the process.

The options that are presented are, at least, four basic:

Win / Win: Mutually beneficial, satisfactory and both parties are satisfied.
Win / Lose: Position, power, titles, positions or personality is used to achieve the purpose of making the other party lose.
Lose / Win: It looks like a competition. As your performance and performance is affected, your competition will see the benefits that in this case it could have.
Lose / Lose: When both individualistic, stubborn and selfish parties stick to their positions, leading to both losing.

How to put Nash’s theory into practice?

Whenever we take an action or make a decision, there will be consequences. Even not making or not making decisions has repercussions. Photo: Austin Kehmeier via Unsplash

The application of this theory is very useful because it is about being able to coordinate points of view that in addition to managing personal interests, to know how to read what happens in their environment in such a way that we can analyze and execute better ways to obtain results than looking for.

Suppose that today you meet a person who needs your help with a specific problem in the field in which you are a professional or an expert. Then you help that person knowing that he cannot pay you what that type of advice is worth or you recommend someone much more qualified than yourself to do it.

That person manages to solve his problem and in a few more years you find him again and your position is his at that moment. You ask for help and he or she remembers you as someone who helped them start a new and better path in their own life.

Nash’s theory would come to be like a virtuous circle of personal decisions that include patience, good treatment, empathy with the other and good communication in such a way that a small action benefits and stimulates others to achieve what they want and produce positive changes in hundreds of other human beings. Radiating a series of good consequences where everyone wins in one way or another.

The power of this theory may lie in the willingness of human beings to help each other to, as Nash said, create a better world today and for future generations.

You must be aware that our actions have repercussions on others and you will always be generating shock waves of your own limitations or potentialities to the extent that you recognize them.

Can you always win?

Win-Win is a possibility when we implement it as a philosophy of life.

Sometimes we will need to learn to negotiate and other times, to compromise. And other times, to accept.

Living according to a philosophy of life like the one proposed by Nash’s win-win theory, is to be able to agree that we are not always going to get everything we want in the time frame we want, although, eventually, we will get it or other people will. they will benefit from it.

The world is an intricate complex of human relationships that always surprises us and that is why we must not forget that our actions and our decisions are going to have a much deeper impact than we believe in lives that we do not even know.

We must remember that we are social beings is to go back to the basics of our condition: we all want to live in peace and constantly improve our lives.

In order to achieve our personal goals and live in peace, it is necessary to understand that empathy is one of the most efficient ways to always win-win.


Always practice empathy.

Understanding that what a person does or says at a certain moment is a true reflection of their way of understanding the world, not ours. When we accept the other as they are and accept that their process is different thanours (not a question of whether it is better or worse), then we can let the situations flow naturally.

A person who knows how to communicate with others and who can empathize with the other’s projects can learn to tolerate his own failures much better and share the benefits of his successes since he understands his role in the harmony he creates between these processes. And he understands the value of respecting the other, sometimes, despite their decisions.

Win-win is a realistic possibility for people who are seeking to bring peace to their own lives and build on what they have already learned. People who are not selfish in their projects and who can learn to communicate with others in the most assertive way possible.

They have taught us that the purpose of any game is to have a winner, although they have not always taught us the value of helping the other to be the winner. We can learn to obtain the results we want in the time frames we want if we learn to focus on what interests the other and the benefits that the other will obtain. To change the focus towards that perspective is to win a game of life that remains consolidated throughout ours.