I was playing the PC game Civilization 5 the other day when a bolt of lightning suddenly flashed through my mind.

In the game, you collect faith points, and when you have a certain amount of points, you can buy buildings or units, so these points become crucial after a while. My sudden realization was how we collect spiritual points in our daily lives as well. Say you’ve collected 100 points. You spend these throughout the day on your life, relationships, dreams, and your journey of self-discovery.

Let me try to rephrase this for our worldly minds. The universe gives us $100 spending money every day. It says, “Here, take this and make it through the day.”  What would we normally do with it? Ideally, we’d use some for living expenses, save some for future plans, spend some on a loved one, and so on. The reality is far removed from this, however. We throw away good money after bad because of tension, fights, fear, and other negative emotions and factors. We spend energy on anything and everything we do or think, whether it be negative or positive. The negative factors keep taking from us, and do you know what happens next? We try to get through the day with just $50 if we have some positive element in our attitudes. It’s possible to have an entirely negative approach, though, and then we struggle to make ends meet, plan for the future, maintain relationships, and so on with as little as $30–35. We just pour the rest of our money down the drain.

Imagine you want to buy a house that costs $10,000. If you manage not to waste your money each day, the unspent $50 will collect in the piggy bank for use in your future plans. The universe will grant you your dream house in just 200 days. You will be surprised, though, when you keep throwing money away and can only put $5 in your piggy bank every day. Now the money you need to collect takes 2,000 days rather than 200. I’m giving you the example of a house, but you no doubt have plenty of other dreams or desires. Your spiritual points are spent for these things as well. Yes, everything you desire happens at some point, but it takes a good long time to get there…

We could solve many of life’s riddles with this model. I’ll tell you the basic idea. We pay a price from our spirits for all our negative emotions and actions, fights, and fears. We thoughtlessly throw our points away on them. We push away our dreams and the wonders of life and lead “poorer” lives. Perhaps this is why our daily lives are so full with inconsistencies—perhaps the situation struggles to show itself and let us realize what’s going on…

I’ve paid extra attention to my thoughts, reactions, and manners since realizing this situation, because I know it creates a kind of energy leakage. At this point, you’re probably wondering how we can plug this leak. Well, they call it the “Journey of Self Discovery.”