Everyone is a sprite
In video game programming, I learned a term: "Game Sprite". Basically, there's the player character, and then there's everyone else.
A while ago, I saw a video where the guy was waxing poetic about how not everyone is your friend, and to watch out for the untrustworthy and all that.
I have a different approach. I think of everyone as a sprite.
Some are there to give you potions.
These folks are your real friends - they'll help you when you're down, they'll pick you back up, they're there for you.
Some are there to give you plot points
These people are there to give us our strongest memories by giving us life altering choices. Some are doing it on purpose, some are trying to help, others aren't, but all of them provide us with the decisions which help forge us into who we choose to become.
Some are there for coins
There are plenty of people whom we will never meet, but provide value to in some way or another, and send us coins for our efforts. Others, we might meet, but form little to no emotional attachment towards. They need us, we need them, and life's plot continues on.
Some are there for items
Items give us new paradigms, new limits, new opportunities. We never used to be able to jump this high, now we can, and we can reach higher branches. We never used to be able to see the opportunity in a poorly run business, now we can. Books, podcasts, seminars, or simply observing someone's results all fall under this category.
Some are there for the XP
Without the thousands of turds we have to step on, our scores don't go up. We need these weights to grow our muscles and forge our identities. Sure, they might be trying to get you, but that doesn't really change the fact that without them, you'd never level up.
If Bowser was actually a bad guy, he'd just make a wall 97 pixels high, and bring in all the koopas to do lawn work instead. If Doctor Wiley was really out to get you, he'd just have a pit of spikes with nothing else to jump off of.
But they don't.
The game is there for you to solve, for you to develop new abilities to conquer, and to ultimately take the heroes journey.
So the next time you encounter something that doesn't quite fit today's plan for happiness or success, I challenge you to ask yourself: What sprite is this?
Now, this does not mean the universe revolves around you, that you are the only person who matters, or anything like that - what it means is that you are the only one the controller works for. The only one whose decisions you get to decide. The only one who jumps every time you tell them to.
The only one whose continues you use when you choose to hit start.
So get up. Try again.