To accomplish anything great, you’re required to go through struggles. Just because you have struggled in the past does not mean you’re entitled to anything. To play at the next level, you’ll have a new set of struggles. Better to think of yourself as a perpetual newbie: someone who lacks entitlement or preconceived biases has an easier time and reaches goals faster. Continue to collect power-ups throughout your life. Other people play at higher levels thanks to the power-ups they have collected on their journey.
Having a mission gives you purpose. And with purpose comes the conviction you need to level up to achieve the success that you want. A mission is very important to help a company reach its long-term goals. You don’t need to start big, but start with something so you can get going. Under an overarching mission, you can have sub-missions. These can be your quests.
Conversely, not having a mission puts you in a position where you’re living in limbo and life is just passing you by. This is like being a non-player character. In a role-playing game, a non-player character (NPC) plays a supporting role in the players’ quests. NPCs have no quest, no real life; they’re just puppets. Don’t be an NPC. Become the hero.
Playing the Game of Life
In almost any game, you start out with nothing. No money, no armor, no weapons, no friends. You have to work your way up. On your way up, you encounter obstacles. People are mean. Competitors try to hold you back. Your friends alienate you for aiming for the stars. And that’s okay. A chip on your shoulder can be a great motivator.
Life is pretty simple: it’s just a series of levels to beat.
As you become more proficient at your craft, you begin to set yourself apart from others. That’s when other people start to gravitate toward you. Why? Because you add value to their lives. They know that you will make their lives better. The more useful you become to the world, the more people will be pulled toward you.
Smart hard work is something that anyone can do. Most of the time, the people who have earned the most money in the world are also the ones who have provided the most value and worked the hardest. Elon Musk said that “you get paid in direct proportion to the difficulty of problems you solve.”
Life Is Never a Straight Line
You’ll face incredibly difficult trials along the way. Time spent with your loved ones will be sacrificed.
Take Netflix for example:
Level 1: They rented DVDs by mail. People paid per rental. It was a failing business model.
Level 2: They rented DVDs by mail. People paid a monthly subscription. The business model worked because of the payment model switch.
Level 3: They switched to streaming media online. The business exploded.
Level 4: They went into original content production. Their userbase grew.
It took Netflix years to reach its current business model that the world now knows and loves. Netflix almost died in its early years and had to level up a few times by making critical adjustments in order to emerge from the arena victorious.
Do The Levels Ever End?
The answer is they really don’t. It is your decision if you want to continue leveling up in certain areas of your life. Life gamification is about continually challenging yourself and adding new power-ups to help you reach your long-term goals.
If you want to push hard on your career and then open a new quest of having a family, that’s perfectly fine. Just understand that your progression on the career level will slow significantly until you can dedicate more time and energy into it.
Those are the four games you can play in life. We are all limited to the same twenty-four hours in a day so we are not able to play all four games simultaneously to the best of our abilities. There’s just not enough time. So, you must choose the game at which you want to excel.
It’s hard enough to try to defeat one boss by yourself. Two is much harder.
Knowing Where Your Priorities Lie
There are some ways to cope with managing the four burners:
- You can hire someone to assist you with some of the burners.
- You can decide to completely focus on certain burners while sacrificing others. Then you can pick up the other ones later. For example, if you want to be exceptional at business, you may decide to sacrifice time with friends. Then when you become successful in business, you might dial down the work intensity and spend more time with your friends.
- You can set time constraints each day on how long you focus on each burner.
The important thing is that you be intentional about how you spend your time. Do this, and you’ll reap the long-term benefits of your focus and efforts.
Don’t Ever Stop Collecting Power-Ups
One more thing: the power-ups in this book are just the starting point for you. There are many more power-ups to collect as your journey continues.
Where do you find these power-ups? For starters, you need to continue to study the habits and routines of the individuals mentioned in this book if you want to get better. You can start by reading their biographies. Look for other entrepreneurs to study. Entrepreneurs are often the biggest thinkers who challenge the status quo. Everything around you was built by an entrepreneur of some sort. Entrepreneurs aren’t necessarily businesspeople; they may be creators—artists, musicians, designers, and so on.
Beginning Your Journey
A final piece of advice before you conquer the world: we are all at different chapters in our lives. It’s easy to compare yourself to others and think you’re inferior. You’re not. You might be at your level 1 while somebody else is at their level 25.
Everybody is fighting a different battle at a different stage.
Always remember that and don’t be too hard on yourself—or others. You never know what opponent someone else is facing.
Now go forth, level up, and win at the game of life!