Video games have really evolved throughout the years. It’s come to a point where they are so advanced that they are optimally designed for you to have a great time, to progress at a comfortable pace and for you to enjoy the experience. It eliminates or distracts us from our pain and offers us instant pleasure through dopamine releases, challenges, rewards and flashy point systems in a world where there are no true consequences, unlike our everyday lives. It is very easy for these games to become addicting and to absorb hours of our time. For a lot of us, our lives may not seem as fun as being in a video game. I have done so myself, spending countless hours, months worth of time, playing video games. It was an escape from my troubles and often, it was just more fun than my actual life. The problem with this video game addiction is that it immerses you in an environment that thrives on instant gratification and can distract you from your real-life goals, leading to procrastination.

What if we could design our lives just like a video game? If you are willing to use your imagination and think of yourself as a video game character. you can do this by applying the same principles that these games use to hook you. By ‘gamifying’ your life you can make your life just as fun or more fun than any video game.

1) Embody your ideal character. This part is super fun in any game and in life. It’s about designing your character, creating your story and setting the expectation for where it is you want to go and who it is you want to be. An artist, poet, musician, doctor, lawyer, entrepreneur — the choice is yours. You also get to decide what skills or traits you want to work on to ‘Level Up’. Pick your top 5 and go from there.

2) Set your target or challenge. Just like video games, you can send yourself on a quest, set your own mission and create your story. Make sure to set big goals and smaller targets that you can easily hit. You must start at level 1 and hit the easy targets before you can get to level 10 and take on the bigger challenges.

3) Consistently reward yourself. Video games do a great job of giving you rewards and points for making progress and leveling up your skills. This consistent dopamine release will only keep you coming back for more. Often, we forget to reward ourselves for a job well done and beat ourselves up for the things we didn’t do. Don’t fall into that trap. Set up a reward system that allows for some instant gratification when you follow through. This will train your brain to enjoy following through, destroying procrastination.

Apply these 3 steps consistently and you will be addicted to your life, rather than to a video game!

By: Bren Dube @brendube

Based on The Leading Life Podcast: Episode 30