I’ve been a hardcore gamer since my early teens.
I devoted every spare hour to these guys: DotA 1 and 2 World of Warcraft Counterstrike 1.6 and Source League of Legends
I spent the equivalent of a full time job every week exclusively on multiplayer gaming.
A typical evening would feature a WoW raid, a CSS scrim, and a few casual hours of DotA.
I would discuss the previous night’s games during lessons.
I would write dissertations on DotA heroes and study patch release notes for loopholes.
Even while working an actual full time job, I would still find ways to get a fix — flaking on weekend plans, lying to friends, sleeping less…
I didn’t go pro, but I was on the way.
Then, “life” started getting in the way and on January 1st 2014, I went cold turkey and uninstalled everything.
I gave logins to friends, destroyed installation CDs, and started life from scratch.
How do you decide what you want to do?
A job sounds boring — isn’t there more to life?
How are OTHER people getting on so well?
After a few clueless weeks, I admitted I had no fucking clue and got help.
I read every piece of self-improvement and personal growth material I could click on and today, I’m a walking billboard for life transformation.
In the space of a year I…
– Moved myself Asia for a job I WANT.
– Learned to write, code, sell, design, blog, speed-read, market, advertise, and manage finances.
– Got physically and mentally strong.
– Met the love of my life.
– Started an online magazine.
– Worked with the smartest people on the planet.
Looking back, I realise that there are important life lessons from gaming that helped me and I believe every human should apply in their life.
1. Fear of failure.
When a gamer experiences a failure, his response is automatic — try again.
Why? Because there are no consequences to failing.
In fact, a typical gamer knows that failing is as much a part of the game as winning. No failure — no progress or growth.
Yet in real life, we tend to create consequences where there are none. We turn harmless potential failures into life-or-death situations.
Speaking in public, talking to a girl, and creating your art — three common things that have zero downside, yet we paralyse ourselves before we even start.
There would be no stopping a human that wires himself like a gamer — fearless.
Pro-tip: Try to see failure as part of the game instead of focussing on made-up consequences.
2. Comparison to Others
In a game, the only difference between someone who is level 15 and someone who is level 80 is the time they have invested in the game.
Yet in the real world we are very busy comparing our early sketches with someone else’s masterpiece.
We compare our level 15 with someone else’s level 80.
Nobody is born a genius at Warcraft or Counterstrike.
Nobody is born a genius — it is trained over time.
Pro-tip: The only difference between you and any “successful” person you can name is that they stopped comparing themselves to others and simply showed up. Again and again.
3. Finding YOUR Style.
In the gaming world, nobody wants to be like someone else.
Everybody wants to have their own setup, build, or modifications. You build your own rig, customise your shortcuts, and play the game YOUR way.
If the game allows it, great. If it doesn’t — you find a way ANYWAY. Name any game and you’ll see hundreds of 3rd party add-ons that lets you customise the game how you want.
Yet offline we do the opposite. The majority of us are scared of customising and creating the life we want. Instead, choosing something that has been done before. Something safe.
Again, we invent consequences to doing something that hasn’t been done before. We think we’ll be cut off, rejected, and hated.
Yet in reality, we love everything that is different. In fact, we love it — we BUY it.
Humans can learn a lot from the gamer mindset
Pro-tip: play the game YOUR way.
It’s very easy to take the black & white position — “people should play less video games and focus on life”.
But it’s difficult, and more rewarding, to appreciate and respect the strengths of both.
Originally published at www.zenbeard.com on May 14, 2015.