Have you ever wondered what the secret to success was? If only you had some kind of road map or blueprint to guide you then maybe you’d know how to get where you want to be. If you’ve played video games, in particularly role-playing games (RPGs), then you might be surprised to realize that the blueprint to success has been staring you in the face all along.
THE BLUEPRINT TO SUCCESS
Let’s start by first defining success for the content of this article. When we’re discussing success for the purpose of this article we’re talking about achieving your goals. For now, that will be the context of success since there are many definitions of “success”.
I think that most people at some point fail or get discouraged on their road to success. We often spend great lengths of time trying to figure out how to achieve our goals then get discouraged thinking that it would take a lifetime to achieve them. It is true that success takes time, and often a lot of it at that. This is why success should never really be the end game, it’s always really about the journey and the pursuit of goals that matter. If you’re not enjoying the process, then what’s the point?
Video game makers seem to really get this idea. Especially the developers of role-playing type games.
WHY SOME VIDEO GAMES ARE ADDICTIVE
When developers make video games the goal is to make a game that people want to play as much as possible. A great video game is almost addicting from the moment you start playing. Sometimes you can go for days without seemingly putting the game down. So what is it about video games that makes people want to keep playing them every single day for hours on end? Why don’t people have the same drive in their other ventures because if they put as much time into their goals as they did into their video games they could have achieved their goals years ago.
I think that the reason some video games are addictive lies in the way they are structured to be played. Role playing games are all different but contain the same main elements:
- Character creation
- Tutorial phase
- Beginners area
- Intermediate area
- Character leveling
- End Game
Now this seems like a pretty straightforward list but within these video game elements lies the blueprint to success in real life.
THE BLUEPRINT TO SUCCESS
With a little digging, the structure of RPG games is actually a well laid out plan to achieve success. The main reason for its effectiveness is in its simplicity. Each step is broken down into manageable small parts that are attainable. Applied to real life the blueprint would look something like this:
1. PLANNING STAGE
This is akin to your character creation time. Take some time to decide what it is you want to achieve and how you want to achieve it. You will need to consider what your strengths are and what type of “game” you want to play so to speak. Are you the type that just likes to approach things head on or do you like to take a more planned and strategic approach? Are you the brawler or the mage?
To help better understand this concept I’ll use the real life example of having a goal to be a blogger through each step of the blueprint. For the planning stage this might be where you would take the time to determine what type of blogger you want to be, what blog style you want, and what you want to accomplish as a blogger. This might seem like a quick and easy thing to do but the more time you spend on it, the better you will be in the long run.
If you are actually interested in starting blogging you might find my Intro to Blogging Series helpful. Check out Part I here!
Taking the time to evaluate yourself and plan out what you want to do, how you want to do it, and what you want to achieve is a very important step to accomplishing anything. The plan doesn’t have to be set in stone but it should be personalized towards you specifically. Don’t just chose to do something because everyone else says it’s what you should do. Think about your goals and your needs, and then make a plan accordingly. Now that you have a plan (aka created your “character”) it’s time to get started.
2. LEARNING THE “GAME”
This is equivalent to the tutorial and beginners area in video games. There is a learning curve when starting anything new. Some people learn quickly, others require more time. The important thing to remember is not to rush by this initial learning phase. It provides the foundation for which you will base your future success on.
Continuing with the blogging example this is where you would learn how to be a blogger and learn how to do things like how to create your blog or how to write blog posts.
In video games, there is usually a guide to help you as you learn how to navigate and play the game. You may also be lucky enough to find an experienced player who is willing to help you learn the ways of the game. They are often part of a larger guild of players and if you’re lucky, they will let you join their guild. This will often fast track your learning as guilds have lots of resources that you would be hard pressed to aquire alone.
In reality, it would also be a good idea to seek out a mentor. Someone who you can learn from and is willing to help you get started. A good mentor can be invaluable, nothing beats learning from someone who has already gone down a similar path. Their connections are also invaluable. Never underestimate the value of networking.
The learning phase is also a time where you meet friends and make acquaintances with people who are at a similar stage in their journey as you are. Learning alone is fine, but having a few people who are at the same stage as you is even better. You can share ideas, experiences and help each other learn and grow along the way.
3. GROWTH AND CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT
Now that you’ve gone through the paces of character creation and the beginners area, you kind of know what you’re doing. Sort of. You’re not a newbie anymore, but you still have a long way to go before you can be considered and experienced player in the game.
If you’re goal is to be a blogger, you’ve now created your blog and have started posting content. Your intermediate growth period is where you start to develop your voice and writing style. It’s also where you start to figure out yourself as a blogger. You may have had an idea of what you wanted to do before you started out, but now is where you find out if you want to stick with the plan or make some changes.
This intermediate phase is a stage of growth and learning. During this time you will slowly bridge the gap from beginner to seasoned vet. It’s a pretty exciting time because there’s so much possibility. You start to develop a solid understanding of what you really want to do in your chosen endeavor.
4. THE GRIND
Most people love the beginner and intermediate stages of any endeavor. It’s fun, exciting and things happen at a lightning quick pace. Naturally this can’t last forever. Once you get past the beginner and intermediate stages comes the grind. This is where you will actually spend the bulk of your time. In the video game world this is where you do a ton of quests, farm, and character level. It’s not the most exciting thing to do, but it is something you need to do to progress.
The way the grind is set up in video games is pretty genius in my opinion and it is why I think people are easily addicted to playing these type of games. In real life, the grind is where a lot of people give up or quit. Why? Simply put, because the grind is hard. It’s hard and maybe a little bit boring. The goal you started out to achieve may also seem sooo far out of reach that it seems like an unattainable dream, and that can be disheartening.
I believe that breaking down your goal into easily manageable tasks is probably the single best thing you can do to achieve them.
Video games address this issue by breaking the game down into manageable chunks. There are daily quests, weekly quests and monthly quests. Each quest builds into the next and are all small steps taken towards completing the game.
THE GRIND IN DAILY LIFE
To help you reach any goal in real life, I believe that breaking down your goal into easily manageable tasks is probably the single best thing you can do to achieve them. Doing something every single day related to your goal, even if it’s just for 10 minutes, will do so much good for you in the long run.
For blogging it could be simple things like jotting down post ideas, writing part of a post, or posting on social media. Growing your blog takes time, a little work everyday with sometimes little to no payout. You’ll have days where you wonder if anyone is even reading what you post at all.
Although the daily grind can be considered simple and boring, it is where people who achieve success spend the majority of their time. Successful people are often masters of the mundane. They love doing the small things to learn and master their craft, no matter how little or time-consuming it may be. Learn to embrace the grind, you’ll thank yourself for putting in the work later.
After all the hours of work and grinding day after day, this is what it’s all about. You’ve finally earned the privilege to be considered an experienced player in the game. This is the end game, mastery and completion. There comes a point in every game where it’s considered “end” game. This means you’ve completed all the current quests, leveled up your character to the highest level, and completed the main story-line.
In real life this is the point where you’ve achieved your goal. In blogging this could be where you’re finally established and have a decent readership and maybe are even making some money at it.
Does this mean you can finally stop and relax? Maybe for a bit to reward yourself for your accomplishments, but after that it’s back to work. In video games the end game is often just the beginning. You’ve made it to the end to finally be able to access all the areas and content in the game where all the experienced players play. You’re basically a player in the real game now, and the question is how long do you want to keep playing and how successful do you want to be?
There will always be new things to do and new things to learn. Reaching one goal is never the end but just the beginning of another journey.
So there you have it, the blueprint to success as outlined through video games. Now who said video games where a waste of time? There’s always something to learn from anything you do, sometimes it just requires a closer look. I myself spent a lot of time in the past playing video games and enjoyed every second of it. Now I just take the same approach and apply it to whatever endeavor I choose to do.
Always remember, work hard, play hard! Or play hard then work hard, you get the idea.
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