Finding meaning in the Game of Life (part2) Leveling Up

the more you play, the easier it gets

    “Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action”
    -Benjamin Disraeli, former British prime minister.

I’m not saying that moving forward is easy. If you are depressed with no energy and no motivation, it is really hard. It is hard to move, hard to think, hard to care. But doing the hard thing is the only way that we gain experience points. So we have to keep playing in order to level up in the game of life. One small battle at a time.

One small battle at a time is your level 1 pokemon using tackle over and over again. It’s killing the low level rats in the sewers until you have grown enough to take on the giant spiders. Leveling up takes time and we all have to be patient with ourselves when we know we aren’t strong enough to beat the boss monsters of life.

Life works as a marathon, not a short sprint. Life is not a speed run to the finish. You need some time to try new things, experiment, and test out what works for you.

Having a life means being in the game of life. The only way you can enjoy life is to play the game as an active participant.

We have to keep fighting, we continue to get up every morning until we find something to get up for. We practice listening to our intuition and our desires until we find that wonderful thing that brings us joy. Once we find that, life gets a little better.

Then, you start taking care of yourself just a little bit more. You start planning for a future so you can make even more exciting things happen. You plan for excitement and you actively seek it out. Then things get a little more easier because you have a little bit more energy.

Planning for excitement is how you plan for a life that you want.

Once you know what you want and start working towards that, other people will know you for who you truly are. They will understand you because of what you want, then suddenly you have a support system of people like you and life feels a little easier. People will see you for what you are passionate about. The ones who understand, will become your friends and found family. You now have an adventuring party that will be there for you.

As, you slowly move forward, day by day, you start to take a little more care of yourself. You realize that life gets easier because you have slowing been gaining more and more experience points.
You have gotten better at life, and so life becomes that much better.

You have been leveling up this whole time!

You find out that creating a life for yourself is actually worth it. Now that you are a little better at life, you realize that sometimes you want to get up in the morning. You want to plan for your future. You want to build better relationships with friends and loved ones.

You find out that you actually do have energy to move forward because there is so much stuff that you want to do!

The game of life is the ultimate challenge

“link a hard task to something you care about. Continue asking questions that start with why.
Why are you doing this?”

- Charless Duhigg, Smarter, Faster, Better

Some people enjoy the game of life because they know it is a challenge, just like any game, we face challenges, solve problems, and create happiness for people who ask us for help by giving us quests.

Ignoring the challenges of life, means you aren’t a part of life. Ignoring the obstacles and challenges in your life means that you are not playing the game of life. Without being a part of the game, you will never be able to win or find meaning and happiness.

We realize that somewhere along the way that we need to take care of the hard stuff first. We face the biggest challenge that is threatening us. When we do, we see that the game of life becomes that much easier afterwords.

Taking care of the hard stuff means slaying your demons right now instead of living in fear of them constantly reappearing and attacking. Slay those demons now, so you can rest easy knowing that they won’t try to come back and bite you in the ass tomorrow. That is how you start gaining real world experience points.

Take care of the problems you have right now in order to level up. Take care of the problems now so your future self won’t be so stressed out and anxious. You’ll have a lot less to worry about and more to be excited about.

An adventurous life is building something out of your life that you can be proud of, something you can look forward too. The real adventure is creating an amazing and successful exsistance for yourself and your loved ones. Adventure is taking care of yourself so that you can survive another day. So you can continue playing the game day after day.

it's okay to make mistakes, learn from them

We make a choice to defeat our enemies in battle, and we never beat ourselves up when we think we fail. Every time we think that we did something wrong, we get back up and try again. Trying again is the best we can do because we do better the next time.

Messing up is okay. Messing up is human. Making mistakes is required in order to learn and move forward. Some people are paralyzed with fear because they don’t realize that mistakes are inevitable. They don't allow themselves to accept the fact that mistakes happen, no matter how hard you try. The trick is to get back up and try again. We have to accept that mistakes are a part of life, a part of the ongoing adventure.

When we choose not to try, we are choosing not to win.

Mistakes are the normal, natural way that we lean and grow. Without mistakes, we can’t learn. Without free will, we can’t adapt and learn from experiences. Without mistakes, we can never level up in the game of life.

Mistakes will always happen. The question is how we react to those mistakes. We can choose to learn from them, or we can choose to beat ourselves up and feel like crap. Those are the only choices we get. Choose wisely.

It is okay to loose a few battles. The goal isn’t to win right away, the goal is to get better than you were yesterday. Don’t compare yourself to others. Compare yourself to who you were yesterday. The goal is to get back up and try again. One step at a time. One change of tactics at a time.

Do a little bit better than you did the day before. Gain one more experience point than you did last time. Lose a battle or two without feeling bad or giving up. Lose because that is the best way you learn.

We learn the pattern of our enemies, and we learn the flow of battle, so that we can try again with renewed strength and a better strategy.

When we choose to lay down and stop trying is the only time we fail. We only loose if we give up. Getting back up and trying again is the difference between winning and loosing. Trying again means learning more, and learning more means leveling up.

Leveling up, growing as a person, can only happen when we accept our mistakes and allow ourselves to learn from them.

How to Find what sparks joy

Do we even know what makes us happy? Have you ever focused on what truly gets you excited about life?

A simple way to start figuring out what you truly enjoy is to answer 3 questions. The trick here is to allow yourself to feel happy about the things you love doing. We need to let ourselves feel good about creating a better world that we want to live in. We have been conditioned by society and experience that makes us feel guilty about what we truly enjoy. 

We alwys hear B.S. like "Playing games is childish," "Feeling emotions are bad" "Feeling miserable and crappy is the ony way to succeed" "Work hard and don't think for yourself" None of that crap is helpful or supportive. Those are fake rules that were made up by players who don't understant the true meaning of the game of life. So when you answer the following questions, be open to how you feel and allow your excitement, creativity, and passion to flow. 

   Question 1. If you had infinite time and money, what would you do with it? What would a day of your life look like with infinite resources? What would a whole month look like? How about an entire year? Or Five years? 

Answering this question and envisioning a future that you actually care about is how you create your goals. Create the quest lines that you need to acomplish in order to create the ideal version of your life. Take the time to think about as much detail as you can. Where are you working? Who do you work with? What projects are you excited about getting to work on? Where are you going to dinner? Where are you doing volunteer work? What type of people are you helping in your work? Who are you spending time with? What do you do on an ideal weekend or a simple day off?

   Question 2. What do your ideal relationships look like? How do you support your loved ones? How do your friends and community work together? How do people treat each other in your ideal version of the world?

I think this question is important because humans are a social species. We cannot survive in the modern world without being a part of a family or a community. When we have love, support and a sense of belonging, life gets easier. We know that someone will have our backs when we are scared. We are able to take more risks and get out of our comfort zones when we know that we have support from friends, family and collegues. 

   Question 3. What is the ideal world that you want to live in? How would you go about creating this ideal version of reality? What would you say to inspire people to help create that better world?

Creating your own world means you are in charge of your exsistance. You are the dungeon master and player in you game of life. Create a world where your character can live long and prosper. Make your own version of the game where you can thrive. You can create a better world and you can make a livng doing something you love. You are allowed to take up space in this world and make the best life you can. 

Now that you have an idea of where you want to go and what quests you want to tackle, you can start leveling up in the directions that you want to go. You probably already have an idea of what you will need to learn in order to get to where you want to go. The faster you level up, the faster you can be who you want to be. 

Write out your answers to these questions and look at them every day. Keeping it written gives you a quest log to follow so you won't get off track from what you really want. It is so easy to get distracted and take on things that aren't leading you to where you want to be. Read your answers every day, this will keep you more focused and excited to move forward. If you keep your ideal life in the front of your mind, you'll be more inclined to work toward that goal.

If you still don't have a good idea of where to start, make it simple.

If you want to be a musician, join a local band or take some more training classes. Volunteer or audition to preform with people you want to work with.  You will be in the environment you want to be in, you'll be practicing and learning more. You'll get to spend time with people who are just as passionate as you are about music. This is how you get started. Get into the community that you want to be in even if it's not a perfect fit. We have to start somewhere. Just the act of starting will begin your adventure and get you moving forward. 

If you love the outdoors, you could find a job at a national park, any groups who are working torward the same goals that you are. Volunteer to help plant trees or other work that excites you. Get yourself into the environment that will help you to move forward toward what makes you excited.

Thank You!

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Josh Wash

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