Your Life is a Game

Oliver Emberton crafted a nice simplified analogy over at his site comparing life to a game. An aspect I really enjoyed from video games of yore were the strategy guides and the manuals. Sure, the games themselves were fun, but strategy guides, well crafted ones, were as much about gameplay tactics as they were about showcasing artwork, fleshing out the story, outlining play mechanics, and the thought process behind well-made games.

While some of his points lean “go-code!” heavy (this is a metaphor using video gaming structure after all), like those strategy guides from the past, Oliver’s “Life is a Video Game. This is Your Strategy Guide.” codifies all of those qualities together in a charming “life-hack-how-to.” Read all of it, it’s a lot of fun. One part that stuck out to me personally was this:

“Reduce the need to use willpower by reducing choices. If you’re trying to work on a computer that can access Facebook, you’ll need more willpower because you’re constantly choosing the hard task over the easy one. Eliminate such distractions.”

I like this bit, because we tend to think of distractions as little pinging mini-missiles annoyingly deterring us away from our tasks. But the way Oliver phrases it is best: it’s not that we have a small discomfort in distraction. It’s that we actually use up willpower to CHOOSE when we work at avoiding these distractions rather than working on our overall tasks at hand. Our will is tempted with something that doesn’t immediately satisfy our wants. Choosing against these distractions—to work on the art piece, on your business, on writing that novel or this blog post—takes up willpower, willpower best reserved for accomplishing your goals. THAT is a very powerful thing to consider.