There’s an easy explanation to why so many people enjoy playing video games: they love leveling up.
Think about how satisfying it is to unlock a new perk or achieve a new title. Even though the incentives are completely virtual and have no real tangible benefits, we feel compelled to keep playing so we can hit that next level.
Real life works in exactly the same way — we just need to embrace the right mindset to achieve what we want in life.
I talk a lot about Building vs. Doing when it comes to your life’s mission. When you’re building something, you construct a foundation for yourself. Each time you sit down to work, you continue to add to this foundation. Compare this to doing — where you simply check things off your to-do list and then go home, only to repeat everything all over again tomorrow. Building elevates you — each time you work, you ascend higher and closer to your goals. Doing is merely keeping yourself occupied.
Just a few years ago, I was totally stuck in a rut. I was working a full-time job I didn’t like and I wasn’t doing anything creative in my free time. How could I expect to progress towards my dreams if each day was no different than the last? How many more times would I lie to myself about ending the vicious cycle I was in so I could live the lifestyle I’ve always dreamed of? A creative who isn’t creating is like a fish out of water — I felt like I was suffocating. I knew I had to start building.
I decided to do things that I knew would pay dividends later. I started a blog and wrote about my social experiences. I wrote about quitting my job and finding your passion. I created a podcast and interviewed people about how they found their life’s calling. I stayed up late into the night and woke up super early in the morning just so I could work on all these things.
The universe has a way of acknowledging us when we’re passionate about something. Before too long, my work started to get noticed. My writing was posted on a few notable blogs, including The Huffington Post. I still remember getting the excited phone call from my fiancé, who was out at dinner with friends at the time, when she discovered an article of mine had been featured on the front page of their blog. And to think, all of this started with a decision to build. To reject the easy option of staying at the same level in life and instead to grow towards my dreams.
We’re all capable of moving the needle. We all have the power to choose to build a foundation in our lives. Every day is an opportunity to level up.