November 08, 2013

Level Up

I’m only an occasional gamer, but I’ve realized most video games share a similar progression.

Basically, you start out in a safer area where you learn how to move around the world—push boxes, unlock doors, or shoot that plasma cannon. As you gain more skills, each level then gets successively harder: the puzzles get trickier; the opponents are more challenging; and the terrain becomes harder to navigate. This progression makes the game more engaging and keeps you involved.

When I was younger, I used to entertain this thought of doing A, B, and C and then be set for life. I’d study really hard, graduate from a good school, get a well-paying job, and it would be smooth sailing from there. If I worked hard now and got all these things checked off, it would finally be easy.

Of course, it doesn’t work that way.This past summer, I was agonizing over whether to stay at my previous job or join Ei. That was a difficult decision, but it’s obvious to what choice I made. Whew, the hardest part is over, right?

Not quite. The intensity of our first meetup pushed me out of my comfort zone on a daily basis. Then, came the flurry of calls, emails, and meetings to figure out my first apprenticeship. Finally, after a lot of work, my first round was secured.

Shouldn’t it be easy now?

Nope. I still had to run around looking for a short term place to live, figure out my apprenticeship responsibilities, and about a hundred other things lined up and clamoring for my attention. It’s still not over!

I’m trying to keep the perspective that all these things I’m trying to achieve are not end goals, rather they’re checkpoints. I now get to make these decisions because everything I’ve done up to this point has made me ready for them.

Don’t be discouraged when life seems like it’s getting harder. Stay engaged, you’ve leveled up.

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