Level up your game

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I’m a big fan and promoter of constantly improving yourself, of striving after personal linear and rapid improvements that lead to a better quality of life, especially because this increases your capacity to create, connect (love) and enjoy life. You should always challenge yourself, push yourself out of your comfort zone, try new things, and progress towards your ideal self, step by step. But that is just one side of the coin.

Sometimes improving yourself bit by bit isn’t enough. The improvement process could be too slow and your impatience could lead to you completely giving up sooner or later. Sometimes you wish for something really bad or maybe you simply lag behind so much that you simply have to take a different approach. I call it levelling up your game.

Usually the story goes like this. You set a new goal, something that really inspires you. You take the first step and you see how much it takes to achieve your goal, how long and demanding the process is. You persist for a few more steps and then you give up. You start whining, bitching and complaining about how shitty life is. I’ve seen situations like this many times. Of course this also happened to me several times.

That kind of a sharp ascent (motivational bust) and descent (disappointment) especially happen especially when your skill levels are completely discordant with your big goals and, at the same time, you don’t have the patience to follow the process. Your short moment of impatient arousal leads to facing hard reality and your naivety, then anxiety follows until you finally back off. It’s like trying to run a marathon with sprints when you don’t even know how to walk.

One way to deal with that kind of a situation is, of course, to lower your goals, to take smaller steps and consider the process phases. You take one big step back to make three steps forward somewhere in the future. But what if you want something really bad, what if you’re really impatient and want to speed up the process?

It’s time to level up your game

When you want something really bad, something that’s way out of your league and your skills are way behind, you simply have to level up your game. That’s how you speed up the process. You can basically achieve everything you want in the world (considering physical limits), if you approach it from the right angle, with the right mind-set, strategy, focus, skills and persistence.

Where you are in life and what you currently face is merely a reflection of who you are and how you think. Your past decisions led you to where you are right now. If you upgrade your thinking and your skills, if you become more creative and educated, if you find a new way to achieve something etc., you’re on the path to something I call “leveling up your game”.

  • You want to acquire more wealth. Don’t complain about how there are no opportunities and how hard it is to earn money. Start reading books about money and investing, hell, read one book a day, join investment clubs, save every dollar, do research on how to earn extra money, become a producer, develop a skill that’s in great demand on the job market and so on. Focus on money and wealth, and commit yourself to levelling up your game regarding money. If you’re way behind from where you want to be, that’s the only way to do it. From knowledge to markets, everything is accessible to you, the only question is whether you will put yourself in a position of a victim or a winner.
  • You want to have a more active sexual life or meet your perfect spouse. Don’t complain about how there are no opportunities and how there are no people that fit you. That’s bullshit. There are 7 billion people on this planet. Many of them can really enrich your life and you can experience awesome things with them. But not if you lock yourself in a room, watch TV, eat popcorn and hope that the perfect person will knock on your door. If you feel that you lack love, sex, friends, perfect spouse or even business partners in your life, you simply have to level up your game. Read all available books on how to approach and meet new people, how to have the best sex of your life, what women/men want in a relationship, how to manage arguments, how to contribute to a relationship, and so on. Become a master of relationships.
  • You want a career advancement. Don’t bitch, whine and complain about how life is unfair and how your co-worker got promoted instead of you. Don’t blame life, God, financial crisis or anyone/anything else. Simply level up your game. Study the industry you work in, write down all your creative ideas, analyse the decision makers in your company, make new alliances, contribute more value, learn new skills and competences, bring in new customers (that always helps), learn more executive or diplomatic skills, manage your time better and so on. Simply level up you game.
  • You want to become better looking or get into better shape. Don’t complain and comfort yourself with a bag of chips. Simply level up your game. See yourself as an athlete, one way or another. Raise your standards. Find a sport you like, donate 100 dollars every time you eat something shitty, if you can’t do sports stretching, do yoga or pilates, work out with resistance bands, go for a swim or whatever. Buy better clothes, work on your posture, groom yourself, put a smile on your face, and so on. Start seeing your body as a temple you have to take care of (internally and externally) and start respecting yourself more. If you want to become better at a sport you like, again, level up your game. Learn new tricks, train harder and learn faster.
  • You started blogging and want to have a successful blog. I do and I’m far from the goal of what I want to achieve with this blog. My skills are simply lagging way behind my goals. I could complain and whine about why I haven’t started blogging in English 10 years ago when the market was still new, why I wasn’t born in an English speaking country, and so on. But that’s simply a waste of time and energy. Complaining never got anyone anywhere. If I want to have a successful blog, I have to simply level up my game. From improving my English, spending more time on distribution, becoming better in search engine optimization, connecting my content to search queries better, writing more catchy headlines, doing guest blog posts and so on. If I don’t level up my game, I have zero chances of making this blog really successful.

Whatever the goal you want really badly is, and no matter how far behind you are with your skills, simply focus on leveling up your game. I like the quote that you’re never given a wish without also being given the power to make it come true. It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not, who cares, what matters is that you believe in yourself and that you believe you can achieve your goals by levelling up your game – becoming more educated, smarter and hardworking, more creative and innovative, better connected, more resourceful and so on.

Before and after leveling up your game

How to level up your game

You want something really bad. The thing you want is way out of your league. You decided to level up your game. Good. Now let’s look at some general guidelines for how to approach the situation when you decide to level up your game. This is how your master plan should look like:

There is nothing that can come in between

The first and most important thing is your mindset. The one and only mindset you must have when leveling up your game is that there is nothing that will come between me and leveling up my game. No distractions, no temptations, no obstacles, nobody and nothing. In order to level up your game, you simply have to commit yourself 100 %. You have to put yourself in a state of complete focus.

Trust me, there will always be temptations, there will be distractions when you decide to focus. You will get invitations to events, you will be tempted by many different goals that seem a lot easier to achieve, and you will even be tempted to give up. But if you really want something badly enough, you will keep yourself focused and disciplined, showing only determination, iron will, and you will give no mercy to anything that could come between you and your leveling up your game. Of course hurting other people, doing any kind of damage to yourself, to others or to the environment isn’t allowed.

Get educated

Acquiring and applying knowledge is power. If you don’t have the most advanced knowledge in the area you want to achieve your goal in, you will stay in the amateur league. The rule is simple: go for the best knowledge there is. There is too much information, too many fakes, copycats and misleading gurus. Simply go for the best knowledge there is. It’s not hard to separate the wheat from the chaff.

The knowledge you acquire should be eye-opening, it should change how you look at the world, your behaviour patterns, your values and beliefs. The best knowledge should encourage you to apply it as quickly as possible. By acquiring and embracing the best knowledge, you should basically feel how your mind is being upgraded.

When you decide to level up your game, read about a certain specific topic all the time. Focus your information consumption and forget about everything else. Read when you wake up, read before you go to sleep, when you stand in queues and whenever you have a minute of free time. Take a speed-reading course and read even more and faster. Read one book per day, if necessary. Listen to audio books, take online courses or whatever else works best for you. Get educated like a pro.

Build an environment that supports your leveling up

When leveling up your game, you need to redesign your physical environment to the point that it completely supports your mind-set and skills being upgraded. Change the wallpaper on your computer, install new apps on your smartphone, always take a book (or Kindle) with you wherever you go, put posters and reminders in your home and car. Build an optimal environment that will support you in leveling up your game.

In addition to that, manipulate transaction costs. Transaction costs are about how much energy it takes you to start and stop doing something. For example, if you don’t have any shitty food at home, there’s a much bigger probability that you won’t eat it, because you have to get out of your pyjamas, drive to a grocery store, and all that takes time and energy. The transaction cost is high. On the other hand, if you have a bag of cookies in front of you all day, you will constantly be tempted, and sooner or later your discipline will fail. The transaction cost is basically zero. Make sure that transaction costs support your new desired behavior and leveling up your game.

Surround yourself with new people

Besides reading, the fastest way to acquire new knowledge and to stay motivated is to surround yourself with new people, with people who have already done what you want to do or are way ahead on the path towards it. Spending time with people who have more knowledge and more experience will put you on a fast-track to leveling up your game.

The good news is that most people love to help others, and usually all you have to do is ask. Join clubs and online forums, go to seminars, meet up groups, register for trainings, there are many ways of meeting new people and joining new social groups – online and offline. If you aren’t good at socializing, first level up your game in this regard. It will help you a lot with all your other goals.

Throw yourself into the water

Last but not least, you have to throw yourself into the water. Not too deep water, so you don’t drown. But the key is to apply the acquired knowledge into practice as soon as possible. You need to start gathering feedback from your environment immediately, you need to start testing new approaches and experimenting with different mind-sets. That is how you will learn the most and progress the fastest.

You can read thousands of books about riding a bike but at the end of the day, the point is to actually sit on a bike and enjoy the ride. The actual experience is where you learn the most and what the point of leveling up your game really is – playing the game on the master level. You have to remember that it’s not only about the goal or the endgame you want, but also about enjoying the path towards it.

Failure is not an option

We’ve started this blog post by talking about the mindset, and so we should also finish with it. When you really commit to something, when you concentrate all your time, energy, stamina, willpower and other resources on one thing, that thing will grow fast. Magic happens. You will be able to see how fast you improve and how you are playing the game on a totally new level.

When you see rapid progress like that, you simply know that failure is not an option anymore. And that motivates you even more to become an even better master of something. It’s so simple to bitch, whine and complain, and to put yourself in the position of a victim. But that’s such a waste. You only have one life and so much to experience. Instead, decide to level up your game. Decide that you’ll play with the people in the best league the world knows; and for that, level up your game. Start now!

About the author

Consulting and management coaching

Blaž Kos has managed venture capital investments over the past 12 years and participated in the development of the start-up ecosystem in the region. Today, he advises companies on growth strategies, process optimization, the introduction of lean agile methods and the digitalization of business. In addition to the Slovenian blog, he also writes an English blog, which was selected among the 50 best bloggers in the world in the category of personal and business growth.
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