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5 Steps to Becoming a Pro-Gamer

5 Steps to Becoming a Pro-Gamer

So, you’re staying in your mom’s basement playing No Man’s Sky for the past six months and think you can become a pro-gamer. Chances are, this is probably something shouldn’t be telling your dad you’re trying to pursue right now. This isn’t to say that becoming a pro-gamer isn’t a realistic goal and that you can’t make a great living at it, but it really doesn’t help in the bragging rights department when you haven’t actually put in the work to make your ambitions come true.

The reality is that you can become a pro gamer—anyone can. That’s the beauty of gaming, after all, because all of the pro-gamers on the circuit today are just like you. These are average, run-of-the-mill people who developed the right skills and talent to help them win.

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And you can be a winner, too. Here’s how:

1. Narrow down the game

There are hundreds of games out there and you’ve got to narrow down the one you’re going to master. You can’t go at this devoting an hour to playing this one and that one. You’ve ultimately got to narrow it down to that one game that you’re going to get really, really good at. It’s hard to do, because you enjoy gaming and, let’s face it, they’re all fun! But, when you decide to go pro, it’s time to get serious about the one you’re going to master.

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2. Practice

This is fairly obvious, but practice does make perfect, you know. But, practice also takes time, so you really need to dedicate yourself to developing the skill it takes to be a pro. No more Saturday nights down at Norkie’s pub on Third Street – you’ve got work to do. You also have to be able to compete, no matter how you’re feeling, or if you’re tired or under the weather. They’re not going to reschedule a competition based upon your health, you know. So practice, practice, practice, even under a variety of conditions (like being sick, hungover, etc.) to prepare for gaming under any circumstance.

3. Balance your time

Becoming a pro-gamer takes time, and in the meantime, you’ve got to support yourself by paying your bills and meeting other life obligations. In other words, don’t quit or neglect the day job you have just because of all the gaming benefits you expect to come.[1] Right now, you need that job and it requires discipline to know just when to concentrate solely on your future gaming career. You need to keep this in perspective, so when you’re at work, concentrate on work. But during the time you’ve scheduled for practicing your gaming, tune out the world to practice your craft. Turn off the phone, radio, or any other distractions and totally devote that time to this sport.

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4. Know what’s staying hot

You’ve got to use some common sense here and stay on top of the games that aren’t just hot this month, but also know and anticipate the ones that will stay hot.[2] Some of this is marketing 101, fads come and go, and the gaming industry is no different. You’ve got to be able to distinguish the games that are the latest on the bandwagon and which games are going to be the surefire classics for months and years to come. There is no point in devoting hours and hours mastering a game that is only going to die out in popularity and relevance in a month or two later.

5. Network

If you’re going to be a pro-gamer, you need to know the circuit and the competition, so get to know it early on.[3] Attend the competitions, read the gaming magazines, and really get to know these guys. When there’s a guy who’s on fire, don’t envy his success, rather watch for the attributes that got them there in the fist place. The value here is that you not only get to know who you’ll possibly be facing, but by moving in these circles, you’ll develop the attitude it takes to win.

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Featured photo credit: Derek Bridges via flickr.com

Reference

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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